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Police continue to investigate shooting cases
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By Mari Maldonado
PECOS, June 20, 1995 - Charges against three suspects in connection with
a pair of felony shootings and a stabbing over the weekend are expected
to go before a 143rd District Court grand jury in the near future.
District Attorney John Stickels said that all three cases resulting from
the separate incidents on Friday and Saturday are under investigation,
and as soon as they are completed all will go before a grand jury.
Two adults and a juvenile were arrested following the Friday incident,
in which one man was shot and a second stabbed, while a fourth person
was arrested after the second incident, just before midnight Saturday.
Forty-six-year-old Timothy Craig Sappington was charged with attempted
murder after allegedly shooting Randal Moore, with whom he was arguing
with before it escalated into a physical confrontation during a small
party at his residence at 602 N. Cedar St. about 11:40 p.m. Saturday.
Sappington reportedly pulled out a 20-guage shotgun and shot Moore in
Investigating Deputy Jeffrey Baeza said both men had been drinking.
Moore was taken first to Reeves County Hospital and later moved to
Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, from where he was discharged on
Sappington was taken to Reeves County Jail following the shooting, and
has since been released after posting a $20,000 bond set by Justice of
the Peace J.T. Marsh.
Michael Ortiz, 19, and Johnny Sandoval, 21, have also been released on
bonds of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively following their arrests early
Ortiz was charged with aggravated assault causing bodily injury and
Sandoval with assault causing bodily injury.
Both were charged as such after police questioned gunshot victim Joe
Gonales, 20, and stabbing victim, Isaac Villanueva, 17, who arrived at
Reeves County Hospital Emergency Room about 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
At the time of the victims' arrival at the hospital ER, police put out a
citywide search for Ortiz and Sandoval, who were found at the corner of
Third and Mesquite traveling with a juvenile.
The juenile was charged in connection with the stabbing of Villanueva
and taken to the Reeves County Detention Center.
Villanueva was treated overnight at RCH and released Saturday, while
Ortiz was transported to Medical Center Hopital for treatment, and was
discharged on Sunday.
Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore said this morning that there is no
evidence, to date, to indicate that the Friday incident was gang related.
"There was no organized gang involved, that we know of," Moore said.
There have been few reported gang-related incidents locally in recent
years, after problems with gang activity in the early 1990's.
Currently, the police department is taking statements from witnesses as part of their continuing investigation.
PECOS, June 19, 1995 - West of the Pecos rodeo organizers are
anticipating a record-setting year for both cowboys and prize money at
the 113th West of the Pecos Rodeo, which runs from July 1-4 at the Buck
The purse for the four-night event is expected to be about $170,000.
"It's up over 1994," said West of the Pecos Rodeo President John Saenz.
The books closed on Friday evening for any PRCA participants, but Saenz
added, "We still need more local participation for the wild cow milking
and wild mare race."
Individuals who would like to enter either of these events have until
Thursday, June 30, to sign up.
About 133 bull riders have registered to participate in the yearly
event, while 74 steer wrestlers; 36 baraback riders; 52 saddle broncs;
92 calf ropers; 48 team ropers; 56 barrel racers and 101 steer ropers
also are entered.
Local participants in the PRCA and women's rodeo events include:
-- Ed and Lisa Fernandes. He will be competing in team roping and she
will participate in barrel racing.
-- Junior Gamboa will be entered in saddle bronc riding.
-- Wayne and Vickie Hannsz will participate in calf roping and barrel
-- T.J. and Blaine Kenney, who are listed in the top 20 in saddle bronc
competition nationally, will be entered in that event.
-- Sharlene Martinez will be competing in barrel racing and Jimmy
Martinez will participate in team roping.
-- Tres and Jody McElroy will enter team roping and barrel racing events
and Kyle and Steve Taylor will be competing in team roping.
Senior roping, a new event this year, will take place separately from
Individuals will rope two go-rounds before the rodeo starts. "This will
happen during slack," said Saenz.
