JUNE 20, 2006

JUNE 20, 2006

JUNE 20, 2006
For the past two days, Maria Catalina Ramirez’s living room in Willis has become more sanctuary than home as family members gather to pray, recite the rosary and comfort the 47-year-old mother who lost her son over the weekend to a bomb blast in Iraq.

“I feel like my heart has been cut open. All I feel is pain,” she said Tuesday.

Army Sgt. Reyes Ramirez, 23, was killed Saturday when an improvised explosive device blew up near his vehicle in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. It was his second tour of duty in the war-torn country, his mother said.

“It’s so hard because I didn’t think they would send him back again after he had already been there a year,” she said. “I just want to die.”

Ramirez was assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion in Baumholder, Germany.

A graduate of Willis High School, Ramirez joined the Army when he was 18. He had served a year in Iraq when he posted in Germany.

In her living room, Maria Catalina Ramirez built a small altar for her son. The altar is quite simple, she said. It has a single candle, a crucifix, and La Virgin de Guadalupe. Amid the religious items are two photos of Ramirez, one in uniform taken in Iraq and the other in civilian clothes in Germany.

During his last trip home in February, the mother said, Ramirez spent time with his family, which included his father, Marco Julio Ramirez, and his 21-year-old sister, Maricela.

The mother said she noticed changes: He was harder than he had been in previous visits. She said he would not say much about the war because he didn’t want her to worry.

JUNE 20, 2007

JUNE 20, 2010
According to witnesses who were driving southbound on US 59 just north of FM 2090 early Sunday morning, a Pontiac GGT was southbound on the feeder at a high rate of speed. They say it appeared he was weaving in and out of the construction barrels when he lost control, flipped, and went through the fence of a business.

The driver Bradley Lawrence Kieth of Splendora suffered minor injuries and was transported to Kingwood Hospital, his female passenger did not require medical attention.

JUNE 20, 2013
A SWAT standoff in The Woodlands Thursday afternoon ended with the arrest of a local man for the murder of his own mother.
Thursday afternoon, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a disturbance at a residence at 17 Dellforest Drive in The Woodlands. The Sheriff’s Office also received a call around the same time from a nearby business reporting a woman had walked in off the street saying she had been assaulted and that she had witnessed her boyfriend killing his mother.

Deputies were able to determine that the assault occurred at the Dellforest address that was the subject of the first call. Responding Deputies found a woman dead inside a downstairs room at the residence, from what they believed to be a gunshot wound. They had reason to believe the suspected killer, 37-year-old Stuart J. McGuirt, was still inside the home and armed with a handgun.

Deputies established a security perimeter and summoned additional help. SWAT, Crisis Negotiators, and Major Crime Detectives responded. Crisis Negotiators established contact with McGuirt and shortly after 5 p.m., the suspect surrendered to SWAT Deputies.

The suspect has been arrested and charged with the murder of 59-year-old Anne Christine McGuirt.
The assault victim was taken to a local hospital and listed in good condition.

JUNE 20, 2013
A young driver charged with three counts of manslaughter was back in court Thursday. The man was involved in a crash that killed three people, but his family says the crash was caused by a rare medical disorder that causes his heart to stop.

Everyone in the courtroom agreed this is a tragic situation that involves good people. Still, on Thursday Judge Hamilton ordered that driver to finish out his punishment.

Over fifty supporters of McKinley filled the courtroom as did the victim’s family and friends.

Outside a crowded courtroom, a victim’s sister and the sister of a convicted killer exchange a hug.

“Our heart breaks for them and their loss,” said Brandy McKinley, sister of Casey, who’s convicted in a deadly accident. “Casey’s heart breaks for them and their loss. And if there’s anything any of us can do, we want to help them heal.”

Back in 2009, Casey McKinley ran a red light and crashed into another car, killing three people at Loop 336 and FM 1314. McKinley, 22, says he doesn’t remember the crash and a doctor later diagnosed him with neurocardiogenic syncope – a condition that can cause people to suddenly blackout. Still, McKinley pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter and was sentenced to five years of probation.

His cardiologist testified in the courtroom. She stated even though the Conroe Regional Hospital report showed his heart as being unremarkable (nothing unusual) without specific tests the condition would not show the condition. She stated many people have this and may pass out from it but instead of seeking medical treatment brush it off as low sugar or overheated or tired.

