Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Shooting death probe by jurors clears Ornelas
By Rosie Flores
PECOS, July 21, 1995 - Pecos Police Sgt. Ramon Ornelas was
no-billed by Reeves County grand jurors on Thursday in the
June 27 shooting death of Gilbert Barraza.
Grand jurors in 143rd District Court returned 10 indictments
on Thursday ranging from burglary to aggravated assault,
while deciding not to hand up an indictment against Ornelas.
The grand jury heard from a number of witnesses subpoenaed
on Tuesday in considering the facts and circumstances
surrounding the death of Barraza, which occurred outside his
parent's home at Ash and "B" streets on June 27.
The statement issued by the grand jury said the shooting was
justified under Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code, in
that Ornelas was acting in self-defense at the time of the
incident in question.
Ornelas was immediately placed on administrative leave after
a shot fired from his firearm killed Barraza. He returned to
duty earlier this week, Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore said
Barraza, while armed with a knife, received the fatal shot
in the chest after a struggle with Ornelas. His .357 was
discharged three times, with the first bullet landing in the
ground, and the second hitting the 35-year-old Barraza in
the chest. Investigators were unable to locate the location
of the third, according to a report filed by Texas Ranger
Among the 10 indictments which were returned by the grand
jury Thursday were one each against Ruben Orona and Robert
Nunez, who are charged with engaging in criminal activity.
Orona, Nunez and several other individuals were charged with
conspiring to commit the offense of possession of marijuana
at the Low Rates Auto Repair Shop on Feb. 13. Bond on both
men was set at $25,000.
Other indictments handed up Thursday included:
- Carlos Vasquez, who was indicted on burglary of a building
offense. He is charged with entering a building owned by
Steve Vargas Galindo, to commit theft. Vasquez's bond is
- Orlando Rayos, and Manuela H. Torres were also charged
with burglary of a building owned by Galindo. Their bonds
were also set at $10,000 apiece.
- Arturo Quesada Saenz, 23, was indicated for aggravated
assault causing serious bodily injury. He is charged with
assaulting Andreas Calvillo, by beating and striking him
with a pipe, which was capable of causing serious bodily
injury or death. Bond was set at $50,000.
- Javier Rayos, 21, is charged with possession of a
controlled substance, heroin, of less than one gram. His
bond is $15,000.
- Mingo Jiminez, 17, was indicted for aggravated assault.
Jiminez is charged with knowingly and recklessly causing
bodily injury to Lee Ralph Davis by stabbing him with a
deadly weapon which could cause serious bodily injury or
death. His bond is $25,000..
- Adan Martinez Salcido, 48, was indicted for possession of
a controlled substance, heroin, of less than one gram. Bond
was set at $15,000.
- David Vasquez Martinez was indicted for Felony Driving
While Intoxicated out of Ward County. Previous convictions
include DWI on Dec. 19, 1991 in Reeves County, DWI on June
27, 1990 in Reeves County and burglary of a building on
April 17, 1980. Bond is $7,500.
County set to foreclose on PIF loans
By Rosie Flores
PECOS, July 25, 1995 - Proceedings to foreclose on two Pecos
Industrial Foundation loans which are in defaultat the time
were approved by Reeves County Coomssioners during Monday
morning's regular commissioner's court session.
The Pecos river Livestock and Greear loans have been a topic
of discussion for commissioners for some time. Bosth
businesses are behind on their loan payments and Reeves
County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo has been appointed to oversee
both loans and take whatever measures were needed to bring
them up to date.
Pecos River Livestock, Inc. had an installemnt of $14,000
due in March and has not given a payment so far, according
to County Auditor Lynn Owens.
Betty Greear made a payment last October on her loan for
Ben's Spanish Inn, but has not made one payment since then.
"They received an extension in December for 60 days, but we
haven't received anything from them since the extension,"
Greear, who was given control of the business producing
chili rellanos in a divorce steelement last year, had
received another extension prior fo the one in December and
their payment is supposssed to be $1,200 a month, "so
they're delinquent more than six months," said Galindo.
"I think ample time has been given to both companies to
pay," he said.
"The judge will have to give notice of foreclosure and
you'll need to decide if he will continue to negotiate or
just forclose," County Attorney Bill Weinacht told
"I don't think we should negotiate with them, we've given
them plenty of time," said Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman
"I just think that the judge is taking too much on himsself,
he hasn't even started working on the (county) budget yet,"
said Commissioner Precinct 4 Bernardo Martinez, a member of
the Pecos Industrial Foundation's board. "You don't have
time to be taking all this on, Judge."
"Well, some of us get to it and get things done, shile
others just whine and complain all the time," replied
Galindo. "I do get frustrated sometimes, but I get tired of
all the whining and complaining going on.
"You should deal with the court as a whole and not take it
upon yourself to use the county's money as you please," said
"The budget discussion is not on the agenda, so let's not
discuss it at this time," said Precinct 2 Commissioner Dr.
"We need to be decisive about this and get going, it's gone
on long enough," said Galindo.
In other action Monday, low bidders were awarded service
contracts for food supplies for the Reeves County Detention
Center and Sheriff's office, except for one item which was
tabled, and bids were also awarded for uniforms.
White Swan's was awarded contracts for the first two
categories, general groceries and general supplies, along
with category six, coffee and spices, categories eight and
nine, eggs and cheese and category 10, frozen food.
Category three, meaat, was awarded to M&M Packing; category
four, which was listed as bread, went to Wholesome Bakery;
category five, dairy products, went to Borden Incorporated
and category seven, produce, went to Sysco Foods.
