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Tony Chavez, attorney for Garcia, said in his motion to quash that the
indictment was faulty in that it fails to allege the required culpable
mental state of the defendant and it fails to allege that the offense
was committed in Pecos, Reeves County, Texas.
Garcia allegedly made unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual
favors from a femal as a condition of her exercising a right and
privilege. He was acting under color of his office and employment as a
public servant at the time, the indictment alleges.
Stickels said he "messed up" the indictment, and that he will present
the evidence to another grand jury.
The Reeves County grand jury meets Thursday.
Odessa attorney Gregory Reuben Ashey was ordered to serve a one-year
active suspension from the practice of law, effective Oct. 12, 1994.
He also received a public reprimand for failing to hold client funds in
a separate trust account and agreed to pay $450 in attorney's fees to
the State Bar of Texas.
Ashley began his practice in Pecos and later moved to South Texas.
He was placed on probation May 14, 1993, but that probation was revoked
in October by the Board of Disciplinary Appeals.
The state bar released the names of 50 attorneys who were recently
Chavarria was previously indicted for capital murder in the deaths of
his mother, Feliz Carrasco Chavarria, 68, and Machuca. However, District
Attorney John Stickels said he sought the lesser charge "to pave the way
for a possible plea agreement to resolve the case."
David Zavoda of Monahans is Chavarria's appointed attorney.
Others indicted are Luis Enrique Arevalos, aggravated assault of Armando
Navarette (hit in head with beer can) on Dec. 4, 1994, bail $15,000;
* Margarito Dominguez Martinez, aggravated sexual assault of a female on
Dec. 4, 1994, bail $50,000;
* Herman Ortega Campos, possession of heroin on Sept. 20, 1994, bail
* Ismael Garcia Tercero, burglary of a habitation on Sept. 27, bail
* Ismael Garcia Tercero, possession of heroin on Oct. 6, 1994, bail
* Adan Sais Barrera, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon on Dec.
21, 1995, bail $7,500;
* Robert Lara Ybarra Jr., unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon on
Dec. 21, 1995, bail $7,500;
* Ron Morgan Chan, forgery on May 30, 1994, bail $10,000.
* Richard Lynn Waldon, possession of methamphetamine on Oct. 28, 1994,
* Ismael Varela, possession of marijuana, less and 50 pounds but more
than five pounds, on Dec. 5, 1995, bail $10,000;
* James Thomas Kelly, possession of marijuana less than five pounds but
more than four ounces, on Oct. 24, 1994, bail $15,000;
* Ruben Minjarez Rayos, delivery of heroin to Rowdy Curry on Oct. 13,
1994, bail $15,000.
An impact court is funded by a federal grant with 25 percent county
match to alleviate a specific problem in an area. Since drugs flow
freely across the Mexican border into Texas, counties along the Rio
Grande are struggling to clear their court dockets.
District Attorney Albert Valadez said today that 65 percent of his case
load in Brewster, Presidio, Pecos, Jeff Davis, Reagan and Upton counties
are drug violations, and he has over 200 cases pending.
U.S. Border Patrol and Customs refer to the state 15 or more drug cases
a month that are below the federal prosecution threshold.
That threshold has increased from 50 pounds of marijuana when Valadez
took office 2½ years ago to 200 pounds. And federal prosecutors have
declined some cases involving more than 200 pounds.
Valadez said he doesn't know how many cases federal prosecutors accept
from the Presidio port of entry and three permanent checkpoints, but
"I would say we get the majority of cases."
With at least 200 cases pending in the six counties, Judge Gonzalez and
visiting judges who have been helping him spend most of their time
clearing drug cases where the defendant is in jail.
"If I could get another attorney to work the impact court, that would
help, because I can't try other felony cases on bond when these dope
dealers are in jail," he said. "It jams up everything."
Most of the drug violators are not United States citizens, and they
cannot afford bail, Valadez said. They average six months in jail
awaiting trial. Many enter guilty pleas and are sentenced to prison for
an average of 10 years.
However, with a new state law that makes it a second-degree felony to
possess from 50 pounds to a ton of marijuana, those offenders are now
eligible for probation, he said.
