NEWS HEADLINES

Month in Review: January 2018

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, February 3, 2018
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ABEL MURDER CASE RESTS

For three weeks, a jury in the 271st District Court in Decatur heard testimony from a list of witnesses in the murder trial of Jake Abel.

Abel, 30, is accused of killing his girlfriend, 43-year-old Soccorro Taylor, in a camper in Fort Worth and burying her near a relative’s home in Boyd the week of Christmas 2015.

The jury found Abel guilty of murder Jan. 31 after deliberating for 1 1/2 hours. He was sentenced to life in prison after 10 minutes.

PARADISE MARKET ROBBED

A white male dressed in all black robbed the Paradise Market at 100 Main St. in Paradise the night of Jan. 19.

According to Donna Walker, a cook at the store, the man never said a word and never brandished a weapon. She estimates the suspect was about 5-foot-6 and of average build. Walker added the suspect had hazel eyes and wore a ski mask and white gloves. Walker said the suspect stole more than $1,700 from the store and fled on foot. The case remains under investigation.

NEW YEAR MAKES CHILLY ARRIVAL

It might not have been a winter wonderland of snow, or even a major ice event, but just enough freezing precipitation fell in Wise County on New Year’s Eve to make getting around difficult. The Wise County Sheriff’s Office reported 60 weather-related wrecks. A Department of Public Safety trooper’s vehicle and a Decatur Fire Department brush truck were struck in accidents.

Temperatures stayed below freezing for the first two days of the year.

FIRES BLAZE ACROSS THE COUNTY

A mostly dry month, low humidity levels and an abundant amount of dry, dormant vegetation fueled grass fires throughout the month. The worst day was Jan. 22. Firefighters worked eight fires across the county with wind gusts howling up to 30 mph as the county was under a Red Flag Warning.

The worst fire near the Jamberly Hills subdivision forced the evacuation of several homes as firefighters fought the 50-acre blaze off County Road 3657.

Just 0.09 inches of rain was recorded in January by Doyle Green, making it the second driest January since he started recording in 1974.

BY THE NUMBERS

677: pounds of high-grade marijuana found in a RV after a traffic stop by a Wise County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jan. 14 near the intersection of Texas 114 and County Road 4841 just east of Rhome. David Kwan, 59, and his passenger, Cuixin Chen, 46, both from Garden, Calif., were charged with felony possession with intent to deliver.

297: confirmed flu cases in the month of January at Wise Health System.

10: days in Wise County Jail spent by 2020 libertarian presidential candidate Adam Kokesh before posting his bond. Kokesh was arrested Jan. 16 following a traffic stop. He was booked on charges of marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance penalty group 1 and 2, and tampering with evidence.

48: witnesses called over 11 days of testimony in the murder trial of Jake Abel.

QUOTABLE

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat. We’ve skinned one about 27 different ways in this committee to try to figure out how we are going to get where we are at.” – Kyle Dickerson, the Alvord bond committee chairman, on bond presentation.

“It’s a small investment in your future. I may be 70, but I want to live like I’m 50.” – Lynn Foster on the importance of exercise.

“It’s hard to figure out the high school mind. I wish I could. If I would I’d sell a book and makes lots of money. I definitely think the difference in the game was we were just more aggressive, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t that way in the first half.” – Decatur coach Drew Coffman on Jan. 16 after a game.

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