ROCKSPRINGS MAN IS NOW FACING FEDERAL CHARGES
On March 29, 2016, Jesus Javier Ornelas (34) was in the City of Rocksprings, TX, reported to the Edwards County Sheriff's Office that he had been cruising around when all of a sudden his vehicle was being chased by two rival parties, Manuel Rodriguez III and Justin Rodriguez. According to Ornelas, Justin Rodriguez had previously attempted to kill him during a shooting where Justin and other “Crips gang members” began firing aimlessly at him and several other innocent men who had challenged the gang by demanding they stop selling drugs in Rocksprings. So, Javier said that when he observed a black truck driven by Manuel Rodriguez III and the passenger was his son, Justin Rodriguez, following him he stated, “I feared for my life because Justin has already tried to kill me with a gun once.” Upon being notified of the two vehicle driving through town erratically and possible shots being fired, Sheriff Elliott and Deputies quickly made a traffic stop of both vehicles involved and identified all subjects. During the initial statements of all the subjects at the scene, each party related to the Sheriff that they were the victim of the other person shooting but, evidentiary facts located at the multiple scenes concluded that Javier had been sole shooter who had actually shot his own car. Due to fact that both Manuel and Javier were both convicted felons, Sheriff Elliott requested the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in this matter, which is a common practice for agencies to interact and share information to reduce criminal activities.
On September 20, 2016, Ornelas was arrested by Edwards County Sheriff’s Office for Evading Arrest/Detention in a Motor Vehicle during a routine patrol of the City of Rocksprings and was booked into the Edwards County Detention Facility. While being held on that charge, Ornelas was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for a violation of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Sheriff Elliott served Javier Ornelas with the Federal Arrest Warrant and he was transported to Federal custody on September 25, 2016 where he remains in the custody of the ATF awaiting trial for this charge.
On September 12, 2016, The Edwards County Grand Jury handed down a Murder Indictment on Paige Michelle Weatherby (49) formally of Camp Wood Hills, for killing her husband Jay Sim Weatherby on July 31, 2009. The case was finally referred to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution by the District Attorney of the 452ND Judicial District and upon presentation of the case by the assigned attorney, Sheriff Elliott and TX Ranger Dixon the Grand Jury indicted the suspect for Violation of Article 19.02. MURDER. (b) A person commits an offense if he: (1) intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual; (c) an offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
The case was initially investigated at the time of the incident by former Deputy Pamela Elliott who is now the Sheriff of Edwards County, Retired Sheriff D. Letsinger and Former TX Ranger Juan Lozano. The case became stagnate while awaiting various lab results, blood spatter analysis and other requested services by outside agencies so on August 1, 2013, Sheriff Pamela Elliott assigned CPT Darrell Volkmann to prepare the case for submission, which he quickly did by removing the dust and re-assembling the case for the 452ND District Attorney who was presented the Cold Case Murder of Jay Sim Weatherby for prosecution, but it again stalled in the criminal justice system for unknown reasons.
In an effort to re-invigorate a case that had not yielded any type of justice for the victim or his family, CPT Volkmann requested a review of the case by the Cold Case Review Team located in Austin, TX. The Cold Case Review Team was established in 1985 by the Sheriff’s Association of Texas to provide assistance to Law Enforcement Agencies on unsolved sex crimes and homicide cases, including “Cold Cases” and has provided assistance on more than 225 homicides and numerous sexual assault cases since its inception. There is no charge to the agencies to utilize the services of the Cold Case Review Team and on September 24, 2014, CPT Volkmann presented the “Cold Case - Weatherby Murder” to the team for review and to solicit their expert opinions on the initial investigation, laboratory reports, and any additional or needed analysis prior to presentation before the Edwards County Grand Jury. Accordingly, the Cold Case review was completed with no errors noted. A probable cause affidavit was submitted on October 8, 2014 seeking an Arrest Warrant for Paige Weatherby for the murder of Jay Sim Weatherby. The Honorable Joe Baker, Justice of the Peace for Edwards County issued the Murder Warrant and Paige Weatherby turned herself into Sheriff Pamela Elliott on October 14, 2014 without further incident. On October 27, 2014, CPT Volkmann re-submitted the “Cold Case - Weatherby Murder” to the Texas Rangers, Company D located in Del Rio for review and 452ND Judicial District for prosecution and yet again to only sit idle in the Halls of Justice without any justifications provided to the victim’s family.
