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Monday, December 9, 1996

Trio sought for pair of thefts

tracked down east of Barstow

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Staff Writer
PECOS, December 9, 1996 - An adult and two juveniles are currently in
custody of Ward County Sheriff's Department officials following a
manhunt early this morning that lasted almost two hours and covered
about 30 miles.

Ward County Sheriff Ben Keele said the male adult and two male teens had
not been identified as of 10 a.m. today. The three were traveling in a
vehicle reported stolen out of Arlington, he said.

The sheriff said the chase began after Ward County deputies were
notified of a theft of service about 5:30 a.m. today, at the Town and
Country Convenience Store on Texas Highway 18 in Monahans.

Law enforcement officials followed the automobile west on Interstate 20
to mile marker 54, where it was abandoned.

The suspects continued on foot in a northbound direction into the
brushland east of the Barstow (Business I-20) exit off the highway, said
Keele, before they were located by a helicopter unit about ½-mile from
the interstate at 7:45 a.m.

Ward County lawmen were assisted by Monahans and Pecos City Police, the
Reeves County Sheriff's Department and Department of Public Safety.
Canine units from the state prison in Fort Stockton were dispatched, but
turned back after the suspects were spotted before their arrival, Keele

Toyah man in custody after shootout, standoff

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Staff Writer
PECOS, December 9, 1996 - A $25,000 bond has been set on a Toyah man who
was arrested Saturday morning for reportedly shooting at a Reeves County
Sheriff's deputy.

Kerry Lee Williamson, 32, originally of North Carolina, was taken into
custody after sunrise Saturday, following an almost five-hour standoff.
He was charged with attempted capital murder after he allegedly fired
several rounds at law enforcement officials.

Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said the impasse started after
Williamson shot four rounds at Reeves County Deputy Damon Compton,
breaking windows of the suspect's early model mini-van.

The sheriff said Compton was responding to a theft of service call at
the Toyah Texaco, on Interstate 20, about 2:19 a.m., Saturday, when he
spotted the van and followed it onto Farm to Market Road 2903, south of
Toyah, where Williamson drove it into the bushes.

Compton approached the van and took the keys from Williamson after
identifying himself when the suspect reached under his seat for his gun
and shot four rounds through the driver's side window, said Gomez. The
driver told the deputy that he would not go peacefully, said the sheriff.

Compton backed away from the vehicle and shot back, Gomez said, and then
called for backup, while Williamson remained in the vehicle.

Officials from the U.S. Border Patrol, Pecos Police and Department of
Public Safety officers arrived at the scene, along with the Midland DPS

Gomez said Williamson, "popped off another round," after DPS troopers
showed up and identified themselves, flashing a red light onto the van.

"We had the helicopter light up the van," said Gomez, after officials
decided to wait for sunlight to rush in, as visibility inside the
vehicle was still limited.

The sheriff said the standoff ended after daybreak, when about, "six or
seven, officers, including Texas Game Warden Jim Allen, rushed in and
took him down," said Gomez, They approached the mini-van, shooting out
its tires, shielded by another vehicle as they slowly neared it just
after 8 a.m.

Williamson's girlfriend was contacted, Gomez said, but was unsuccessful
in persuading him to turn himself in. She told officials that he was on
antidepressant drugs and left their home upset after packing up his
weapons following a skirmish.

Officers found a 30/30 rifle with a high power scope, .357 Magnum and 38
caliber handgun inside the vehicle, said Gomez. The sheriff's department
report did not indicate which gun was used to fire at Compton and the
law enforcement officials.

Other charges are pending, said Gomez.

"They (law enforcement officers at the scene) did a fantastic job," said
the Reeves County sheriff, who added, "they were very professional and
I'd like to commend all of them."

Williamson was arraigned by Reeves County Justice of the Peace J.T.

RCDC fence construction on schedule

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Staff Writer
PECOS, December 9, 1996 - Work is progressing rapidly on the second
perimeter fence project at the Reeves County Detention Center, according
to a report discussed during this morning's regular Reeves County
Commissioners Court meeting.

"My staff has provided a summary as best as we can at this moment, and
it shows that things are going really well," said Reeves County Judge
Jimmy B. Galindo.

