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Visiting Duchesses registration open

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WOODVILLE – The 80th Annual Tyler County Dogwood Festival is only a few months away, and plans are already underway to make this one of the most memorable to date.  The coronation of the 2023 Dogwood Queen and presentation of the royal court in the elaborately decorated outdoor amphitheater will be the highlight of this exciting festival!

The Tyler County Dogwood Festival has invited surrounding cities to send a senior girl to represent them as a duchess in the royal court to her highness the Queen. The festival would also like to extend the invitation to those of you from Tyler County who may have an interested granddaughter, niece, cousin or friend from another city that might like to participate in this year’s festival as a visiting duchess. Each duchess must be a high school senior and have a high school student as an escort. The festival is only able to accommodate 24 duchesses, so get your registration form and fee in as soon as possible. The deadline for registration is Feb. 10, 2023.

The 80th annual Tyler County Dogwood Festival will be a wonderful experience for a senior girl, as she will have the opportunity to make new friends and share in a fun-filled weekend as we celebrate the beauty of springtime in Tyler County.

For more information or to get a copy of the application, go to www.tylercountydogwoodfestival.org. Information will also be posted on the Tyler County Dogwood Festival Facebook page. You may also contact Candace Read Dagle, Duchess Committee Chairman, at 409-781-0706 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Corpus man sentenced to 30 years in prison

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By Chris Edwards
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CabreraCabreraWOODVILLE – A Corpus Christi man who evaded capture was sentenced to 30 years behind bars last week.

Manuel Cabrera, 27, accepted a plea deal with the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office on charges of evading arrest with a vehicle; possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Cabrera was sentenced by District Judge Delinda Gibbs-Walker.

Cabrera led Steven Hoke with Woodville Police Department on a high-speed chase, which began west of Woodville on US 190 and ended in the city of Ivanhoe. During the chase, District Attorney Lucas Babin noted, Cabrera reached speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Hoke was able to conduct a PIT maneuver on Cabrera’s vehicle, which ended the chase.

When the chase ended and authorities were able to take Cabrera into custody, they discovered him to be in possession of cocaine and a loaded 9-.mm handgun with an extended magazine.

Cabrera remains in the custody of the Tyler County Jail awaiting transfer to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility.

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Meth dealer sentenced to 30 years

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By Chris Edwards
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ABERNATHYABERNATHYWOODVILLE – Last Tuesday, an Ivanhoe man was sentenced before District Judge Delinda Gibbs Walker to 30 years in prison on a drug charge.

Jason James Abernathy, age 41, was handed down the sentence for a possession with intent to deliver (methamphetamine) charge. The trial and sentence came just days after an arrest.

District Attorney Lucas Babin said that Abernathy’s history “clearly shows that he had no plans to stop selling drugs.” Babin added that he believed justice was served in Walker’s courtroom.

During the jury trial, Babin and first assistant DA Pat “Hawk” Hardy laid out evidence that on May 11, 2022, Abernathy was stopped by Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Hunter Holloway during a routine patrol. Holloway discovered Abernathy to be in possession of two baggies of crystal meth, with a combined weight of 16.5 grams.

One baggie, Babin noted, had the drug crushed while the other contained two solid chunks resembling two large ice cubes.

When Abernathy failed to attend his regularly scheduled court date last month, Walker issued a warrant for his arrest at Babin’s request. On Jan. 3, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office executed the warrant and discovered Abernathy with 28 grams of meth and a digital scale. Another man, 42-year-old Brian Demond Bean, of Woodville, was also arrested and booked into jail on two possession charges.

Babin said that he and Hardy were able to combine all of the charges against Abernathy into one agreement resulting in the 30-year sentence.

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Suspect in church burglary arrested

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By Chris Edwards
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BarredaBarredaWOODVILLE – An arrest was made of a suspect in a church burglary, and could face additional charges in several other incidents, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford.

Juan Gabriel Barreda, a 47-year-old Houston man, was arrested in Houston on Dec. 30, 2022, by the Houston Police Department, after warrants were obtained for his arrest thanks to information from an anonymous tipster, who filed the information with the regional Crime Stoppers. Barreda was transported to Woodville, to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, last week, where he was charged with Burglary of a Building.

Weatherford said that after investigators submitted surveillance footage from a robbery at Fellowship Church, which occurred on Oct. 30 of last year, to the Lufkin Crime Stoppers for assistance in obtaining a lead, the information came in shortly after, which led investigators to Barreda.

“With evidence and information collected, investigators were able to obtain search warrants that verified Barreda was in the area on the morning of the burglary, as well as other burglaries in neighboring counties,” Weatherford said.

TCSO investigators worked with law enforcement agencies in Southeast and Central Texas, as well as Louisiana, which were also able to obtain warrants on the suspect.

On the day of the Fellowship Church burglary, Dogwood Hills Baptist Church and the Pentecostals of Woodville, were also hit.

The description for the surveillance video, which was shared by Crime Stoppers, referred to the incident as a “Hell-bound burglary,” and noted that thousands of dollars in cash, debit cards, guitars and electronics, were stolen.

Weatherford said Barreda could face additional charges as the investigators continue to gather more information and evidence. He said that the anonymous tipster was successfully paid by Crime Stoppers, and that TCSO encourages residents to submit tips on suspects, wanted individuals and unreported crimes.

Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford set Barreda’s bond at $20,000. Barreda remains in custody.

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Warrant stop results in arrests

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By Chris Edwards
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IVANHOE – A warrant service call last week resulted in two arrests in Ivanhoe, according to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford.

Weatherford said that on Tuesday, Jan. 3, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office stopped at a residence in order to serve a felony warrant on Jason James Abernathy, age 41, on two warrants for felony manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and one felony possession of a controlled substance/failure to appear warrant out of Jasper County.

Weatherford said the deputies found and arrested Abernathy, and identified another individual, 42-year-old Brian Demond Bean, of Woodville, inside the residence where they made the arrest. The deputies observed a large amount of a crystal-like substance sitting on a table that field-tested positive for methamphetamines, Weatherford said. There were also other substances present, which were identified as crack cocaine and synthetic marijuana.

Bean was arrested, and both subjects were taken to the Tyler County Jail. In addition to Abernathy’s warrants, he was given two charges for felony possession of a controlled substance (meth, 27 grams) and another felony possession charge for the crack (four grams). Bean was also charged with the two possession charges.

Weatherford said that additional marijuana charges will be filed, pending lab results from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

District Judge Delinda Gibbs-Walker set a no-bond on Abernathy, and Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford set Bean’s bonds at $70,000. Both men remain in custody.

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