So, on October 11, 2016 when the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office notified the surviving family members of Jay Sim Weatherby that Paige had been Indicted by the Grand Jury of Edwards County for Jay’s Murder they were just overwhelmed with emotions and thanked Sheriff Elliott and CPT Volkmann because this case was solved only out of their efforts and determination for justice. It was the tenacity of a little Sheriff and her deputy that kept the case from becoming another lost file in dusty box that never made it off the shelf. Sheriff Elliott stated, “I am sad that such an incident occurred but I am pleased with the assistance that Edwards County received from various entities surrounding this case. I knew all along that Paige Weatherby had shot and killed her husband, Jay Weatherby, on that day but we had to wait for numerous reasons for the case to move forward in the criminal justice system. I am just pleased to have provided Jay’s family with some renewed confidence in the system that had yielded only barriers before today so they know his death meant something to all those involved. No one is ever just a case number to us no matter what the incident may be.”
EDWARDS COUNTY “JANE DOE”
On December 26, 2001 a couple of hunters discovered the skeletal remains of a body located in the Dos Arroyos Ranch in Edwards County, TX. The hunters immediately notified the Edward Sheriff’s Office and a report was initiated for the incident of a “Jane Doe” who has remained unidentified as of this date. On July 27, 2013 Sheriff Pamela Elliott re-opened the Cold Case of “Jane Doe” and requested the assistance of Texas Ranger Roger Dixon in hopes of identifying Edwards County’s “Jane Doe”. The DNA of Edwards County “Jane Doe” was entered in the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS. CODIS blends forensic science and computer technology into a tool for linking crimes. It enables federal, state, and local forensic laboratories to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking violent crimes to each other and to known offenders. Using the National DNA Index System of CODIS, the National Missing Persons DNA Database also helps identify missing and unidentified individuals such as our Edwards County “Jane Doe” but no successful matches have occurred yet so it was requested that “Jane Doe’s” remains be transferred from the University of North Texas (UNT) Anthropology Department to the Texas Ranger Forensic Artist for the purpose of crafting a facial reconstruction image using the skeletal remains. Edwards County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the assistance of the public in identifying Edwards County “Jane Doe”. If anyone recognizes or knows the identity of the subject known as Edwards County “Jane Doe” please contact: Sheriff Pamela Elliott (830) 683-4104, email firstname.lastname@example.org
EDWARDS COUNTY 452ND DISTRICT COURT
On September 12, 2016 in the 452nd District Court of Edwards County held court proceedings on assorted Felony Crimes committed in Edwards County:
Raul Castillo Ramirez Jr. from Rocksprings was sentenced to 7 year’s Deferred Adjudication for a May 16, 2016 complaint to the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office for an incident where he was accused of Assault Family Violence/House Member - Impeding Breath/Circulation (strangulation), a 3rd Degree Felony and Interference with an Emergency Call, a Class A Misdemeanor. Raul was ordered by the court to pay a $2,000.00 Fine, reimburse the court $271.00 and pay the attorney assigned by the court $700.00.
In another case, Debra Garcia plead Guilty and received 8 years’ Confinement in the Institutional Division of the State of Texas Probated for eight years (suspended) for her February 24, 2016 arrest in the City of Rocksprings for the Manufacture and Delivery of a Control Substance listed within Penalty Group 1 4G<200G (Methamphetamine) which is a First Degree Felony and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Class B Misdemeanor. She was also ordered by the court to pay a $2,500 Fine, court cost of $376.00, $472.50 for court appointed attorney fees and $35.00 restitution.
Fabian Ortiz was arrested on a warrant and seen by the judge for Motion to Revoke Probation for his 2011 conviction for a Burglary of a Habitation and the judge set a $10,000 PR .
