Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

January 22, 2014

Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for burglary

Athens — Rico Antonio Brown, 26, of Athens, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Thursday,  Jan. 16 by Judge Carter Tarrance of the 392nd District Court.

Brown previously pled guilty to Burglary of a Habitation, which carries a maximum of 20 years, and elected to be sentenced by the court. 

Brown was legally eligible, and could have received probation.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant District Attorneys Daniel Cox and Jenny Palmer presented to the court evidence not only of the burglary to which Brown pled guilty, but also evidence of different offenses committed by Brown after the burglary.

Prosecutors from Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office presented evidence that on Nov. 20, 2102, Brown forced his way into the apartment of his girlfriend, while their child was in the home sleeping.

Brown then proceeded to place his hands around his girlfriend’s neck, choking her. When his girlfriend called 911, Brown fled the scene, and warrants were issued for his arrest. After being arrested on the warrants, Brown posted bond, and was released from jail.

While out on bond for the burglary, Brown was confronted in the Walmart parking lot by Officer Bill Carlow of the Athens Police Department.

Carlow discovered that Brown had concealed six fishing reels inside his jacket. When Carlow attempted to arrest Brown for theft, Brown resisted, and a struggle ensued.

At the hearing, Carlow testified to the encounter. Pictures of his injuries were shown, and the video from his patrol car showing the struggle was played before the court.

Prosecutors also presented evidence of another encounter that occurred on May 17, 2013. On this day, Brown was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Dep. Jonathan Halbert of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.

Halbert recognized Brown, knew he had warrants and attempted to place Brown under arrest. Brown also resisted  Halbert. A 3-minute struggle ensued where Halbert had to use his pepper spray on Brown. During the struggle, Brown also attempted to take Halbert’s firearm before Halbert was able to safely detain Brown in handcuffs.

Halbert also testified to his struggle with Brown. Photos and videos from that encounter were also shown to Judge Tarrance.  During closing arguments, Brown’s defense attorney asked and pled for the court to sentence Brown to probation. 

Assistant District Attorney Cox stated, “We are not just asking you to sentence him to prison, just because he deserves it. We are also asking you to send him to prison, because our law enforcement officers deserve it. (Brown) has been a thorn in their side for a long time, give them the break they deserve from having to chase and fight this defendant.”

Judge Tarrance responded with a 15-year sentence for Brown, stating that he found Brown had no respect for his family or law enforcement.

District Attorney Scott McKee indicated that he was very pleased with the prison sentence handed down by Judge Tarrance.  

“The City of Athens and our law enforcement officers are a little safer, now that Rico is behind bars,” said McKee. 

The District Attorney also stated that Officer Carlow and Deputy Halbert showed great restraint in their treatment of Brown during their struggles with him. 

“Things could have ended a lot worse for Brown, had he not by-chance ended up struggling with two very dedicated and competent law enforcement professionals who value human life, and had the training and skills to keep things from getting out-of-hand.”

 McKee stated that he was blessed to work with such professionals.

Text Only
Local News
  • (Left to right back row) Elizabeth Coats, Bailey Ficco, Emma Shepherd, (front row) Mary Ficco, Emma Routh.jpg Girls from LaRue shave their heads to make a difference

    The statistics are alarming. More children are lost to cancer in the United States than any other disease. Before they turn 20, about one in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every three seconds.
    Four girls from LaRue have taken a stand against these numbers, and have shaved for the brave.
    Bailey Ficco, Mary Ficco, Elizabeth Coats and Emma Shepherd headed to Boston on Saturday, July 27 for an event to help raise money for cancer research. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Tracks lead to alleged thieves of TVEC property

    According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, it was at 12:12 a.m., July 30, that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an alarm at the newly-constructed Trinity Valley Electric Substation located off Farm-to-Market 2329 near Eustace.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Alzheimer’s forum to teach about disease

    The fact is over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association says “every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's. The disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.”
    Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly, and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Give-and-take session to discuss problem of underage drinking

    The East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Henderson County Coalition Partnership invites local citizens to take part, Monday, in a give-and-take session on the problem of underage drinking.
    The meeting will be held at the Cain Center in the Cain Room, begins at 5:30 p.m. and is expected to last about an hour. Local officials have been scheduled to take part in discussing the problems regarding alcohol. It’s a concern that affects all parts of the county.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif July proves cooler in 2014

    July is gone, and the weather is leaving a much more favorable impression than its usual swelter.
    The National Weather Service reports the cool front that came through the area on the last day of July, brought more showers to the area, and held the highs in the low 80s. The weekend forecast calls for temperatures to remain several degrees below normal through Sunday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AMWA to meet Wednesday

    An Athens Municipal Water Authority project that was moved off the front burner when its dispute with the City of Athens heated up is scheduled for discussion when AMWA meets Wednesday.
    The AMWA board of directors is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. in the Athens City Council chambers, located in the City Hall Annex on Pinkerton Street. On the agenda is to discuss and act upon proceeding with long-range plans to create AMWA offices and meeting facilities.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif A look at the practicalities of AISD’s 2015 campus realignment

    Athens ISD board members’ approval of the proposed campus realignment comes one full year in advance of the decision’s effective date. The timing gives the public as well as district staff and administration opportunity to adjust and prepare for the change.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-1 Athens Rotary.JPG Hirsch speaks at Athens Rotary Thursday

    Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch spoke at the Athens Rotary Club weekly meeting on Thursday. Hirsch said unlike 2013, this year is a great year to grow anything. He also commented it was a good year to be in the cow business. Welcoming Hirsch to the Rotary Club are Rotary President Kelly Driskell and Rotarian John Trent.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0005.JPG Hydrating first responders

    First responders were invited Wednesday to the Athens Brookshire’s grocery to celebrate a promotion formulated by the store.  When customers purchase five 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, they will receive 200 points. Customers are encouraged to donate the Gatorade to first responders. The promotion will last one month. Shown, from left, are Brookshire’s Store Manager Charles Beasley, Athens Police Department Patrolman Wesley Hoover, APD Cpl. Billy Westover, APD Assistant Chief Rodney Williams, APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins, APD Patrolman Taylor Chancellor, APD Sgt. Eddie Smith, APD Chief Buddy Hill, Athens Fire Department Firefighter Brian Davis, AFD Firefighter Aaron Munn and AFD Firefighter Payton Lambe.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif HC fine-tuning application to get CETZ funds

    It’s been three months since Henderson County got word that money has been allocated from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a County Energy Transportation Zone grant, but Commissioners Court is still fine-tuning its application to get the funds.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo