Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

August 13, 2013

Violent incidents spawn indictments

Man shot in disturbance, driver who allegedly struck pedestrian among True Bills

Athens — A 40-year-old Gun Barrel City man, who allegedly threatened to kill the occupants of a Cherokee Shores residence before he was seriously wounded, was indicted on six felony counts by a Henderson County Grand Jury on Aug. 8.

Charges against James Howard Dotson include four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

The kidnapping charge is a first-degree felony, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon a second-degree felony and possession of a firearm by a felon a third-degree felony offense.

On July 24, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 2:40 p.m. about a disturbance at 164 Sunray in Cherokee Shores, near Payne Springs.  HCSO Sheriff Ray Nutt said the officers arrived at a residence and found Dotson with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Deputies learned that Dotson had entered the residence and threatened to kill the persons inside. While inside, Dotson took his former girlfriend from the residence by force and removed her from the house.

HCSO reports said Michael Eugene Jennings, 33, the woman’s brother and owner of the residence, confronted Dotson in the front yard attempting to keep Dotson from leaving with the woman. Dotson allegedly charged at  Jennings, who fired and wounded him in the abdomen.

Dotson was taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler where he was initially reported to be in critical condition. While Dotson was in the hospital, the HCSO obtained arrest warrants on him and presented the information to District Attorney Scott McKee’s office for prosecution.

The grand jury also indicted Donal Ray Worley, 49, of Mabank, for intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid.

Worley was arrested in May for striking 49-year-old Sandy Gay Patterson of Mabank as she walked along State Highway 198 in Payne Springs.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call on the night of May 17 stating that a person had been hit on State Highway 198 about a quarter-mile north of Liesureland. Worley was southbound on State Highway 198 in a 2002 Lincoln when he allegedly struck Patterson.

Several area law enforcement departments began looking for a passenger car with possible damage caused by impact with the victim. The DPS and other authorities were able to piece together evidence and determine the license plate number of the vehicle in the wreck.  DPS obtained a warrant and arrested Worley at his residence in the Del Mar subdivision.

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