Work should be completed within 30 to 45 days, according to reports.

County Road and Bridges Administrator Russ Salcido had requested an
additional four part-time employees, "to get this project wrapped up,"
said Galindo.

According to the summary report, the whole fence project is still under
budget and should be completed without complications.

The four additional employees, who will be supervised by Salcido on the
RCDC perimeter fence project, include Jaime Macias, Ramon Guerrero,
David Maldonado and Jesus Puerta. Their salaries will be $7 per hour.

In other action today, the Balmorhea High School's football playoff
effort was recognized at this morning's meeting.

Each football player will receive a letter of recognition from the
commissioner praising their efforts.

"At no time does our community shine brighter than when our young people
excel," said County Attorney Bill Weinacht. "They are our hope for the
future and if we produce champions, our community will thrive."

Weinacht's sentiments also extended to the Pecos High School and
Balmorhea All-District football and volleyball players who were also
recognized this morning.

"We just want to take this opportunity to let them know their efforts
are acknowledged and that we're proud of them," said Galindo.

Commissioners also agreed to help Balmorhea with a special project that
city officials there have been working on.

Representing Balmorhea at the meeting were Mayor Ismael Rodriguez and
local resident Ellen Weinacht.

"They are asking for our help in removing some telephone poles that are
currently in the Weinacht's property and moving them to where the city
of Balmorhea is working on their project," said Galindo.

The Weinacht's are donating the poles to be used for the Balmorhea canal
restoration project, which has been an ongoing project during the past

"This an ongoing improvement in the southern part of Reeves County and I
think anything we can do to help we should," said Galindo.

"I think you guys are doing a wonderful job and anything we can do to
help let us know," said Precinct 1 Commissioner Lupe Garcia.

He praised Balmorhea's efforts, and stated that the whole downtown area
is looking great.

Under the interlocal agreement the county has with the city of Balmorhea
helping them with this project would pose no problem and the county
should perform those duties, according to Bill Weinacht.

Mayor Rodriguez invited everyone to come out and view the improvements
and to visit the city of Balmorhea.

"I want to thank you for everything and let you know we appreciate
anything you can do for us," he said.

Other projects in Balmorhea were briefly discussed including beautifying
the area around the lake.

Commissioners agreed to amend the paid holiday policy for 1996,
concerning paid days off during the Christmas-New Year's holidays.

The amended policy passed 2-1, with Commissioners Precinct 1 Lupe Garcia
and Precinct 3 Herman Tarin voting for the amendment and Commissioner
Precinct 2 W.J. Bang voting against the extra days off.

Under the amendment county employees will receive Wednesday through
Friday, Dec. 25-27 as paid days off.

"I think this is a good way of rewarding our employees, who are doing an
excellent job," said Galindo. "This is the most important part of the
year," he said.

"I think we have an obligation to the public to be here to serve them,"
said Bang, who stated that he thought the amount of days off was a
little excessive.

"Come on, Dr. Bang, don't be such a scrooge," said Galindo.

The county offices will be open all day Christmas Eve, on Dec. 24 and
employees will receive an early paycheck.

"This will be the perfect time and place to reward the employees for
their high performances," said Galindo.

The classification of two additional positions for the Reeves County
Detention Center were approved.

"Due to the new insurance guidelines, we will be focusing on the medical
department at the RCDC," said Galindo. "It will be more intense and (the
prison's new chief executive officer Rudy Franco has requested some
additional positions to run the prison more efficiently," he said.

One of the two new positions will be in the medical department as a
medical assistant at an annual rate of $17,000 and the other a food
services foreman at $15,000 per year.

New hires included Gilbert Martinez as a jailer at the Sheriff's
Department at $14,000 yearly; Ernest Lascano as a jailer at the
Sheriff's Department at $14,000 yearly and Candelaria M. Ornelas as
Juvenile Detention Officer on a part-time, on-call as needed basis at
$5.50 per hour.

Feds told to produce Thompson drug info

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Staff Writer
PECOS, December 9, 1996 - Alpine publisher and author Jack McNamara won
a skirmish in his battle for records pertaining to the drug smuggling
investigation and conviction of former Presidio County Sheriff Rick
Thompson and his partner, Glyn Robert Chambers.

