Home destroyed in fire


A single-story home north of Decatur was destroyed by a fire in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The home was located off County Road 2228, which intersects Farm Road 51 near Decatur Livestock Market

Firefighters arrived around 3:30 a.m. to find the home fully involved.

Decatur and Greenwood-Slidell Fire Departments responded to the scene. The Wise County Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the blaze.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

 

 

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Friday, June 9, 2017


Judi Whitis

DECATUR ISD SUPERINTENDENT LONE FINALIST – The Decatur ISD Board of Trustees has named Judi Whitis the lone finalist as the district’s superintendent of schools. Dr. Whitis comes to Decatur from Valley Mills ISD where she served as superintendent since 2014. She previously served as superintendent with Fort Davis ISD and as assistant superintendent for Burnet and Lampasas ISDs with a strong focus in curriculum and instruction.

3 HURT IN WRECK ON U.S. 380 – Three people were flown from the scene of a wreck on U.S. 380 in Decatur Thursday around noon. According to Decatur Police Sgt. Calvin Beatty, a passenger car driven by Amr Takieldeen of Wichita Falls tried to cross the westbound lanes of U.S. 380 from the U.S. 81/287 exit ramp, crossing directly in front of an 18-wheeler. The 18-wheeler, driven by Juan Villafranco of Celina, couldn’t brake in time and hit the passenger car on the driver’s side. The three occupants of the passenger car – Takieldeen, Mona Kamel El-Sayed Mahmoud of Wichita Falls and a 5-year-old child – were flown from the scene. Takieldeen and Mahmoud were taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, and the child was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Beatty said that as of Thursday afternoon the child was in stable condition and the adults were in critical condition. Villafranco was uninjured. Wise County Emergency Medical Services, Decatur police and fire departments, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Air Evac Lifeteam 68, CareFlite and PHI Air Medical responded.

FATAL WRECK UPDATE – The victim killed in an early morning Wednesday wreck near Alvord has been identified as a Bowie resident. The wreck happened just after 3 a.m. at the intersection of County Road 1596 and U.S. 81/287 near the Exxon truck stop on U.S. 81/287 north of Alvord. Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesman Sgt. Lonny Haschel said a pickup driven by Brayden Brown, 18, of Alvord was eastbound on County Road 1596 and pulled out into the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 to cross over and head north on U.S. 81/287. A southbound passenger car driven by Kathryn Joseph, 64, of Bowie struck the side of Brown’s truck. She died at the scene. Brown and several passengers in his truck were not injured, Haschel said.

MORNING STORMS – Storms moved into Wise County this morning bringing heavy rainfall. Rainfall totals as of 7:45 a.m. included 1.5 inches in Greenwood, 1.02 in Bridgeport, 0.95 in Alvord, 0.88 in Decatur and 0.51 in Rhome. The rain is expected to end this morning before an afternoon high of 84.

DRIVER’S EDUCATION – Decatur High School’s driver’s education class starts Monday at the McCarroll Middle School Multipurpose Building. Participants must be 15 years old by July 1. Class fee is $75, and the driving fee is $225. Payment must be made at the DHS office before the first class. Call 940-393-7200 or email jack.reeves@decaturisd.us.

CLOVER KIDS – The 4-H Clover Kids Camp is 1:30-4 p.m. June 13-15. The camp is open to incoming kindergartners through second graders. Participants will learn about 4-H projects through hands-on activities. Cost per camp is $15, or $40 to attend all three days. Contact Chrissy Karrer at 940-627-3341 or cmkarrer@ag.tamu.edu.

CHICO LIBRARY EVENTS – Chico Public Library presents Adult Game Night for ages 16 and up 6:30-8:30 tonight. Family Lego Day is 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Also, sign ups are open for Ladies Craft Night on June 16. The craft will be 3D Painting with Buttons for ages 15 and up. Only 8 spots remain for craft night. To register call 940-644-2330.

BLOOD DRIVE – The Decatur Church of Christ is having a Carter BloodCare drive 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 940-627-1912.

BARBECUE FUNDRAISER – Chico Volunteer Fire Department’s annual barbecue is Saturday. Carter BloodCare will be on site from 2-8 p.m. Food will be served starting around 5 p.m. The event will also include an auction, door prizes and music. The 200 block of Weatherford Street between Sherman and Jacksboro streets in front of the fire hall will be shut down during the event due to heavy pedestrian traffic.

