Henderson County 173rd Judicial District Judge Dan Moore on Monday accepted an 18-year prison sentence for a Malakoff man known on the street as “King James.”
James Earl Ray, 40, pleaded guilty to crack cocaine possession and distribution while a jury awaited the prosecution’s first witness in Moore’s court last month.
Henderson County assistant district attorneys Justin Weiner and Nancy Rumar prosecuted the case on behalf of the state. Athens-based attorney Barry Spencer represented Ray.
A little over a year prior to his sentence on December 8, 2011, the Henderson County Drug Task Force and members of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff executed a search warrant on Ray’s residence. Immediately after making entry into the home, Ray was seen fleeing from the bathroom with his hands dripping wet. The toilet was running, which indicated that it had recently been flushed — and leaving officers to speculate that Ray had flushed a quantity of narcotics when he realized that law enforcement was at his home.
During the search of the home, the Task Force located a number of items confirming Ray’s involvement in drug transactions. Crack cocaine was found throughout the house, along with razor blades used to size the rocks, a large amount of cash mostly in small bills and a cell phone with text messages detailing various drug transactions.
The residence was also home to two children. The search revealed digital scales with cocaine residue found sitting on a baby’s highchair.
Ray was the only person present at the time the search warrant was executed.
An additional warrant was also executed to search Ray’s cellular phone, which indicated that he was trafficking in narcotics.
“This is a great example of why it is so important that our office works so hard with law enforcement and continues to fight and investigate these cases on the eve of and throughout trial,” Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner said.
Malakoff man pleads out as trial kicks off
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Volunteers now needed for Athens Soup Kitchen
Athens Soup Kitchen, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission is to feed those who are hungry. The facility that feeds 30 to 63 people weekly, opened its door in March 2014.
Coston named chamber president
After a diligent search, the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board has named Mike Coston president.
“The chamber board selected a search committee, which consisted of Chamber members, community leaders and business owners,” Ashley Adams McKee, Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board, said. “Our committee knew that we wanted to take our time to find the most qualified person to serve as our new president. We had more than 10 applicants and in our first round of interviews we were all equally impressed and excited about Mike's experience and passion for chamber business.”
Update on restaurant projects given
City of Athens officials gave an update on some ongoing projects and financial information at a meeting on Wednesday.
Director of Planning and Development Gary Crecilius said progress on the Cotton Patch Cafe has slowed considerably with the discovery of a possible environmental hazard. The restaurant is being constructed east of the Walmart store on East Tyler Street.
HCPAC announces ‘Mattress’ sales
Why would HCPAC be selling mattresses? Actually, the “mattresses” are tickets to “Once Upon a Mattress,” which opens Thursday, Aug. 7.
The 26th Annual Youth Summer Musical stars 24 very talented area students, ages 10 through college, and tells the “fractured fairy tale” version of the “Princess and the Pea.”
Gearing up for Celebrity Waiter event
The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake is gearing up for its annual Celebrity Waiter event. The Celebrity Waiter committee met on Thursday to discuss last minute items. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 at Athens Country Club. This will be the 18th year the CCL Rotary Club has hosted the fundraiser. For ticket information call Erin Osborn at 903-887-7486.
Paul Harris recognition
Rotary of Cedar Creek Lake President Erin Osborn presents Rotarian Bill Burnett with his second Paul Harris recognition. Rotarians are given a Paul Harris recognition when a Rotarian donates $1,000 or more to the fund outright. Benefactors receive a certificate and insignia to wear with a Rotary or Paul Harris Fellow pin.
Sanders suspended indefinitely
Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, of Athens, and Montrel Meander were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21.
Thunderstorms take their toll on counties
A line of thunderstorms rolled through Henderson County on Wednesday, snapping tree branches and power lines along the way.
The winds that accompanied the storm resulted in thousands of people in North Texas without electricity and roads broken by falling trees or debris.
Council considering Burton's severance package
The Athens City Council, by a 3-to-2 vote, tabled a budget adjustment on Wednesday to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who’s stepping down at the end of the year.
Eustace ISD approves tax rates
The Eustace Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday in the Eustace High School Library.
Several reports and agenda items were considered by the board, and all were passed or approved. Board Secretary Ashley McKee was absent.
The board was presented with the superintendent's reports on revenue, expenditures, payroll and taxes.
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