"I expect to see more loads over 50 pounds come across the river now. In
the past, they knew to keep it below 50 pounds because that was a second
degree felony. Now they can haul more dope at one time," he said. "An
impact court would be very helpful to us in this area. I don't think the
drug problem is going to go away."
An impact court judge would appointed by the presiding judge in El Paso
to convene court and handle only drug cases, Valadez said. "He holds
preliminry hearing, magistrate hearings and trials. If you have one
judge doing exclusively drug cases in his court, it would free up our
court for other types of felony cases."
Valadez said he has a grant through the drug task force that pays part
of the cost for an attorney to prosecute drug cases.
"I would ask them to re-institute it for whoever I hire," he said.
Valadez has assistants in Big Lake and Fort Stockton, but none in Alpine
or Marfa at this time.
"We need it most in Presidio and Brewster County," he said. "That's
where the majorty of drug cases are pending."
Brewster County and Presidio County jails are impacted by the increase
in state drug cases. Valadez forced the closing of Brewster County Jail
last year, and the State Commission on Jail Standards allowed it to
reopen with a maximum of 13 inmates.
Presidio County built a new jail with plans to pay for it in part with
federal funds generated by U.S. Marshal prisoners awaiting trial in
federal court. With so few federal drug cases, and almost no immigration
cases being filed, that source of revenue has been cut drastically.
When federal agents turn drug violators over to the state for
prosecution, the county has to provide jail space at its own expense. As
a result, Presidio County has had to use reserve funds for jail payments.
While federal prosecutions have picked up somewhat in the past two
months, the number of drug violators indicted is still about half what
it had been before the threshold was raised to 200 pounds of marijuana.
Last Thursday, the grand jury returned indictments in six drug cases
involving eight defendants. Two defendants were carrying a large amount
of crack cocaine, one had a substance similar to PCP, and five were
charged with marijuana possession in large quantities.
District Attorney John Stickels said the examination will determine
whether Reed is competent to stand trial and whether he was sane at the
time of the murder.
Reed allegedly shot Dr. Stevens in the head with a shotgun as he sat in
the Reed living room counseling the couple. Mrs. Reed is a member of
Southside Baptist Church, where Dr. Stevens was pastor.
The car they occupied that night had three Molotov cocktails (beer
bottles with wicks, half full of gasoline), a red bedspread that strips
had been torn off of for wicks, another big beer bottle with a screw-on
cap half full of gasoline and an anti-freeze bottle with a strong odor
of gasoline in the trunk, fire marshal Jack Brookshire testified in an
evidence suppression hearing this morning.
The three were indicted for arson and appointed local attorneys to
defend them. Those attorneys, Scott Johnson, David Zavoda and Randy
Reynolds, filed motions to suppress evidence found in the search,
claiming that Pecos Police officers who stopped the car had no probable
cause to do so, and that Brookshire had no probable cause to impound the
car and search the trunk.
Police Sergeant Jim Vaughn testified in a 143rd District Court hearing
today that he had responded to several locations where structure fires
were reported on the night of Oct. 31, 1994 when Juan Prieto flagged him
down and told him he had seen Saenz fill a white plastic container with
gasoline at about 8 p.m.
The vehicle that Saenz and two other persons were in when they bought
the gasoline matched the description of a maroon Oldsmobile that Vaughn
had seen Saenz driving, he said.
Vaughn said he told patrolman Cosme Ortega to look for that car because
it is illegal to carry gasoline in a plastic container that is not
approved for that purpose. Ortega testified he drove by the Saenz
residence more than once before locating the car at the Saenz residence.
Madrid was behind the wheel, Saenz was in the front passenger seat, and
Lujan was seated in the rear, he said. When Saenz exited the car, Ortega
said he could smell gasoline on his person and coming from inside the
All three defendants smelled of gasoline and had ashes on their clothes,
Ortega said. Madrid had cuts on his hands. Tennis shoe tracks they left
while walking around the car on the caliche driveway appeared to match
those he had earlier noticed at the scene of some of the structure
fires, Ortega said.
The officers notified Brookshire, and he also questioned the three men.
He said he noticed a strong odor of gasoline in the trunk area of the
car and asked Saenz for permission to search it.