FISHING DERBY – The 2017 Kid’s All-American Fishing Derby is this Saturday from 8-11 a.m. at Black Creek Lake. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., and prizes will be awarded from 11:30 to noon. Bait, cane fishing poles, hot dogs and drinks are provided free. Prizes will be awarded for largest fish, smallest fish and most fish. For information, call the LBJ Grasslands at 940-627-5475.

BOYD FUN FEST – Boyd Fun Fest is this Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Boyd Community Center, 420 E Morton Ave. The event will include a petting zoo, bounce house, bouncy boxing ring, pie eating contest, pony rides, face painting, dig zone, bubbles and other outdoor activities, children’s games (with prizes), dunking booth, snow cone stand, two food trucks, more than 16 vendor booths, car show, 50/50 washer tournament and a pie baking contest. For more information, call Alicia Smith at 940-433-5166.

MOVIE NIGHT – Rhome Veterans Movie Night is 6:30 p.m. today. The movie “Hacksaw Ridge” will be shown in the Rhome Public Library Activity Room. The free event is sponsored by the Rhome Public Library and the Rhome Veterans.

YOUTH SIGN-UPS – Chico Youth Football and Chico Youth Cheer sign-ups are 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, at Robinson Park.

MOVIE AT THE POOL – Bridgeport Box Office presents “Moana” at the Bridgeport City Pool tonight. The pool opens at noon and will be open throughout the day. Movie starts at dusk. Admission for the pool is $3 for ages 10 and up; $2 for ages 4-9; 3 and under are free. Call Bridgeport Parks and Recreation at 940-683-3480.

SWEETWATER HOMECOMING – The Sweetwater Cemetery Homecoming is Sunday. Preaching is at 11, lunch at noon followed by the business meeting.

CEMETERY MEETING – The Garvin Cemetery Association meets Sunday. Dinner is at noon followed by the business meeting.

AUTHOR TO SPEAK – Local Author Jennifer Jasper will be a guest speaker at the Rhome Public Library 10 a.m. Saturday presenting her book, “Who Came Home?” The story is based on her father who was in the armed forces during WWII in England.

FUNERALS – Service for Marshall Dale Wilson, 59, of Hurst, formerly of Wise County is 3 p.m. today at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home in Colleyville. Visitation begins at 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Plainview Cemetery in Krum.

MEMORIAL service for Fern Hughes, 84, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Saturday at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur. Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Kathryn Louise Joseph, 63, of Bowie is 10 a.m. Saturday in the Chapel at Jones-Decatur. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Marilyn Getty, 86, of New Fairview is pending at Jones-Decatur.

MEMORIAL service for Scott Griffin, 48, of Paradise is 2 p.m. Sunday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE service for Guy Waggoner, 88, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Perryman Cemetery in Forestburg. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL for Ted Lewis, 80, of Decatur is 3:30 p.m. today at Hawkins Chapel in Decatur. Family visitation is 2:30-3:30 p.m. prior to service.

MASS of Christian Burial for Elizabeth J. Glaser, 89, of Decatur is 11 a.m. today at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Decatur. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Rev. Doyle Slimp, 81, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior at the church. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Robert Cowan, 65, of Alvord is 10:30 a.m. Monday at Trinity Fellowship Church in Decatur. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Ruby Jo Inman, 88, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd with burial at Boyd Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

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Three flown from U.S. 380 wreck


Three people were flown from the scene of a wreck on U.S. 380 in Decatur Thursday.

According to Decatur Police Sgt. Calvin Beatty, a passenger car tried to cross the westbound lanes of U.S. 380 from the U.S. 81/287 exit ramp, crossing directly in front of an 18-wheeler. The 18-wheeler couldn’t brake in time and hit the passenger car on the driver’s side.

The three occupants of the passenger car — a male adult, female adult and one child — were flown from the scene. The adults were taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, and the child was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was uninjured.

Names and conditions of the injured persons are not available at this time.

Troy Jones, the driver of another 18-wheeler who witnessed the wreck, stopped to help the family in the passenger car. He punched out a window to pull the child out.

“I panicked I guess, and I punched the window,” Jones said. “I had a crowbar in the truck, but I had to help them right then.”

He sat comforting the child until emergency personnel arrived.

Wise County Emergency Medical Services, Decatur police and fire departments, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Air Evac Lifeteam 68, CareFlite and PHI Air Medical responded.

The accident is still under investigation.