U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson on Friday granted McNamara's motion
to compel the government to produce an index to records held by the FBI,
DEA, U.S. Marshal Service and Executive Office of United States
Attorneys by Jan. 17, 1997.

In addition, Judge Furgeson ordered the Department of Justice to forward
McNamara's Freedom of Information Act request for records to the office
of the attorney general, deputy attorney general, associate attorney
general, criminal division; office of intelligence policy and review,
INTERPOL, office of justice programs, and office of public affairs, for
an answer within 30 days.

Because the Immigration and Naturalization Service claims to have
received the FOIA request only recently, and in the meantime had
destroyed the Thompson-Chambers records, Judge Furgeson ordered the INS
to show cause no later than Jan. 17, 1997 under what authority it can
dispose of records every three years.

And he wants to know how McNamara's FOIA request, dated Oct. 14, 1994,
could have gotten lost, when it was sent to the INS on at least two
separate occasions.

McNamara seeks information on the operation and
subsequent prosecution of a narcotics conspiracy operated by Chambers
and Thompson between January 1986 and October, 1994.

Thompson is serving a life sentence for conspiracy to import cocaine,
after a horse trailer belonging to Thompson and containing 1¼ tons of
the drug was found at the Presidio County Fairgrounds in Marfa in
December, 1991.

Chambers was sentenced to life, but reportedly earned a sentence
reduction by cooperating with the government. However, those court
records are sealed.

Not only did McNamara ask for information on Thompson and Chambers
specifically, he said he is especially interested in agency procedures
and the workings of government.

Judge Furgeson points out in his opinion that agency response to the
request was slow in coming, and all claim their records are exempt from
public disclosure.

Production of an index describing the records will allow the court and
McNamara to determine if they are exempt in whole or in part, Judge
Furgeson ruled.

Noting that two years have elapsed since McNamara's initial request - a
request which the FOI act requires to be resolved in 20 days - Judge
Furgeson said he is baffled by how openly FOIA's time limits were
thwarted by all agencies involved, including the Office of Information
and Privacy.

"While the court is aware that agencies may be overburdened by requests
which may make it impossible to comply with the strict time limits set
forth in FOIA, delaying the final resolution of a request for almost a
year and a half seems clearly unjustified. A clear mandate of Congress
was simply ignored in this instance," Judge Furgeson wrote.

Judge Furgeson said the failure of INS to respond to McNamara's request
and their destruction of records is a matter of serious concern.

Federal government records are to be disposed of only in accordance with
the Federal Records Disposal Act, he said. "Federal law may have been
violated in this case," he said.

Senate race's early voting

nets two Orla area ballots

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Staff Writer
PECOS, December 9, 1996 - Two voters cast ballots Friday at the early
election booth in Reeves County Courthouse for the District 28 senate

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Red Bluff Office
for the remaining 18 voters in Box 9 (Orla) who are eligible to vote for
either Democrat David R. Langston or Republican Robert Duncan.

The race's outcome will determine whether Republicans or Democrats
control the state senate in the coming session.

Democrat John Montford of Lubbock vacated the seat to accept a position
as chancellor for Texas Tech University this past summer. Duncan and
Langston were the two top vote-getters in the Nov. 5 special election,
in which three Democrats and four Republicans were entered.

Duncan currently is a state representative in the Lubbock area, while
Langston resigned as Lubbock mayor to run for the state senate seat.

District 28 includes Lubbock, San Angelo and part of El Paso as well as
the northern part of Reeves County. Orla is the lone election box of 12
in the court included in District 28. The other 11 are part of District
19, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso.

Lindsay gets 5-year term on weapons charge

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Staff Writer
PECOS, December 9, 1996 - Senior Judge Lucius Bunton skipped his usual
anti-drug lecture and got right down to business at noon today,
sentencing Jeffrey Allen Lindsay to five years in prison, plus three
years supervised release and a $3,000 fine.