Saenz said he didn't have a key to the trunk, Brookshire said.
He said he impounded the vehicle because he felt the gasoline in the
trunk could be ignited by the exhaust if the vehicle were driven; that
the vehicle was probably used in some of the fires; and that any
evidence in the vehicle wouldn't be there by the time he could obtain a
Brookshire said he swore out an affidavit listing reasons he felt the
car should be searched and obtained a search and arrest warrant from
County Court-at-Law Judge Lee Green at 3:50 p.m. that same day.
Zavoda asked how a 410-gauge pump shotgun and George Jones tape and
cassette player on the list are a violation of law.
Brookshire said the items were believed to be taken in a burglary.
"You are investigating now for a burglary?" asked Zavoda.
"This is a joint effort with the sheriff's office," Brookshire said.
"Where is the probable cause that would allow you to get inside that
vehicle?" asked Zavoda.
"Nothing except for the gas container. That's what we were looking for
in the search warrant," Brookshire said.
"But you had no indication the gas container was in that vehicle?"
Johnson said the affidavit refers to nine fires and seven acts of
property damage that were reported to police, but it doesn't say when.
"So it could have been over the last 10 years."
None of the defendants were under arrest when Brookshire seized the
vehicle, and none gave consent to search, he said.
Judge Lee Green and police records custodian Diane Tersero also
testified regarding the warrant and police radio log listing the fire
Judge Bob Parks asked attorneys to prepare briefs with their arguments
and legal precedents, to be submitted by next Thursday.
Should he rule in favor of the defendants, the evidence would not be
admissable in court, and the case would have to be dismissed, said John
Stickels, district attorney.
Gerardo Chavez, a reporter for Contacto, an Ojinaga
newspaper, said today that the suit was filed in Averiguaciones
Previos (translated previous inquiring).
Federal police are in charge of the investigation, Chavez said.
Although the suit does not name Pecos bondsman Joey Herrera as a
defendant, he is mentioned several times in the body of the complaint,
Herrera posted $100,000 bail for Madrid on a charge of injury to a child
by omission in Upton County. She was convicted and awaiting sentencing
on Dec. 1, 1994 when she disappeared and was reportedly taken to Ojinaga
Federales in Mexico said Monday that they knew nothing of the alleged
kidnapping, but that they had been notified that Madrid was wanted in
Texas and a reward of $5,000 had been offered for information.
Herrera said he picked up Madrid on the United States side of the
International Bridge about 2 a.m. Sunday and turned her over to U.S.
Customs spokesman Roger Maier said Monday afternoon that inspectors at
the Presidio Port of Entry reported that two individuals came into the
POE just after midnight Sunday morning.
The name of the passenger, Sandra Madrid, was entered into the National
Crime Information Center computer, and it came back as a possible "hit"
- meaning a warrant had been issued for her arrest.
Maier said local authorities were called and they took Madrid into
custody on the Upton County warrant.
He said he knew of no report of shooting either near the bridge or on
the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.
Claudia Madrid reported to Ojinaga police that she and Sandra were
accosted by six men with face masks as they left a dance in Ojinaga.
Sandra received several contusions to her face and was knocked
unconscious, she said.
As Claudia and her brother, Carlos, followed the van and an accompanying
car, the men in the van shot at them, she said. She then stopped the
pursuit and went to municipal police to report the kidnapping.
Sandra Madrid was returned to Upton County to await formal sentencing.
Herrera was not available for comment today on the lawsuit.
Municipal Judge Phyllis Salyer said this morning that she has issued
warrants for the arrest of 28 defendants who were convicted in December
but failed to pay their fines.
Another 29 defendants were summoned to appear for trial on tickets they
ignored. Salyer said that when they sign the ticket they are promising
to appear in court within 10 days.
"They could be charged with violating the promise to appear. But I don't
want to file another case on them," she said. "Some of them we just
write a letter asking them to come in."
Five of those convicted in Municipal Court this week have chosen to
appeal to Reeves County Court-at-law and post a $200 appeal bond.
Benito Salcido pleaded not guilty to public intoxication, and his trial
was set for Wednesday. On Wednesday, his attorney, Roddy Harrison, filed
a "no contest" plea and appeal.