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2 hurt in Friday night crash


The driver and a passenger of an SUV were flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth Friday night following a crash east of Rhome. According to DPS officers at the scene, the SUV was turning into the Shale Creek neighborhood at the light on Texas 114 at the entrance to the neighborhood when it was struck by a westbound 18-wheeler around 9 p.m. The impact knocked the SUV into the light pole. The two occupants of the SUV were trapped for nearly an hour before rescuers could free them. Westbound traffic was shut down for close to three hours while the wreck was cleared. No names were available at the scene.

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Wreck victim identified


A Wichita Falls teenager was killed Friday afternoon in a rollover wreck on U.S. 81/287 south of Alvord.

According to Department of Public Safety Corp. Lantz Elliott, a Toyota 4Runner was traveling southbound on U.S. 81/287 around noon when the driver, Daniel Kim, 49, of Oklahoma City, lost control of his vehicle which slid through the median and started to roll.

A 16-year-old passenger, Christine Kim of Wichita Falls, was ejected from the 4Runner and came through the window of a Toyota Tundra, driven by Donald Munson, 50, of Frisco, traveling northbound on U.S. 81/287. The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

The three occupants of the Tundra and the other three occupants of the 4Runner were transported to Wise Regional, Denton Regional and Denton Memorial hospitals.

DPS is still investigating the accident.

Texas Department of Public Safety, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Wise County Emergency Medical Services and Alvord Volunteer Fire Department responded.

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1 killed in U.S. 81/287 wreck


A teenager was killed Friday afternoon in a rollover wreck on U.S. 81/287 south of Alvord.

According to Department of Public Safety Corp. Lantz Elliott, a Toyota 4Runner was traveling southbound on U.S. 81/287 around noon when the driver lost control of his vehicle which slid through the median and started to roll.

A 16-year-old female passenger was ejected from the 4Runner and came through the window of a Toyota Tundra traveling northbound on U.S. 81/287. The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

The three occupants of the Tundra and the other three occupants of the 4Runner were transported to Wise Regional, Denton Regional and Denton Memorial hospitals.

Names have been withheld pending notification of family members. The victim was not local.

DPS is still investigating the accident.

Texas Department of Public Safety, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Wise County Emergency Medical Services and Alvord Volunteer Fire Department responded.

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5 hurt in Rhome wreck


Five people were taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle wreck in Rhome Friday afternoon. The accident happened just after 2 p.m. during a downpour on U.S. 81/287 near County Road 4838. Rhome Police Officer Brody Brown said a pickup was southbound on U.S. 81/287 when it hydroplaned into the northbound lanes where it struck a northbound van. The driver of the pickup was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The driver of the van was taken to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth while three children in the van were taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. No names were available at the scene. Rhome Volunteer Fire Department and Wise County EMS responded to the scene.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Man injured in motorcycle wreck


One man was severely injured when he wrecked his motorcycle into a barbed wire fence on County Road 1590 about a mile west of Alvord Thursday afternoon.
A neighbor said the man was westbound when he left the roadway near a driveway and struck a fencepost. The man became tangled in the fence and his bike flipped several times during the wreck, a bystander said. A clear path of tire marks, followed by debris, led from the roadway to the spot where the bike came to rest in a nearby field.
Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesman Sgt. Lonny Haschell later identified the man as Gregory Meier, 21, of Alvord. Bystanders said Meier was passionate about motorcycles and frequently traveled the road.
DPS Investigator Jose Gomez confirmed the story and said the man was taken via air ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
Wise County EMS and Alvord Fire Department responded to the scene.

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Storm causes damage in Slidell area


Slidell firefighters reported damage in their district from a storm that rolled through early Tuesday morning.
An awning at Slidell Baptist Church reportedly collapsed onto a church bus at County Road 2822. There was damage on the Slidell ISD campus off Farm Road 455. A single-wide mobile home on County Road 2723 also sustained damage.
Firefighters reported several downed trees and power lines along with power outages. Oncor reported 379 customers without power in Wise County.
The storm moved into the area from Montague County shortly after midnight with winds in excess of 50 mph.

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Two transported from wreck on 287


An Alabama couple was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist in Fort Worth from an accident on U.S. 287 just south of Alvord in front of the Navigator Truck Stop.

Stewart Pedigo, 57, and his wife Stephanie were take to hospital after their GMC pickup collided with a tanker truck blocking the roadway shortly after 11 p.m. Friday.

The tanker truck driven by Michael Bondillian of Lake Charles, La. had pulled out of the Navigator and attempted to cross the highway to go northbound on U.S. 287, according to Department of Public Safety Trooper Justin Little.  Pulling out of the station the tanker blocked the southbound lanes and was struck by the pickup, Little added.