And he denied a motion by defense attorney Sib Abraham of El Paso to
allow Lindsay to post bail and be freed from jail while appealing his

Lindsay was arrested May 5 in Culberson County with a large amount of
marijuana and seven weapons in his pickup. He was released on bail, but
re-arrested after testing positive for cocaine use.

Lindsay had earlier pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm during a
drug transaction, which carries a five-year maximum sentence.

Referring to a pre-sentence investigation, Judge Bunton said that since
the plea agreement was made, the government learned that Lindsay had in
his possession parts to convert a semi-automatic Uzi to a
fully-automatic weapon.

That violation carries a minimum 10-year sentence, he said.

Abraham said that the government agreed to the five-year maximum. "He
would not enter a plea for a fully-automatic weapon," he said. "That was
a bone of contention, and the government agreed with us. It is our
contention the maximum is five years."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bloomberg said he was not aware of any
discussion about a fully-automatic weapon.

"It is our office's position that Lindsay pleaded guilty to a .22
revolver. The other weapons were seized. We would agree with Abraham
that the maximum would be five years."

Judge Bunton said he may not have the authority to reject a guilty plea
after he has already accepted it.

He commended probation officer Tom Durham for doing the research on the
weapons and bringing it to the court's attention.

"It doesn't make me feel good knowing you had an Uzi, and secondly, that
you had parts in your possession that could have made that fully
automatic," Judge Bunton said to Lindsay.

"I will, however, take the plea as entered into with the government. I
understand the maximum is a mandatory 60 months."

Lindsay told the judge he knew what he did was dumb, and that he was
only trying to survive.

"It was dumb, I agree," said Judge Bunton. "Your Daddy reared you better
than that."

Abraham said that Lindsay is not blaming anyone but himself.

"The impact of what has happened here to him is devastating to him...He
owes several people in this community large sums of money. He is in
jail. The court knows he is certainly not a flight risk...He ran into
some problems when he was out on bond. He became very frightened and
thought that was the answer for him. I ask the court to permit him to
post bond for appeal and get back out into the community and attempt to
salvage what he and his family has worked a lot of years for."

Reading a long list of organizations Lindsay has contributed to, Abraham
said he has done some good things for the community. If allowed to get
out of jail, he would not ask for further chances, Abraham said.

"His creditors are very leery. If he had personal contact with them, he
could resolve it," Abraham concluded.

"I gave you a chance, Mr. Lindsay, and you didn't treat the court
right," Judge Bunton said. "I don't care how scared you were. You
certainly knew better. You were in enough trouble, and to go out and use
controlled substances was disappointing to the court, and I will not
allow you to make bond pending appeal."


C.L. Abernethy

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Caris Larkin (C.L.) Abernethy, 89, died Sunday, Dec. 8 at Methodist
Hospital in Plainview.

Services are scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Wood-Dunning Colonial
Chapel with Dr. Travis Hart officiating. Burial will be at Parklawn
Memorial Gardens in Plainview.

He was born Jan. 17, 1907 in Waco, was a member of First Baptist Church
and Sunday school teacher for many years. He was the Hale County Judge
for 12 years.

Abernethy was an insurance agent, real estate broker and abstracter in
Hollis, Okla. and a veteran of World War II.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Mary Patricia Abernethy in March

Survivors include his wife Hazel Abernethy of Plainview; two daughters,
Betty Jane Crow of Plainview, Carolyn Rankin of Pecos; one sister,
Bettie Ricketson of Shawnee, Okla.; one brother, E.L. Abernethy of
Laguna Hills, Calif.; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Margarita Lara

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A rosary for Margarita Lara was held at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel
Saturday at 7 p.m. Funeral services were today at 2 p.m. at the Santa
Rosa Catholic Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating.

The 72-year-old, lifelong resident of Pecos died at her home Dec. 7.

She was born Feb. 3, 1924 in Pecos and was a homemaker.

Survivors include three sisters, Maria Munoz, Martina Ortega and Romana
Nunez, all of Pecos and several nieces and nephews.


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PECOS, Dec. 5, 1996 - High Sunday 73, low last night 35. Tonight, fair.
Low near 50. South to southwest wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday, partly cloudy
and breezy. High near 80. Southwest to west wind 15-25 mph and gusty.
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