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Two arrested in woman’s murder

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By Tony Farkas

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COLDSPRING — An Onalaska woman’s murder on Dec. 28, 2022, has resulted in the arrest of a father and son on multiple felony charges.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said the department was notified just before noon on Wednesday about a deceased white female that was located in an abandoned mobile home the 100 block of Ellis Road in Coldspring.

The woman was identified as a Katelyn Michelle Brandon, 18, of Onalaska. Reports indicated there were 10 to 20 stab wounds on the body.

Capers said that after consulting with the San Jacinto County Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer, it was decided to contact the Texas Rangers for assistance in processing the crime scene and the investigation.

Members of the San Jacinto County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Rangers, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the Onalaska Police Department and the Children’s Safe Harbor Advocacy, he said.

In less than two days, involving investigations in Onalaska, Cleveland and Coldspring, two suspects were arrested.

“During the investigation leading straight into the next day and after interviewing several witnesses to various portions of this particular gruesome crime, we have filed three charges on two suspects,” Capers said.

Thorin Brewster Keeprs, 28, of Cleveland, was charged with first-degree murder and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, a third-degree felony. Capers said he is believed to have had a relationship with the victim for several years.

Also, Daniel W. Keepers, 50, of Cleveland, was charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, a third-degree felony. Capers said he is the father of the first suspect.

The body of the victim was taken to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office in Houston for a complete autopsy.

Both suspects currently were being held at the San Jacinto County Jail.

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Residents asked to verify FCC map

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122922 service map

Special to the News-Times

LUFKIN — The Federal Communications Commission recently released a map showing what it believes are the types and speeds of internet service available to every household in Deep East Texas.

The map was built with information from the internet providers, including those in our region.

Rural leaders from throughout Texas have voiced concerns that the map exaggerates the actual service that is available to Texans, especially those in rural communities. There is a process for individual households and communities to challenge the map data, and the Deep East Texas Council of Governments is urging residents to look at the map and report inaccuracies.

DETCOG is working on a region-wide bulk challenge; however, the individual household challenges are an important part of this process.

The verification is important in that more than $40 billion from the federal government will soon be sent to states to expand internet connections. The new FCC map will determine how that money is allocated among the states, with funding allocated based on the number of unconnected homes on the map.

DETCOG’s goal is to help ensure the State of Texas receives its fair share of this funding. If only 1 percent of the map is inaccurate, 100,000 or more Texas homes could remain unserved. The problem is thought to be even greater in rural areas, where some estimates are that the inaccuracies may be as high as 25 percent.

In Deep East Texas that could equate to more than 31,000 homes.

The timeline to participate in the challenge process is short. The deadline for challenges is Jan. 13, 2023. The process requires household residents to review their addresses on the map and report, with evidence, any errors.

How to Submit a Challenge

To look at your residence on the map, go to: https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home. Households that do not have internet access can get help at your local library or use the wi-fi at a local fast-food restaurant. On the home page, you can place your address in the “search by address” window, which will show your location on the map. It will also show the internet providers at your home and the type of service each provides.

Once an address is entered, the map will zoom in and show what has been reported as available:

The Texas Broadband Development Office has also provided more details on how to submit a challenge at https://comptroller.texas.gov/programs/broadband/communities/maps/fcc/. As many who most need the service may not be able to get onto the internet to complete the task, you may contact DETCOG at (936) 634-2247 for help.

Challenges can be based on several basis, including that the provider denied a request for service, demanded excessive connection fees or failed to schedule an installation within 10 business days of a request. Once a challenge is filed, providers are required to review the challenge and either concede or dispute it within 60 days.

Reasons you can submit an availability challenge as described by the Texas Broadband Office include:

•Provider failed to schedule a service installation within 10 business days of a request.

•Provider did not install the service at the agreed-upon time.

•Provider requested more than the standard installation fee to connect this location.

•Provider denied the request for service.

•Provider does not offer the technology or service type at this location.

•Reported speed is not available for purchase.

•Subscribed speed is not achievable. (Individuals only can select this option (on the map), but it won’t create a challenge.)

•No wireless signal is available at this location.

•New, non-standard equipment is required to connect this location.

If one of the services listed is not actually offered to the selected location, or if the providers listed do not actually serve your location, you can submit an availability challenge.

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Two-semi crash causes injuries

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DPS troopers investigate the scene of a two-semi truck crash. Photo by Emily WootenDPS troopers investigate the scene of a two-semi truck crash. Photo by Emily Wooten

Special to the News-Times

SAN JACINTO COUNTY – The Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers investigated a crash involving two commercial motor vehicles on U.S. Highway 59, near the 453A exit, that occurred Friday.

The preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 6:40 a.m., a 2020 Kenworth truck tractor semi-trailer was traveling south, followed by a 2023 Freightliner truck tractor semi-trailer.

Reports indicate the driver of the Freightliner failed to control his speed and struck the rear of the Kenworth. The Freightliner then left the road to the right and struck several trees in the west ditch while the Kenworth pulled to the shoulder of the road.

The driver of the Kenworth, 43-year-old Grover Colmon of Shreveport, La., was transported to CHI St. Luke’s Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the Freightliner, 41-year-old Ronald Waters of Ringgold, Ga., was transported to HCA-Cleveland for treatment.

Waters was cited for fail to control speed.

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Local man charged with murder

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CrimeScene Stock

By Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — A Coldspring man is facing murder charges after an argument led to the Oct. 25 shooting death of his sister.

David Kenneth Fulcher, also known as Bubba, 49, of Coldspring, was arrested Oct. 25 at his home.

Lt. Charles Dougherty of the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department said that during the evening, there was a verbal altercation between the suspect and Pamela Clark, 50, his sister, at a residence in the 200 block of Oak Street.

During argument, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun was displayed, and then Fulcher allegedly shot Clark in the chest, Dougherty said.

The Coldspring-Oakhurst Police were first on the scene, and one officer began first aid measures and started CPR once the wound was tended to, Dougherty said.

Clark later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead later by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Christina McGee.

Dougherty said an autopsy was ordered through the Jefferson County Morgue.

Fulcher is facing a charge of murder. He currently is being held at San Jacinto County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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Deputies close cold case

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ColdCaseClosed Stock

By Tony Farkas
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Charles Dale ClaryCharles Dale ClarySHEPHERD — New information and a re-examination of evidence led San Jacinto County Sheriff’s deputies to make an arrest in a three-year-old homicide case.

Charles Dale Clary, 65, of Shepherd, was arrested Oct. 31 on a charge of murder in connection with the May 2019 murder of Rhonda Richardson, 59, who worked as a correctional officer at the Polunsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Richardson’s body was found in Sam Houston National Forest in May 2019. The investigator at the time, Detective Gary Sharpen, did not find enough evidence to point to a suspect, and then was sent on deployment.

Detective Omar Sheik said Sharpen returned recently, and the two began to re-examine the evidence.

Sheik said that in 2019, Richardson was looking for her dogs. which frequently go loose. He also said that Richardson and Clary were acquaintances, and that Richardson had approached Clary for help in the search.

Later that day, body was found on a trail in a wooded area off FM 2666; however, investigators initially thought the body was moved there.

Sheik said Clary was one that found the body and then had his nephew call the police, something the detective said was suspicious.

At this time, detectives did not reveal any causes for the crime.

Her remains were positively identified during an autopsy at the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Beaumont in 2019, and the medical examiner told investigators that no signs of sexual assault were found on the body. The report listed her cause of death as undetermined.

Sheik said the re-examination went smoothly, and was wrapped up in about 8 days

“It was the result of reopening the case and re-examining all the evidence,” he said. “We interviewed everyone listed as a witness and everyone in the neighborhood. We had a forensic investigation of cell phone records.”

Sheik said that one of the people in the neighborhood that was not found initially turned out to be an eyewitness and helped tie the suspect to the crime. Additionally, examination of cell phone traffic showed the suspect was very likely involved.

Also, investigators requested a review of the autopsy results, and a lot of questions about the crime were answered, giving investigators enough evidence for an arrest warrant, Sheik said.

The detective said there was no clear motive for killing her.

Clary currently is being held in San Jacinto County Jail on a $750,000 bond.

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