Month in Review for April 2018

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, May 5, 2018

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The driver of a tractor trailer died at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth April 5 from injuries sustained in an early morning two-vehicle accident on U.S. 81/287 just north of Farm Road 407.

Juan Jasso, 36, of Bedford died in the emergency room of the hospital after being flown there by medical helicopter.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick Garcia said the tractor trailer hauling a tanker with diesel and a white Mercury Montego were northbound on U.S. 81/287. The tractor trailer took evasive action and lost control, striking the passenger car and then rolling into the median.


A Decatur teenager was charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal wreck in the city March 28.

Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said the 16-year-old male, who was not identified because he is a minor, turned himself in to police April 12. After an arrest report was made, the juvenile was released back into the custody of his parents.

The teen was driving a Volvo SUV westbound on Hale Street around lunch time March 28 and ran the stop sign at the intersection of Trinity Street, striking a Toyota passenger car driven by 74-year-old Billy Wade McRae of Bridgeport. McRae died at the scene.


Decatur ISD trustees voted unanimously April 16 to close the Decatur High School campus during lunch, starting with the 2018-19 school year, after receiving an update from Superintendent Judi Whitis on dining options, facilities and scheduling. Currently, sophomores, juniors and seniors are allowed to leave campus for lunch. The decision came almost three weeks after a Decatur student was involved in a lunchtime accident on Hale Street that killed a man and injured a woman. The student was charged with manslaughter April 12 for running a stop sign and exceeding the speed limit.


Multiple local law enforcement agencies made arrests after traffic stops and confiscated large amounts of drugs.

Deputies from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle carrying 4.5 pounds of methamphetamine April 21. Sheriff Lane Akin said a deputy stopped a Dodge minivan for speeding on southbound U.S. 81/287 north of Decatur around 2:15 p.m. A search was conducted, and deputies found the methamphetamine hidden in the panel. Jose Luis Castro, 38, of Plant City, Fla., was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 more than 400 grams. The 4.5 pounds represents 12,225 dosage units with an estimated street value of $200,000, according to the sheriff’s office.

On April 26, a traffic stop by a Department of Public Safety trooper on U.S. 380 near Decatur resulted in the discovery of more than 11 kilograms of heroin. After the driver, identified as 46-year-old Terrance Lamont Jackson of Miramar, Fla., refused consent to search, the officer had reasonable suspicion of illegal activity and called for a DPS K-9 unit to respond to the location. Once the dog gave a positive alert, the Infiniti SUV was searched. Officers located more than 11 kilograms of heroin in a hidden compartment. The heroin in its current form is valued at just over $2 million. Jackson was arrested for possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 in an amount more than 400 grams.


6,118: signatures collected by Wise County Citizens for Property Rights on a petition to get the Tier 2 option on the November ballot. Tier 2 counties require cities to receive the approval of the majority of landowners in an annexation area before expanding city limits.

2: Ivy League schools accepted Decatur senior Maddi Waskom, who selected Harvard.

458: miles completed by the late Jackie Murphree, who was honored during the Jackie’s Run 5K April 14.

7: Wise County athletes qualified for the state track meet – Jasmine Harvey, Cooper McDonald, Isaac Hacker, Maddie Mitschke, Christian Isaac, Jadon Maddux and Christina Thomas.


“I like to entertain the possibility of aliens, but it could be something else.”
– Daniel Jones, program director of the DFW Mutual UFO Network, on the story of Aurora’s alien, Ned.

“Dallas stole our college.”
– Mary Louise Woodruff, the last living teacher from Decatur Baptist College.

“I won’t apologize for doing my job… If you don’t want me to do that job, then don’t vote for me.”
– Rhome Mayor Michelle Pittman di Credico during a debate for city council candidates.

“I never wanted to let my past put me down. I let it push me, put a chip on my shoulder with a little spite for all the people who told me, ‘No one gets into those schools; no one in your family goes to college.'”
– Decatur senior Maddi Waskom, a first-generation college student who was recently accepted into Harvard University.

“Within less than five months I’d lost my mom and dad. I never would imagine losing one, much less both of them at the age of 11. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”
– Chico senior Jerod Blanks on losing both of his parents at young age. He’s been raised by his sister and will graduate in May.

“I’m convinced those children are in a better place You have to wonder what kind of chance those kids had in this life. And I truly believe they inherited a better world that day. So in my mind, I can rejoice for those kids. Otherwise, I think I’d have difficulty dealing with the things that happened.
“The thing I lean on is Vernon Wayne Howell’s grave is still inhabited by his body, and I put my faith in an empty tomb.”
– Wise County Sheriff and former Texas Ranger Lane Akin recalling being at Mount Carmel during the Branch Davidian standoff.

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