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Wednesday, October 2, 1996

Federal jurors rule for county in beating trial

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Staff Writer

PECOS, October 2, 1996 - Reeves County and four co-defendants received a
favorable verdict from federal court jurors Tuesday evening, following a
two-day civil trial and three hour of deliberations on a 1993 beating
incident at the Reeves County Law Enforcement Center.

The seven-man jury ruled in favor of defendants, which included Reeves
County, Reeves County Sheriffs Department, Reeves County Law Enforcement
Center (now the Reeves County Detention Center) then-Center Director Joe
Trujillo, then LEC Associate Director Hector Sanchez, then LEC Associate
Director of Operations J.J. Garcia and then LEC Duty Supervisor Lavaughn

Jurors decided no monetary sums should be awarded to plaintiffs Joshua
Edigin and Olu Akhigbe. The two were seeking damage restitution for
injuries incurred during a recreation yard attack at the facility on
Black inmates by Hispanic inmates on July 19, 1993.

They were claiming that LEC officials were, "indifferent," to their
complaints of threats and transfer requests.

Edigin, currently a California resident, and Akhigbe, a Dallas resident,
told jurors they were returning to their cells on July 19, 1993 from the
recreation yard when a group of some 20 Hispanic inmates attacked them
with baseball bats and knives.

Each stated they still suffer from injuries derived from the attack.

Both men said they were taken to the Reeves County Hospital for
treatment, following the incident, and then returns to the facility.

Akhigbe spoke of threatening acts by Hispanic inmates towards black
inmates prior to the July 1993 assaults, and claimed no disciplinary
actions were taken upon their report of such incidents.

In addition to the testimony from both Edigin and Akhigbe, jurors heard
accounts from Garcia, Garnto, Anna Ortega, Federal Programs Manager for
the facility during the plaintiffs incarceration at the LEC, and an
expert witness on riot control, during the two-day trial before
presiding Judge Lucius Bunton III.

Bunton ensured that the trial was over by noon Tuesday, a speed which
attorney for the defendants, Anthony Nelson, voiced his objection to.
Nelson said he was not aware of the time frame that was going to be
imposed, which did not allow time for the testimonies of Ruben
Natividad, who was the guard in the recreational yard during the attack,
and LEC LVN Steve Perkins.

Twice, Bunton denied Nelson his motion for a directed verdict of not
guilty, based on the notion that no proof had been presented inferred
that LEC officials were indifferent to the plaintiffs complaints and no
evidence had been presented to directly tie their injuries to the July
1993 attack.

Closing statements were presented about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and jurors
were sent out for deliberation about 3:30 p.m. They returned with their
verdict in favor of the defendants at 6:30 p.m.

Base vets' reunion concludes tonight

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Staff Writer
PECOS, October 2, 1996 - Pilots, aviation mechanics and aviation cadets
gathered at the West of the Pecos Museum Tuesday afternoon for a
hamburger supper sponsored by the Pecos Lion's Club.

The supper was just one of the many events being held during the 1996
Army Airfield Reunion, which began Monday and concludes with a banquet

The reunion provides individuals who were stationed at the Pecos Air
Base during World War II an opportunity to catch up on each other's
lives. A total of 65 veterans and their families are participating in
this year's event.

Most of the soldiers were stationed here in Pecos from 1942-1945 and
were part of an aviation crew.
At that time other individuals were also stationed 25 miles to the east,
at the Rattlesnake Bomber Base in Pyote.

"There were just so many individuals out here at that time, that we
didn't get to meet everyone," said veteran Richard Reyes. "There were
also many stationed in Pyote and between here and Pyote, there were just
so many."

A plaque was dedicated Monday afternoon at the museum honoring those who
served here during the war, while those attending the reunion were taken
to Balmorhea Tuesday afternoon for a picnic luncheon.

Other events scheduled in conjunction with the reunion included a
pancake breakfast, held early this morning at the museum, with a golf
tournament which began at 9 a.m. at the Reeves County Golf Course.

A book review at the Swiss Clock Inn Banquet Room was scheduled for 2
p.m. with Bill Pitts the featured author, and a closing banquet is
scheduled for this evening at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Cocktail hour has been set for 6 p.m. with a special dinner scheduled
for 7 p.m.

Tickets for the event can be purchased for $12 apiece at the West of the
Pecos Museum. The public is invited to attend.

Most of the veterans look forward to this event, which is scheduled for
every two years.

Fire burns motel rooms at Lone Star

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Staff Writer

PECOS, October 2, 1996 - Fire of unknown origin gutted two rooms of the
Lone Star Motel Tuesday night, leaving two migrant families temporarily

The fire broke out just before 12:30 a.m. on the Park Street side of the
motel, which is home to Pecos Cantaloupe Company workers who are still
in town working on the company's first-even late cantaloupe harvest.
Other arrangements were made for them.

Doug Cox, Pecos Fire Department chief, said the fire burned through the
ceiling and roof of the wood frame buildings with stucco exterior and
composition shingles.

Firemen were at the scene, in the 1100 block of West Third Street, for
1½ hours, putting out hot spots. They had no problems with the fire, but
it just takes a long time to extinguish a fire within that type of
construction, Cox said. Firemen was able to keep the fire out of units
just to the north and south of the burned building.

Cox said Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire is
investigating the cause of the blaze. Brookshire was unavailable for
comment as of noon today.

Pecos Cantaloupe Company had completed the regular cantaloupe harvest
and is not working on the fields that were planted late this year for
the first October harvest.

Bell pepper harvest is expected to begin Monday.

Lottery lassos `Pecos Bill'

for newest scratch off game

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PECOS, October 2, 1996 - Pecos Bill and his tornado have hit the stores
on a lottery ticket.

The new scratch off ticket, dubbed Pecos Bill and displaying the local
legend roping a dollar sign with a snake, was released on Sept. 25,
according to a Texas Lottery representative.

She added that since the ticket is fairly new the, "end of game date,"
is not currently known, nor are the number of winning tickets that have
been purchased or left out on the market.

The ticket can be purchased for $1 and up to $2,000 can be won each
time a lucky number is matched.


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PECOS, October 2, 1996 - Precinct 2 Commissioner Dr. W.J. Bang voted
against the motion to approve salary increases for courthouse employees
and create a new administrative position due to his objection to the new
position. A story in Tuesday's Enterprise did not make clear that Dr.
Bang was in favor of the pay raises, but opposed the creation of the new
position and voted against the motion for that reason.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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