OCTOBER 6, 2006
MOBILE HOME FIRE -DEER RUN DRIVE
OCTOBER 6, 2007
FM 1960 ZERO TOLERANCE NIGHT TWO
OCTOBER 6, 2010
ROBBERY RESULTS IN CHASE AND SHOOTING
Just before 5:30 pm, a white male entered the AT&T Store at FM2978 and FM 1488. He walked up to the only two people in the store which were the sales associates. He raised his shirt and advised them,” this is no joke give me your money”,” as he displayed a pistol in his waistband. The sales associates gave him the cash till and he left the store.
The sales associates reported the robbery and an attempt to locate was issued. Within minutes a deputy spotted the vehicle and the white male and attempted to stop him. At speeds of up to 100 MPH deputies chased him almost seven miles to IH 45 at which time he turned north and continued to River Plantation. He then turned back southbound on the feeder. Just before he got to the intersection on SH 242 he apparently saw the heavy traffic at the light and attempted a quick turn from the left lane into the College Plaza Shopping Center. Missing the first entrance he attempted entering the wrong way at which point he struck Patrick McCracken of Splendora in his black Tundra pickup. The deputy then slips into the rear of the suspect’s vehicle. Jumping out the deputy ordered the suspect to show his hands. It was too late. Just before the deputy got out the suspect placed his pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger killing him.
McCracken said he saw the chase coming at him as he waited for traffic to turn south on IH45. He waited as the vehicles quickly approached. He then saw the vehicle cut and head directly for him at which time he dove across the front seat with his foot now on the accelerator in an attempt to cover his son his body. McCracken said he heard the shot but did not see it.
Behind McCracken was Debbie Almazan, her daughter Stephanie Jones and Jones’s 6-month-old son. They said they saw the vehicle attempt to turn in and strike the McCracken Toyota. “The cop was coming out of his car when the guy in the Honda pulled out his gun,” Jones said.
They attempted to shift into reverse to avoid a confrontation. Almazan said,” It kind of scares me because one second later it could have been us.”
McCracken agreed with her statement saying,” there is no telling which direction that gun could have fired”.
The suspect has not been identified pending notification of next of kin.
OCTOBER 6, 2012
MOTORCYCLE RIDER KILLED AFTER RUN OVER BY MOTORCYCLE
At 7:50 p.m. last Friday, Conroe Police and Fire Department, along with Montgomery County Hospital District medics responded to a reported major accident with a victim in the moving lane of traffic on I-45 northbound, just past FM 3083. The first units on-scene had difficulty approaching because traffic was at a dead stop. They arrived to find 49-year-old Lois Horton, of Willis, lying in the left moving lane of traffic, already deceased.
According to witnesses, a 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle entered the freeway at Loop 336, following another bike and headed north. Witnesses said the driver, later identified as 65-year-old Michael Lyles (of the same Willis address as the victim) veered into the barrier wall on the left side of the inside lane just after passing under the FM 3083 overpass, for no obvious reason, causing the bike to strike the barrier wall several times, ejecting Horton. Lyles and the bike he was following kept going.
The same witnesses said they saw Horton sit up, appearing dazed. They were stopped and attempting to block traffic and try to reach Horton, but before they were able to do so, a three-wheeled Goldwing motorcycle approached. The bike continued at the posted speed, not knowing why the cars were stopped, and tried to pass them on the left. Witnesses said Horton saw the bike coming toward her and raised her arms in front of her in a defensive motion. The Goldwing’s driver, 60-year-old Ezra Powell of Willis, did not see Horton on the unlit freeway and ran over her. Witnesses reached her and found her unresponsive. Authorities believe she was dying or already dead.
Conroe Police say a witness then did something that should be noted and discouraged. The witness found Horton’s cell phone and took upon themselves to use it to find and notify her family of her death. As a result, Horton’s mother showed up on the scene of the accident and had to identify her deceased daughter that way and now must live with that memory.
Powell fought to keep his bike from rolling over. His wife, 59-year-old Sue Powell, was riding on the rear of the bike and also fought to stay on. The force of her body broke off the rear right side armrest. The couple was returning from a trip to Corpus Christi. Powell was able to safely stop his damaged bike a short distance down the road. The couple suffered only minor scrapes and bruises.
Conroe Police were assisted in their investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crime Unit.
A Conroe officer found Lyles at his Willis home. He was taken into custody for Failure to Stop and Render Aid. A mandatory blood draw was also done, but the results could take weeks. Lyles was then booked into the Montgomery County Jail. He has since been released on$ a 25,000 bond.