The six top ropers will compete on Saturday during the first
performance. "This will bring back to town many ropers who roped during
the 1960's and 1970's," said Saenz.
Charles Goode, Eldon Dudley, Walter Arnold and Ralph Powell are just a
few of the seniors who will be participating in this year's events.
The finals in that event will be held on Saturday, with the winner
netting a buckle donated by the Charlie Taylor Family. The six top
ropers will compete during the first performance.
A boot scramble will be an added event geared towards children. "This
will be for children under 12 years of age," said Saenz.
In this event children will take off one boot and all boots will be
placed in the center of the arena. The first child to find his or her
boot will be awarded a savings bond.
Dances have been scheduled for rodeo nights with Texas Express plus
another well-known country band and a popular Tejano music band
contracted to entertain.
"A Tejano hand called 'La Diferenzia' will be playing, on Monday, July3
at one of the rodeo dances held during the rodeo activities," said Saenz.
Rona Reeves will be performing on Saturday, July 1 and Texas Express
will be appearing on Sunday, July 2.
The usual clown acts have been scheduled with Quail Dobbs, Jimmy
Anderson, and Mark Callahan returning to the Pecos arena.
Rodeo organizers are anticipating about 600 contestants at this year's
A special Cowboy Church Service has been tentatively set for 10 a.m.
Sunday, July 2. "We don't know who will be the guest speaker at the
service yet," said Saenz.
Everyone is welcome to attend this special service in honor of rodeo participants.
PECOS, June 19, 1995 - Two men were shot, a third was stabbed, and four
persons were taked into custody following two separate incidents over
Randal Moore suffered a gun-shot wound from a 20-guage shot-gun
following a physical confrontation with Timothy Craig Sappington, 46,
late Saturday night.
Sappington was arrested and charged with attempted murder, according to
Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Baeza.
Baeza said that the sheriff's department received a call advising of a
fight at Sappington's residence at 602 N. Cedar St. at 11:45 p.m.
Saturday, and the Pecos Police Department received an ambulance request
about 30 seconds later.
Baeza said a small group of people were at the scene when he arrived,
and claimed that the two men had been arguing. It escalated into a
wrestling match before Sappington pulled out his shotgun and shot Moore
in the abdomen.
"We do not know yet if the gun is registered to Sappington," said Baeza,
who added, "We're pretty sure that they had both been drinking."
He said that Moore was shot before the anonymous call to the sheriff's
office, and that Sappington remained at the scene until officials
Sappington was arraigned by Justice of the Peace T.J. Marsh and bail was
set at $20,000, said bondsman Joey Herrera. Moore was taken to Reeves
County Hospital, before being transferred to Medical Center Hospital in
Odessa. He was scheduled to be released later today, a hospital
In the first incident this weekend, 20-year-old Joe Gonzales suffered a
gunshot wound to the stomach and Isaac Villanueva, 17, was stabbed in
the back, following a confrontation with three male suspects late Friday
Michael Ortiz, 19, Johnny Sandoval, 21, and one male juvenile were taken
into custody early Saturday morning following a city-wide search by
police and sheriff's personnel for a brown 1983 Cadillac.
The search began after Police Sergeant Jim Vaughn spotted a late model
Chevrolet pickup travellin westbound at a high rate of speed on Stafford
Vaughn, along with Patrolman Juan Vasquez, followed the vehicle to the
Reeves County Hospital emergency room entrance, where officers were told
about the incident by the two victims. Police also spoke to three
witnesses to the shooting and stabbing.
Assisting officer Chuck Sutlive reported that Villanueva had told him
that the juvenile had stabbed him.
All three witnesses, who were in the truck with the two victims, told
Vaughn that Ortiz had shot Gonzales.
While on the ER table, Gonzales told Vaughn that Ortiz had shot him at a
close range for no reason.
In his report, Vaughn said the witnesses told Sutlive that Sandoval had
held a gun to one of the victim's heads and threatened to shoot him.