Salyer said that when a "no contest" plea is entered, she has no choice
but to find the defendant guilty.
Jorge Hernandez filed his own appeal on a conviction for assault.
Kyle Dee Hansen's attorney, Randy Reynolds, entered a "no contest" plea
and an appeal on a charge of speeding.
Harrison filed a "no contest" plea for Cheryl Lynn Rayos on a charge of
theft under $20 from Wal-Mart and appealed.
Harrison filed a "no contest" plea for Rafael Montano on a speeding
charge and appealed.
Salyer said that fines paid over the past three months averaged between
$4,250 and $5,750 - about two-thirds of fines assessed.
Judge Steib ruled that a recount of ballots in the race between Trina
Orona and Pascual Olibas failed to clearly show the outcome, and
declared the November 8 election in Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 void.
Hal Upchurch, the Odessa attorney who filed the suit in 143rd District
Court in Monahans for Olibas, said that there was no evil conduct in the
election day count nor in the recount.
He said that the judge essentially ruled in favor of his contention that,
"Because of a good faith, honest mistake by one or more people involved,
the situation is now such that the true outcome could not be determined."
Judge Steib's finding was consistent with that of a Texas Ranger
investigation that revealed the election day count of early ballots was
faulty because the electronic counters were incorrectly programmed.
The machines are programmed to count ballots by inserting cards with
pertinent information. For a primary election, four programming cards
are used, and only those four were inserted, Ranger Matt Andrews found.
But in a general election, four additional cards are used to cause the
machines to attribute straight-party votes to each candidate in that
party. Those cards were not inserted, so those votes showed as under
votes (no vote for anyone).
Olibas received 563 votes on election day to Orona's 548 and was
declared the winner. However, Orona filed for a recount, and both
candidates gained a total of 65 votes. Of those, 55 favored Orona, while
Olibas received 10.
Questioning how the recount committee could have found an additional 65
votes, Olibas filed a complaint with the district attorney, and a Texas
Ranger investigation determined that a programming error had failed to
attribute straight-party votes to either candidate.
Olibas still was not satisfied and filed suit.
Upchurch said that evidence presented during the day-long hearing
Thursday in Monahans showed that the recount committee ran ballots for
one precinct through the electronic counter.
"Because the results were so disparate, in fear that the machine might
be in error, they did a manual count in one precinct," he said. "It
Then they cleaned all the ballots, ascertained voter intent where some
tabs were not completely removed (punched out tabs) and ran all the
"The condition of the ballots was altered from what they had been on
election day," Upchurch said.
Had all the ballots been run through the machine before they were
cleaned, the outcome could have been clearer, the judge ruled.
"I think it is a good ruling and consistent with the evidence," Upchurch
The date of the new election has yet to be determined, he said.
Chavarria also admitted through tears that he killed his mother, Feliz
Carrasco Chavarria in the same incident at their home. That offense was
used in determining the 35-year prison sentence handed down by 143rd
District Court Judge Bob Parks.
District Attorney John Stickels said Chavarria will have to serve the
full 35 years because of the second murder and the severity and
brutality of the crime.
"If he was tried, I have no doubt he would have been found not guilty by
reason of insanity. I think it is a fair, just and equitable
resolution," he said.
He dismissed a capital murder indictment originally returned in the
case, as part of a plea agreement reached with Chavarria and his
attorney, David Zavoda.
Zavoda entered into evidence a doctor's report of a psychiatric
examination in which Chavarria was found competent to stand trial. With
Chavarria's consent, Zavoda withdrew notice that he would seek a jury
verdict of innocent because of insanity.
"I told you that we were going to have you examined by a doctor...There
is some evidence that you were legally insane at the time of the
offense?" Zavoda asked Chavarria.
"You realize that legal insanity means that because of a serious disease
or defect of your mind, you didn't know what you were doing?"
Zavoda said that Chavarria will spend at least 17½ years in prison
before he is eligible for parole, and then parole may not be granted.
While in prison, he will receive psychiatric and medical treatment.
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Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise
324 S. Cedar, Box 2057, Pecos TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321