While investigating officers worked the crash scene, several others were tasked with closing the freeway off and forcing vehicles to exit at FM 3083. Around 10 p.m., a pickup truck drove around the roadblock, sending officers in the roadway at the crash scene scurrying for cover. That driver was cited. Then, approximately 30 minutes before the freeway was reopened, six vehicles, including two 18-wheelers, also drove around the roadblock. Once again, officers were forced to run for cover. All of those vehicles were stopped just as they approached the crash area.
The freeway reopened shortly after 1 a.m.
Montgomery County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty ordered Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to transport Horton to the Montgomery County Forensic Center for autopsy.
Additional charges could be forthcoming on Lyles.
OCTOBER 6, 2013
KINGWOOD ROBBERY UPDATE
Houston police have released surveillance photos of one of two suspects wanted for separate armed robberies outside businesses in the Kingwood Town Center and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.
Kingwood Town Center is located near the intersection of Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway.
The suspects are described only as two black males in their late teens or 20s, with slim builds and wearing hoodies to conceal their faces. It is believed they were driving a white or silver, four-door vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord, with a sunroof.
The first incident happened outside Russo’s New York Pizzeria at 42 North Main Street at Elm about 10:45 p.m. on September 19. The victim, 28, was sitting outside and using a laptop computer when he was approached by the two suspects, one of whom was armed with a pistol. The suspects stole the man’s computer and wallet and fled on foot.
HPD Kingwood officers obtained surveillance photos of one of the suspects attempting to use the victim’s credit card to withdraw money at an ATM outside a bank at 3801 Atascocita Road. Another photo showed the suspects’ vehicle in the bank parking lot.
The second robbery occurred outside the McDonald’s restaurant at 4406 Kingwood Drive at about 10:40 p.m. on September 25. The McDonalds is just a few hundred yards away. Two black male suspects, fitting the same description of those in the first incident, robbed a man and two women at gunpoint as they were sitting on the tailgate of a truck in the parking lot. The suspects stole cell phones and fled on foot.
No one was hurt in either robbery.
Anyone with information on the identities of the suspects is urged to contact the Kingwood Patrol Station at 281-913-4500 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
OCTOBER 6, 2014
DONALD COLLINS CHANGE OF VENUE
After hearing arguments last Friday as to why the Donald Collins, who is accused of lighting Robert Middleton on fire, should have a trial somewhere besides Montgomery County a decision has been made. It appeared Judge Hamilton had a long weekend researching case law on the subject. Monday morning after almost twenty minutes of addressing the court on the case law she researched granted the change of venue motion requested by Collins defense attorney Tay Bond. A meeting will take place on Tuesday in Judge Hamilton’s chambers between both the defense team and the prosecution. She hopes in that meeting to find three locations favorable to both to hold the January trial. With those three locations, Judge Hamilton will need to contact those counties to determine if they will allow it to be held there. A county can deny the request. Judge Hamilton will then make a decision.
The change stemmed from what Judge Hamilton stated was all the media coverage since the 1998 incident in which Don Collins was said to have poured a flammable liquid on 8-year-old Robert Middleton and light him on fire. He was burned over 99% of his body.
In addition, Judge Hamilton set an October 29th date to hear two motions filed by the defense.
The first is to suppress a custodial statement and the second is to suppress a deposition given by Robert Middleton before he died.
The custodial statement states Collins was interrogated in 1998 by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detectives under poor audio recording quality and signed a written statement that he neither wrote himself nor had the sufficient educational ability to understand its contents.
Bond is also contending the introduction of the statements as “dying declarations” is improper,” because the testimony was made more than a decade after Middleton suffered his injuries.
OCTOBER 6, 2014
TEMPERATURES DROP AS STORMS HIT CONROE
Just after 11 am heavy winds moved into the Conroe area along with a sky thick in storm clouds. Temperatures dropped to 63 degrees within minutes and shortly after the heavy rains started.
OCTOBER 6, 2015
FATAL CRASH SH 105 AT TRINITY RIVER
At about 9:30 am Liberty County dispatchers received a call for a major accident on SH 105 in the Trinity River bottoms, just west of the Trinity River. Units arrived to find a 2012 Chevrolet Express van scattered across the bridge along with medical supplies. The van owned by a Medical Supply Company out of Burleson, Texas was driven by 27-year-old Zachary Bryant Ryals of Tomball.
According to DPS Ryals was traveling eastbound on SH 105 when he attempted t pass several vehicles in a passing zone just before the bridge. He was struck head-on by 1985 Ford 18-wheeler pulling a log skid steer. The truck was driven by Robert Clarence Whitton, 55, of Cleveland. The trailer of that truck and the skid steer struck the van. The impact was so great that it broke the axle on the skid steer launching one of the monster wheels into the woods. The other wheel came to rest on the highway. The impact spun the van into the path of Bradley Paul Chesson, 35, of Cleveland. who was driving a 1992 Peterbilt and pulling a trailer with a knuckle boom log loader Chesson hit the van head-on.