Terrence R. Moffett was issued an Order Continuing and Extending Conditions of Probation for an additional six months beginning 9/12/2016 and set to expire on 3/11/2017 in order to meet his financial obligations and he was ordered to pay $1,195.65 as set forth in the original conditions of his probation.
Thomas B. Thompkins was set for Motion to Adjudicate for the 2011 conviction of Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle and a subsequent arrest warrant will be issued by the court.
TWO ARRESTED FOR FIGHTING AT A REPECTED ESTABLISHMMENT IN ROCKSPRINGS
While on routine patrol, a Deputy with the Edwards County Sheriff's Office observed two individuals fist fighting in the parking lot of King Burger. The parking lot is in a public place and the fight caused an immediate breach of the peace. It is also within sight of a public school and the fight took place while students were present at School. The Deputy observed Isaac Jimenez (26 ) from Del Rio hitting Bobby Green (28 ) from Laredo Texas with closed fist and Green was hitting Jimenez back with a closed fist. Both fell to the ground and continued fighting while on the ground. As the Deputy approached, The Deputy ordered the two to stop fighting. Both Jimenez and Green stopped but they were equally cursing and threatening each other with further violence.
Jimenez stated that Green owes him $80.00 and he came to collect the money. A witness stated that Green came inside to eat and Jimenez entered the establishment and started to threaten Green, they both went outside to fight. Green stated that he did not know why Jimenez approached him. The family of Jimenez arrived and started causing a disturbance.
Both Jimenez and Green were placed under arrest, handcuffed, searched and were transported to The Edwards County Detention Center where they were booked for Disorderly Conduct. Both arrested individuals are documented Gang Members and boast tattoos supporting the documentation.
Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a)(6)(d) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
(6) Fights with another in a public place;
(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor
Code of Criminal Procedure Sec. 12.23. CLASS C MISDEMEANOR. An individual adjudged guilty of a Class C misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.
DEPUTY TRAINED IN THE USE OF CPR SAVES LOCAL MANS LIFE
On September 04, 2016 Edwards County Deputy A. Martinez 56 was dispatched to 1268 HWY 55 South, in Rocksprings in reference to a male individual having a possible heart attack. Upon arrival Deputy Martinez saw a male individual, identified as Edgar E. Aguilar of Rocksprings on the floor Mr. Aguilar appeared to be unconscious with Dr. Chester Todd evaluating Agular. Deputy Martinez ran to where Aguilar was laying and immediately started to perform chest compressions. Once Deputy Martinez started the compressions Aguilar snapped back into consciousness but was uncomprehensive. Dr. Todd told Deputy Martinez to continue to perform chest compressions because Dr. Todd kept losing Aguilar’s pulse. Deputy Martinez continued to perform chest compressions until EMS arrived who told Deputy Martinez to cease performing chest compressions. EMS took over care for Aguilar and transported him to St. Petersons Hospital in Kerrville. Aguilar is recovering at this time.
Dr. Chester Todd called the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office and advised Sheriff Elliott that Deputy Anthony Martinez should be commended for saving Mr. Aguilars life.
ILLEGAL VOTING ARREST IN EDWARDS COUNTY
On November 4th, 2014, Edwards County held Elections for local public office for County Judge, County Commissioner PCT 4, County Commissioner PCT 2, District Judge and District Attorney for the 452nd Judicial District. In such a rural area, one vote can often decide an election in this County as we have seen before.
A complaint was filed with the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office for a possible voting violation: Illegal Voting in Edwards County, State of Texas. Upon receiving the complaint, Manuel Rodriguez III., 45 years old, admitted to the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office that he had indeed voted by utilizing his Grandfather’s, Manuel Rodriguez Sr. identity who is 101 years old and has resided in Big Lake, Texas for the previous 5 years. Manuel Rodriguez III did not possess a voter’s registration card according to his own admission. Rodriguez III is not allowed to vote according to The State of Texas current law;
A person who is finally convicted of a felony is not eligible to register to vote (what is legally considered a final felony conviction is set, Pursuant to Section 11.002 of the Texas Election Code (the "Code"), once a felon has successfully completed his or her punishment, including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation, or has been pardoned, then that person is immediately eligible to register to vote.