Four different Montgomery County Probation Officers testified that McKinley had gone above and beyond in meeting the conditions of his probation which included fees, mowing the grass around the crosses at the intersection, and maintaining the crosses. He just recently got his driver’s license back.

“We understand he was ill but there was still a responsibility in that and if it had ever gone to court that would have been proven as well,” said Brenda Waters, the wife of one of the victims. “All we asked for was probation instead of prison time just so that it’s not just swept under the rug.”

McKinley has been on probation for more than two years, completing community service and undergoing random drug tests. At a hearing Thursday, a judge denied a request to let him off early.

“This is sad all the way around,” said prosecutor Rob Freyer. “However, it doesn’t change the fact that three people are dead.”

McKinley, who cried throughout the hearing, now has a pacemaker and is in college, studying petroleum engineering. Part of his probation requires he maintain these three crosses — one for each victim.

“He’s got his whole life ahead of him,” said Waters. “It’ll be off his record and he can pick up where he left off. We can’t.”

“I can see that they’re hurting and I don’t want them to think that we have any hatred toward them,” Brandy said.

After the hearing, the victims’ family members went from the courthouse to the cemetery, to honor their loved ones

JUNE 20, 2014

JUNE 20, 2015
A storm late Saturday afternoon quickly moved through the area of Kuykendahl and West Rayford damaging homes, vehicles,s and falling many large trees. homes in the
Londonderry , Augusta Pines.Wimbleton Country and off Aldine Westfield in the North Spring Subdivision.
One resident in the 25000 block of Londontown had just finished his workout in the garage and gone in the house when he felt a draft. He found his front door open. As he started to close it his daughter came down the stairs telling him a tree limb went through her bedroom window. When he got upstairs he found one of the trees in his back yard fell and went through part of the house and pushed the bed to the other side of the room. Residents are still cleaning up the debris field which appears to be straight-line winds.
Many say the winds and rain were worse than tropical storms Bill.

JUNE 20, 2016
CONROE, TX – Just as Father’s Day was drawing to a close this past Sunday, what started as a simple public indecency call ended in a tragedy beyond belief. At 7:30 PM, June 19, 2016, Sgt. Stacey Baumgartner with the Patton Village Police Department was run into by a 1998 Chevy Suburban at the intersection of SH 242 and FM 1485 while in pursuit. The devastating collision sent Sgt. Baumgartner’s vehicle into a pole, while the Suburban was flipped in the ditch next to it. Medics rushed Sgt. Baumgartner to the hospital, but due to the impact from both the Suburban and pole, his injuries were too severe. He was pronounced deceased upon arrival at the Memorial Herman Hospital-The Woodlands.

Sgt. Baumgartner responded that night to a call about a man publicly urinating and flashing people at the Valero Corner Store located at SH 242 and US 59. The man, identified as 29 year-old Garrett William Nee of Kingwood, fled Sgt. Baumgartner in a black Scion, initiating the chase that would claim 2 lives only minutes later. As Sgt. Baumgartner gave chase, Nee miraculously ran a red light at the intersection of SH 242 and FM 1485 without injury. Unfortunately, the Suburban carrying 5 children and their parents struck the police vehicle, killing both Sgt. Baumgartner and Adan Hilario,  a 12 year-old boy riding in the Suburban.

Sgt. Baumgartner has been with the Patton Village Police Department since October 2012, he was their only Sergeant and many agreed on the fact that he was an amazing police officer and person. Mayor Leah Tarrant of Patton Village stated, “He had a compassion and a love, anybody that knows him can tell you, for God and for his family and for his fellow law enforcement.”

Alycia Cole, an employee of the Valero where Sgt. Baumgartner was originally called, said, “Every night when he was working, he would come in and get something to drink. He was always real sweet.”

This Father’s Day was especially hard on the family he left behind, his wife Donna, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher and two children; his 20 year-old son, Brent, and his 4-year-old daughter, Chloe. The entire family was at the hospital and aware of the situation. Little Chloe, who only knew her daddy was in Heaven, would keep telling her mom “Suck it up, buttercup.” The same phrase her father told her when something went wrong, as it very much did that night.

Sgt. Baumgartner was loved by all, you could especially tell as 30 patrol units escorted his body from the hospital to the forensic center, and as almost 100 officers, friends, family, and even patients lined up to salute the fallen officer as he was moved into the hearse from the emergency room. Montgomery County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Judge James Metts stated the event was “A sad and tragic ending to what was supposed to be a nice Father’s Day for many of us.”