The van came to rest in pieces on the bridge. The skid steer came to rest in the ditch on the north side of the road while the Peterbilt and log loader came to rest behind it in the ditch on the north side of the road. The 1985 Ford came to rest in the ditch on the south side of the road
Ryals was pronounced dead on the scene by Liberty County Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Wade Brown. Pace Stancil removed Ryals from the scene.
Whitton was Life Flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with non-life-threatening injuries.
Chesson was taken by ground ambulance to Conroe Regional Trauma Center.
Hardin, North Liberty, Tarkington Fire Departments assisted DPS in detouring traffic around the area. Hardin Fire Department used their JAWS to remove the victim from the vehicle.
Haz-Mat International of Conroe was tasked with the cleanup of the diesel and oils as a Texas TCEQ representative standing by.
DPS Trooper Richmond investigated the crash. He was assisted by Trooper Pirtle with DPS Houston, Sgt. Willoughby with DPS Liberty County, Trooper Reynolds with DPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement of Beaumont, and DPS Sgt Leitner and Trooper Kovach of DPS New Caney.
OCTOBER 6, 2016
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PRECINCT 4 DOPE BUST
After a tip Wednesday night, Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables went to a home at 11620 Warner just off Midline Road. The tip caller told deputies that heavy traffic was seen in and out of the home at all hours of the day and night. After knocking at the door close to 10 pm a 4-year-old female answered it. Eventually, Emily Anne Vanness, 23, came to the door. By that time, it was too late as deputies already smelled the heavy scent of marijuana. After talking with the owner they discovered more than they expected. Deputies located 1.78 pounds of green leaf marijuana, a dozen commercially made marijuana chocolate bars, 195 grams of “wax” marijuana, and almost a dozen of what is called “dab”, a concentrated marijuana ball. Vanness is being booked into the Montgomery County jail on multiple drug charges. Her bond is set at $60,000. Matthew Starcher, who was celebrating his 24th birthday was also arrested and charged with multiple drug charges. His bond is set at $300,000. CPS is also investigating.
OCTOBER 6, 2016
BURGLARY MOTOR VEHICLE PURSUIT AND CRASH
About 11 am, Stephanie was pulling up to the Walgreens at FM 1485 and I-69 when she spotted an SUV parked at an angle with the door open. Not looking right, she also saw two black males walking away from another vehicle with a purse, broken glass was scattered on the parking lot. Stephanie turned around and followed the males, as she attempted to take a photo with her phone the males spotted her and sped out of the parking lot. Stephanie followed in her vehicle while on the phone with 911. Units started to converge on the area. Woodbranch Police Chief Silva spotted the vehicle and Stephanie with her flashers and attempted to get on the freeway at the next entrance. That’s when the suspects exited Creekwood in Patton Village. They failed to negotiate the U-turn under the freeway and slammed into the bridge pillar. The passenger hit the windshield and suffered a possible broken nose. He was immediately taken into custody. The driver fled into the woods. Patton Village Officer Mill’s spotted the driver and took him into custody. The passenger was taken to the hospital. All the contents of the purse were intact according to the owner who did not want to talk on camera. The purse had been in the back seat of the vehicle. The suspect’s vehicle was a rental vehicle, however, the windows had been heavily tinted.
OCTOBER 6, 2018
MIDLINE ROAD AUTO PEDESTRIAL FATAL CRASH
At 8:36 pm Montgomery County Hospital District, DPS, and MCSO along with EMC Fire were dispatched to a reported a black 1999 Chevrolet pickup vs bicycle on Midline Road and Lewis in Splendora. Units arrived on the scene to find a male in his 50’s not responsive lying in the ditch. He was pronounced deceased minutes later. DPS Investigators arrived on the scene and transported the driver of the pickup to the hospital for a blood draw. He was not injured. Montgomery County District Attorneys Office Vehicular Crimes Unit responded to assist the investigation. Charges of Intoxication Manslaughter are expected later tonight. According to investigators. The male was with his bicycle traveling east on Midline at Lewis. The bike had an LED headlight and pedal reflectors. The pickup was westbound and crossed over into the eastbound lane striking the male and his bicycle. The bicycle was drug a great distance before it was ejected from the truck into the ditch. The driver then turned around and returned to the scene. Montgomery County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack responded to the scene and ordered Darst Funeral Home to transport the victim to the Montgomery County Forensic Center for an autopsy.