Rodriguez III is currently on Supervised Parole and is not eligible to register to vote nor is he eligible to vote in any Election until he completes his Parole.
Rodriguez III has been charged with Illegal Voting- Impersonation, and Illegal Voting-Not Eligible to Vote. Both charges are 2nd degree Felonies and if convicted Rodriguez III could face not more than 20 years or less than 2 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00 per violation.
Darrell Volkmann with the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office stated “I find it extremely hard to believe that one of the election workers at that particular voting precinct, PCT 3, did not recognize of Rodriguez III and recall his incarcerated past history. Rocksprings is a very small town and everyone is very aware of other’s business it seems and I find it highly unlikely that the validity of Rodriguez III’s voting during the election was not questioned. I have forwarded my findings into the allegations of Illegal Voting-Impersonation and Illegal Voting-Not Eligible to Vote in Edwards County to the 452nd District Attorney and the Secretary of State for prosecution in the matter.”
Manuel Rodriguez III remains in custody at the Edwards County Detention Center with bonds totaling $60,000.00.
On August 24, 2016 The Wardlaw family, Martin, George, and Kerr met with Edwards County Deputies, Robin Clark, Special Agent with the Southwest Texas Cattle Raisers Association, and the Game Warden Carson Wardlow concerning a carcass of a slaughtered calf that was found on their ranch located between Rocksprings and Carta Valley.
The hide of the calf was found on the Ranch Road that runs through the center of the Ranch. The calf had been intentionally skinned and the consumable part of the calf apparently had been taken.
The Wardlaw Family has offered a $5000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons guilty of slaughtering the black calf with a ? brand on the left hip in July 2016, and any other livestock thefts on this ranch.
If this crime is solved, The Edwards County Sheriff’s Office will assist in having this individual(s) prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law. Sheriff Pamela Elliott is seeking information from the public to assist in solving this crime.
On 07/24/2016 at approximately 0200 hours, a Yeti Cooler was taken from the bed of a pickup truck at a private residence on SH 55 S. in Edwards County Texas. The owner of the Yeti Cooler valued at $270.00, U.S. Currency is a Camp Wood resident. The owner stated that someone took the cooler without consent and had no intentions of returning it. On 08/05/2016 at approximately 1000 hours, the owner contacted the Edwards County Sheriff’s Office via telephone and advised them that Jose De Leon was in possession of the cooler and was trying to sell it in Camp Wood. The information was achieved with the help of a Facebook posting
Miller had informed The Sheriff’s Office at the time of the theft that there was an owner assigned brand of (ME) on it along with a National Rifle Association Sticker on it. This without a doubt would lead a person to believe that the Yeti Cooler will positively be identified.
Real County Deputy Nathan Johnson was contacted and immediately was advised of the situation so the Cooler could be recovered and to prevent the loss of the property. Johnson immediately went to known locations where De Leon was known to frequent. Johnson went to the residence located in the 400 blk of W. 2nd St. in Camp Wood Texas and observed a Maroon Ford F-150 step side pickup truck in the driveway. As Johnson walked by the vehicle, Johnson observed a light blue Yeti Cooler in the bed of the truck that matched the description of the Yeti Cooler, including having a ME brand on it along with a National Rifle Association sticker on it.
On 08/17/2016, The Edwards County Sheriff’s Office and prepared a complaint and gave the complaint to Judge Tommy walker who in turn issued an arrest warrant for the theft of the cooler. Deleon was arrested in Real County immediately after the arrest warrant was issued and is now in The Edwards County Detention Center where he remains in jail in lieu of posting a $3000.00 bond, for theft by possession 100-750, a class B Misdemeanor.
TYLER WOMAN ARRESTED FOR FALSE REPORT
On August 4, 2016, Cary Sullivan (56) was arrested in Rocksprings Texas for False Report to a Peace Officer. Sullivan attempted to have Deputy Darrell Volkmann serve a Criminal Trespass Warning to her ex step son in an attempt to gain a favorable position in a civil matter.
Sullivan was placed under arrest for the outstanding warrant and was transported to The Edwards County Detention Center where she posted a 3000.00 bond and was released.