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Police chase ends in Woodville

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Suspect Martavious Marshall is taken into custody. Mollie LaSalle | TCBSuspect Martavious Marshall is taken into custody. Mollie LaSalle | TCB

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The report of a stolen vehicle in Polk County ended in Woodville, right in front of Sullivan’s Hardware, on US 190, and resulted in multiple charges for three individuals.

Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted in the stop, which began with an alert on Monday morning, at 8:50 a.m., received by the Livingston Police Department. According to Lt. Marty Drake, the department received an alert on the department’s FLOCK camera system of a stolen vehicle traveling north, through Livingston.

The vehicle, a black 2017 Honda Pilot, which had a Louisiana license plate, was observed by officers, as it approached an intersection downtown. Drake said the officers who saw it saw another vehicle, a 2022 Buick Park Avenue, following closely behind, also with Louisiana plates.

Although the officers attempted to stop the first vehicle, it did not stop, and a pursuit ensued, while the second vehicle attempted to distract the officers by intentionally crossing over the westbound lanes and wrecked.

Drake said two suspects in that vehicle fled on foot, and after a search of the area, officers located and took Travious Sampson, 19, of Alexandria, LA, into custody, without incident, Drake said.

The pursuit of the first vehicle continued east along 190 and entered Tyler County. Drake said there were two unsuccessful attempts to spike the tires on the vehicle.

When the vehicle became trapped in traffic, both suspects occupying the vehicle stepped out and were taken into custody, without any incidents.

The driver, 18-year-old Lesmon Brown, and his passenger, Martavious Marshall, 19, both also of Alexandria, were taken into custody and transported back to Polk County, where they were booked into the Polk County Jail.

Drake said that as the investigation continued, LPD was later notified by the Houston Police Department, stating that the second vehicle involved, had just been reported as stolen by that agency, after a Crowley, LA resident, Terrick Batiste, made a report.

In the investigation, officers found a controlled substance belonging to Marshall, in the stolen vehicle. All three suspects were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Brown was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, Sampson was charged with evading arrest/detention on foot.

Drake said the investigation is continuing with more leads and further charges expected to be filed.

He added that LPD would like to express gratitude to the Texas Department of Public Safety; Polk County Sheriff’s Office; Alabama Coushatta Police Department; Tyler County Sheriff’s Office; Tyler County Constable’s Office and the Woodville Police Department for assistance.

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Missing fisherman found dead

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Missing Stock

From Staff Reports

DAM B – A body was discovered of a missing fisherman on Sunday morning at Dam B.

According to authorities, the fisherman was from Tyler County and his body was found after a four-hour search.

Game Warden Justin Eddins said the man, later identified as Glenn McFall of Woodville, was 73 years old and that no foul play is suspected; that his death appears to be from natural causes.

McFall launched his boat from a location at Dam B next to Highway 190 about 16 hours before he was found. The boat was found tied to a tree on the Tyler County side of the riverbank, according to Eddins. McFall’s body was located about 50 yards away in a wooded area.

According to Jasper County Emergency Corps president Billy Williford, it appeared McFall was using a machete to cut a trail through the woods when he died.

Eddins said that Tyler County officials are continuing to investigate, and an autopsy was ordered by Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Ken Jobe.

Eddins, along with his brother, Game Warden Roy Eddins, members of the Emergency Corps and deputies from both Jasper and Tyler counties, all worked the search effort.


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CRUSE-ing to stardom

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Kim on The Voice

Woodville native Kim Cruse advanced from yet another round on NBC’s The Voice on Monday.  Cruse’s take on Ann Peebles’ “Can’t Stand the Rain” wowed the judges. Gwen Stefani remarked “You are so good at picking the right moments to shine.” A watch party (bottom photo) drew many friends and family members to support her on Monday.  Photo courtesy of NBC The Voice


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Evans acquitted of all charges

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Dr. Kerry L. EvansDr. Kerry L. Evans

By Chris Edwards
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 WOODVILLE – A longtime Tyler County physician was acquitted on several charges last week.

Dr. Kerry L. Evans, who was charged on two multiple-count indictments in June of 2019 of continuous sexual abuse of a child as well as indecency with a child charges, was handed the not guilty verdict by a Tyler County jury on Friday, Nov. 4, following a week-long trial.

Evans’s trial was preceded over by visiting Judge Michael Mayes of the 410th District Court. Evans’s attorney, Ryan Gertz, praised Mayes for facilitating a “fair and efficient trial.”

Evans, Gertz said, “is grateful to the citizens of Tyler County who served on this jury and brought a just result.” Most of all, he added, Evans is thankful to his friends and family who supported him throughout “this four year long nightmare.”

Evans was working as the associate medical director of Woodville’s Dedicated Medical Center, which marked a return for him to Tyler County medicine. He had also served long stints with Tyler County Hospital and with CHI St. Luke’s.

Gertz, who emphasized that the allegations did not relate to patient care, presented a defense that cited “a nasty, multi-year divorce” as the source of the sex crime allegations.

“Ultimately, revenge and greed often drive parties in divorce proceedings to make false accusations in order to inflict financial, reputational and emotional pain on their estranged spouse,” said Gertz.

Evans medical license was suspended after the indictments were handed down. The suspension, which went into effect on July 24, 2019, will remain until the Texas Medical Board meets again to take further action. Gertz said the license will be reinstated.

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Churches burglarized in Woodville

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Stock PhotoStock Photo

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a string of burglaries that occurred on Sunday Oct. 30, where three different churches were broken into and burglarized.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, the churches hit included Dogwood Hills Baptist Church, the Pentecostals of Woodville and Fellowship Church. Dogwood Hills and the Pentecostals are located along US Highway 190 and Fellowship is located on the south end of Woodville, on US 69.

A video surveillance clip from Fellowship Church shows a dark-colored sedan in the church’s parking lot and a male suspect inside of the building. The video clip is available on the Crime Stoppers Facebook page as well as the Facebook page for TCSO.

Crime Stoppers referred to the incidents as a “Hell-bound burglary,” and noted that they resulted in thousands of dollars in cash, debit cards, guitars and electronics stolen from the three churches.

In the video footage, the male suspect was shown traveling south on US 69 after absconding from Fellowship Church.

Anyone with information about these crimes can contact the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office at 409-283-2172 or Crime Stoppers at 936-639-TIPS. 

Crime Stoppers, which relies on anonyous tips, can also be accessed via 639TIPS.com/unsolved-crimes or through an app, which can be downloaded from the link 639TIPS.com/app. 

As the Crime Stoppers bulletin states about the crime, it is only tips and calls directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and reward eligible.

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