Category 11, which was for tortillas, was tabled until bothk
bidders can be available for a presentation. The current
provider is La Nortena and the lowest bid came from Flower's
Martin's Uniforms, the current provider, received the bid
In personnel and lalary changes, Dale Brewer was appointed
Assistant Warden beginning July 15 at the Reeves County
Detention Center at a salary of $42,000 annually.
A contract agreement was approved with Hogg County for the
detention of juvenile offenders.
The item on the Sheriff's office copy machine was tabled
until a later date. The office is currently using a Lanier
Company demo model, which does not meet the department's
"We're looking for an upgraded model, and they said they
would be here sometime this week to show us some other
models," said Sheriff's Deputy Alfredo Martinez.
P-B-T to gain funds through sale to Iraan
By Mari Maldonado
PECOS, July 26, 1995 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent
School District's will take advantage of last year's court
ruling dealing with the unconstitutionality of the school
district funding to receive some extra money from another
West Texas school district.
"This is the first and last time this is available," said
Superintendent Mario Sotelo, "but, the rich districts need
to get rid of $12 million dollars."
School trustees unanimously agreed to sell as much Weighted
Average Daily Attendance (WADA) as possible to the
Iraan-Sheffield ISD for about $1,000 more than what the
state would give them for one unit of WADA during Tuesday
night's special meeting.
The state allots funds to school districts across Texas
based on their average daily attendancek, and on their
property and mineral valuation levels. P-B-T's per pupil
valuations are slightly below the state average, while oil
reserves put Iraan-Sheffield among the top schools in the
state in valuations.
Business Manager Cookie Canon explained that the school
district will still receive the funds from Austin at the set
rate, "but we will turn around and give it back to the
state, once Iraan has issued us a check for the WADA they'll
buy," sometime in February.
Region 18 Educational Service Center will receive a certain
percentage of the net gain from this arrangement said Canon,
as it will be looking at some financial difficulties in the
"In the best case scenario for ESC, it will be $200,000 in
the hole," said Sotelo of the deficit faced by the
The ESC services all 34 school districts in the Region 18
area. School districts falling within Big Spring and Van
Horn on the east and west and Presidio and Andrews to the
south and north, inclusive, make up Region 18.
Before the motion was passed, Superintendent Mario Sotelo
asked the board how much of the district's available WADA
did they want to sell.
"It makes business sense (to) sell as much WADA as we can,"
said Board Vice-President Earl Bates.
Sotelo noted that the wstimates presented to the board were
only "preliminary figures. But the actual figures (to be
certified in October) will be in the pluses."
However, Sotelo added that "the state will not allow you to
lower your tax rate," under this arrangement.
In other business, all present trustees voted by acclamation
to name newly appointed member Daisy Roquemore as Board
Secretary. Roquemore was appointed to the board last week,
follwing the resignation of former trustee and Board
Secretary Billie Sadler.
The board also approved a 1994-95 budget amendment as
presented by the P-B-T ISD Business Office of $11,500.
The amendment was created for non-competitive grant monies
to be received by the district for a T-Star TVRO, which is
"technology initiatives for distance learning," said P-B-T
ISD Technology Coordinator Jodi Exum.
"There are all kinds of programs available through T-Star,"
said Exum, who stated that the receiving satellite will be
located between the two wings of Pecos High School, and the
library will serve as a classroom.
"It will be piped through (television via the) co-aux
Channel 1." system, which is already present in several
classrooms at PHS.
Exum said she has received acknowledgement of the grant.
Board members briefly met behind closed doors for an
executive session, as authorized, by the Texas Open Meeting
Act to discuss personnel and hear complaints by personnel.
After session, the board voted unanimously to appoint Crissy
Urias as new principal at Bessie Haynes Elementary, as
recommended by P-B-T Personnel Director Daylon Whitehurst.
Urias has been teaching for 23 years, all in the P-B-T ISD.
For the las 10 she has been a third grade teacher and has
recently completed her Principalship through Sul Ross State
After a short break, board members proceeded with a budget
During the workshop, board members looked at a proposed band
budget for both junior highs and the high School, and
preliminary technology budget.
President Linda Gholson noted that no action was taken
during the workshop, as it was only to discuss matter for
preparing a 1995-96 budget.
Officials checking into weekend gang violence
By Mari Maldonado
PECOS, July 27, 1995 - Law enforcement officers are
continuing to investigate a report of gunshots being fired,
along with a beating criminal mishief involving local youths
last weekend that officials say was gang-related.
A recently formed gang, who call themselves the "Carnalitos"
- meaning "Young Brothers" allegedly opened fire on other
youth who had gathered to watch a fight on a ranch off of
Hog Road, located on the northwest side of town early Friday
Sheriff's officials took reports later that day, which
indicate that those gathered at the site had begun to
disperse when they heard over a portable police scanner that
officers were headed out ot investigate the matter.
Deputies said that ast he group began to leave, gang members
opened fire but did not clarify if the shots were aimed at
non-gang members or up in the air.
An anonymous source said this morning that it was too dark
to tell where the shots were being fired.
As the group ran to their vehicles, gang membrs proceeded to
smach car windows with a belt buckle attached to a leather
belt and assaulted one youth with the ornament.
Police officers and sheriff's deputes arrived at the scene
after all the havoc said the anonymous source.
The increase in gang problems comes five years after the
last serious gang trouble in Pecos. Officials and other
community members were able to convince gang leaders to
agree to a truce in the spring of 1990.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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