A patrol unit has been parked at the entrance to Patton Village in front of the East Montgomery County Development Center to act as a memorial for the Sergeant, so friends and well-wishers may pay tribute to this amazing police officer. As of now, the funeral arrangements are pending at the Kingwood Funeral Home, with a possible visitation service on Thursday.

The man responsible for this turn of events, Garrett William Nee, turned around after seeing the crash in his rearview mirror and was taken into custody. As of now, he has been charged with the following charges:

06/20/2016 Murder $500,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Manslaughter w/Vehicle $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Manslaughter w/Vehicle $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Assault w/Vehicle SBI $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Assault w/Vehicle SBI $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Assault w/Vehicle SBI $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Assault w/Vehicle SBI $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Assault w/Vehicle SBI $100,000 Bond

06/20/2016 Intoxication Assault w/Vehicle SBI $100,000 Bond

Please, remember to pray for not only Sgt. Baumgartner, but for his family and all those affected, as being a police officer is a dangerous job, and you never know just what might happen.

JUNE 20, 2016
CONROE, TX – On Monday  1st Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant became Judge Phil Grant of the 9th District Court. With a standing-room-only crowd in the courtroom, he was officially sworn in by Judge Patty Maginnis, the second newest Judge in the 435th District Court of Montgomery County. The ceremony began with a prayer and was followed by some wise words of wisdom from Judge Maginnis, including a Grateful Dead reference. Judge Grant said that he was “Incredibly humbled and honored to be here today and ready to get started moving the 9th [District Court] in a new direction.”

On May 24, 2016, Phil Grant won the runoff election against Kate Shipman Bihm to become the next Judge of the 9th District Court, a seat left open after Judge Kelly Case decided not to run for re-election.

In a surprise move, Judge Kelly Case resigned from his seat 5 months prior to the end of his term. His resignation came on June 16, 2016, leaving the 9th District Court bench open. Phil Grant was subsequently appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the vacated position.

Grant already has a trial docket in place with a trial beginning next Monday. Grant hopes to clear some of the backlogs in the Montgomery County Jail by bringing some of these longtime inmates to his courtroom. Several inmates have been in the jail for well over a year.

After being sworn in, Judge Grant introduced his new court staff:

Victoria Chavez – Court Coordinator

Stephanie Ashton – Assistant Court Coordinator

Rebecca Lewis – Court Reporter

JUNE 20, 2018
Memorial stones will be placed for two Central Texas DPS troopers who were killed in the line of duty.

At 11 a.m. next Wednesday, a memorial stone will be placed at the Freestone County Courthouse in honor of Trooper Damon Allen, 41, who was shot to death during a traffic stop on Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 45 south of Fairfield.

The 15-year DPS veteran is survived by his wife Kasey, daughters Chelsea Quinn, Kaitlyn Allen, and Madison Allen, and son Cameron Allen.

Allen graduated from Mexia High School, where he played football, and worked briefly at what is now the Mexia State Assisted Living Center and then for five years at a state prison unit before becoming a state trooper in 2002.

At 10 a.m. next Thursday, a memorial stone will be placed at the Texas Department of Public Safety office at 6612 South General Bruce Dr. in Temple in honor of Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper.

Nipper, 63, was conducting a traffic stop on the southbound shoulder of Interstate 35 at around 3:05 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2017, in Temple when his patrol car was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup.

JUNE 20, 2019
At 11:02 pm Thursday a 2010 Mustang was westbound on the SH 242 bridge which crosses the San Jacinto River and Crystal Creek. As the Mustang crossed over Crystal Creek the driver for unknown reasons crossed the center line into the eastbound lanes. A mother and daughter were driving a 2014 Nissan eastbound and were hit almost head-on, flipping their vehicle. The crash caused the Mustang to continue westbound in a spin. A 2004 Honda which was also eastbound t-boned the spinning Mustang splitting it in half and ejecting the driver of the Mustang. MCHD, Needham Fire and Caney Creek Fire responded to the scene. The lone male occupant of the Mustang was pronounced deceased on the scene. The mother and daughter were transported to Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands in stable condition. The daughter possibly had a broken arm. The lone male driver of the Honda was taken to Conroe Regional in critical condition. DPS worked the investigation. Milstead Wrecker Service was tasked with clearing the roadway of the vehicle and debris. Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Jason Dunn responded to the scene for the inquest and ordered Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to transport the victim to the Montgomery County Forensic Center for autopsy. No charges are being filed in the crash. The roadway was reopened just after 3 am.