At the same time, Patrolman Cosme Ortega spotted the brown Cadillac and
pulled it over at the 200 block of Locust Street.
Ortega said he noticed the vehicle had a flat, left rear tire with a
gunshot dent on the left, real panel.
He said that after handcuffing all three suspects, he and Deputy Armando
Granado searched the vehicle and found three concealed knives and one
Ortega added that Ortiz told him Villanueva, Gonzales and their party
had shot at them first, said Ortega.
Ortiz and Sandoval were arraigned by Pecos Municipal Judge Phyllis
Salyer. Bail for Ortiz was set at $10,000 and for Sandoval at $5,000.
Villanueva was kept overnight at RCH before being released Saturday
evening, according to hospital officials. Gonzales was transferred to
Medical Center Hospital in Odessa on Saturday, where he spent the night
before being released on Sunday.
Both Vaughn and Ortega said the investigation into the incident will
continue and statements will be taken at a later date, dure to the fact that all witnesses, victims, and suspects were intoxicated.
PECOS, June 16, 1995 - A young Pecos man has been commended for his
services in the United States Air Force while serving in Panama.
Robert Chabarria reveived the Joint Service Achievement Medal for
meritorious service for the Armed Forces of the United States, being one
of only two individuals who earned this prestigious commendation.
Chabarria is an Airman First Class in the United States Air Force who
had the misfortune of viewing the riots involving Cuban refugees taken
to Panama, firsthand.
"We were stationed at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba," said Chavarria
in an inteview in March.
Chabbaria was stationed in Cuba for nearly two years, safeguarding the
Cuban refugees who had fled the island in makeshift boats.
Chavarria said soldiers also had to take care of domestic problems which
seemed to arise daily in the Cuban camps.
A mass exodus of Cubans from the regime of Communist leader Fidel Castro
began last fall. In the past, Cubans fleeing Castro had quickly been
allowed entry into the United States, but President Clinton ordered that
policy changed, due to the fear that Castro planned to empty his jails
and mental institutions and send them to the U.S., as he did back in
U.S. ships picked up refugees on the high seas and transported many of
them back to Guantanamo, the Naval Base the U.S. operates in Cuba under
a treaty signed at the turn of the century.
A citation accompanying the Joint Service Achievement Medal stated,
"Airman First Class Robert S. Chabarria, United States Air Force,
distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service while serving
as a Linguist, Ssquad Member, Patrol Member, and Response Force Member,
Office of the Provost Marshal, Camp 4, Join Task Force-Safe Haven,
Republic of Panama, from Sept. 10, 1994 to Feb. 20, 1995.
"During this period, the outstanding professionalism, initiative, and
tireless efforts of Airman Chabarria were instrumental to the overall
success of security and humanitarian operations on Empire Range."
The citation further stated that his skills as a Security Policeman
coupled with his proficient Spanish speaking abilities proved to be an
invaluable asset in reacting to numerous security incidents at Camp 4.
He assisted in the recovery of weapons, illegal drugs, and alcohol as
well as the removal of the disruptive element from the camp, creating a
safer living environment for the Cuban population.
During a major riot at Camp 1, Airman Chabarria demonstrated his
intention and determination by advancing into an extremely volatile and
His steadfast resolve enabled his team to hold their ground and helped
to bring an end to the violence. The distinctive accomplishments of
Chabarria reflects upon himself, the United States Air Force, and the
Department of Defense.
Chabarria was a linguist in his camp while in Panama, helping to
translate and communicate with the natives.
"There were different camps and each one had their own linguist, or
translator, said Chabarria.
Chabarria's stay in Panama also earned him many friends. "We made
friends with a lot of them and they taught us different things," he
said. "Some were actually very nice and we had a good time visiting with
them when we had a chance," he said.
Recreational activities for him included learning to dance the 'salsa'
and the 'meringue,' and meeting several celebrities who performed there.Chabarria is the son of Robert and Linda Chabarria of Pecos.
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324 S. Cedar, Box 2057, Pecos TX 79772
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