The accident shut down southbound lanes of U.S. 287 until 12:30 Saturday morning.

 

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Home destroyed in fire


A family lost their home in the 130 block of Private Road 1311 to large fire Thursday morning.

The road runs off of County Road 1304, northeast of Bridgeport.

Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said two adults and a child lived in the home, which is owned by next-door neighbor Nita Duke. Washburn said Duke first saw the fire from her home.

Bridgeport, Decatur and Paradise Fire Departments responded to the fire, which Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said was fully involved when firefighters arrived.

The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported in the blaze. Red Cross is assisting the family.

 

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DPS identifies drivers in fatal wreck


Investigators have released the names of those involved in the fatal wreck on Farm Road 730 south of Boyd Tuesday afternoon.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick Garcia said Mearl Miner, 51, of Fort Worth was killed when his motorcycle was struck head-on by a southbound SUV driven by Rosemary Switzer, 69, of Rhome. Miner had been northbound on the road and Garcia said at the scene it wasn’t clear what prompted Switzer to veer into oncoming traffic.

Switzer was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Azle.

The road was closed for several hours while investigators were on scene.

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Motorcyclist killed in head-on wreck


One man was killed when his motorcycle was struck head-on by an SUV on Farm Road 730 near County Road 4765 south of Boyd.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick Garcia said the motorcyclist was northbound on 730 when when a southbound Lincoln SUV crossed the median for unknown reasons and struck the motorcycle. The SUV came in the grass on the west side of the road.

The SUV’s driver was taken via ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Azle. The driver of the motorcycle was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays.

The identities of both drivers have been withheld, pending notification of family. More information will be posted as it’s made available.

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Major accident closes 730 south of Boyd


A major accident has shut down Farm Road 730 south of Boyd.
First responders on scene report a vehicle versus motorcyle accident with multiple injuries.
More information to be posted soon.

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May Election Results


City council and school board elections are today. Wise County has several contested races, as well as three bond elections, a water district decision and the issue of tax assignment, all on various ballots. Polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. A list of election day polling places, as well as what will appear on each ballot, was featured in the midweek Wise County Messenger. The unofficial results of the contested races are posted below.

*The vote for Chico ISD’s bond package is too close to call until all provisional ballots are counted.

ALVORD ISD: $13.6 Milion Bond
For 116
Against 404
CITY OF AURORA: Mayor
Janet Derting 41
Terry Solomon 66
BOYD ISD: Place 1
Martin Cain 159
Rebecca Parr 139
BOYD ISD: Place 3
Krista Barber 139
Kyle Erwin 145
Toby Miller 17
BRIDGEPORT ISD: Place 7
Jessie DeLuna 207
Linda Duck 117
CHICO ISD: $1.8 Milion Bond*
For 97
Against 92
CITY OF CHICO: Mayor
Roger Mead 9
Euell Rackley 4
Colleen Self 49
DECATUR ISD: Place 4
Misti Davie 108
Glen Harrison 79
Rex Hoskins 252
CITY OF DECATUR: Water Supply District
For 123
Against 69
CITY OF NEWARK: Reassignment of Half-Cent Sales Tax
For 45
Against 20
NORTHWEST ISD: $399 Million Bond
For 2,909
Against 1,871
CITY OF RUNAWAY BAY: Three At-Large Council Seats
Deborah Lewis 167
Ricky McDonald 114
Jerry St. John 188
Dan Ticer 117
Wayne Wall 47
Berry White 132
NORTHWEST SCHOOL BOARD: Place 5
Taylor C. Harrington 469
Tammy Sutherland Eck 676
Jennifer Zazula 611
Matthew Hooper 679
Steve Sprowls 1,103
NORTHWEST SCHOOL BOARD: Place 6
Carissa Barrett 1,378
Lillian Rauch 2,017
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Food trailer fire shuts down 114 in Boyd


A food trailer fire in front of Lowe’s Market shut down Texas 114 in Boyd Monday morning.
Sammy Fox of Temple had parked his truck and trailer on the shoulder of the road in front of the store around 10:30 a.m.
“I checked and nothing was on. I went in to get some food for the day and a customer came in and said the trailer was on fire,” Fox said.
Fox has operated his The Singing Chef food trailer since December 2016 in the Temple area. He said he was going to be at the Silver Bullet Pawn and Gun in Boyd this week.
“I was going to be based out of Boyd because they’ve been so accommodating,” said Fox, who will be a new father soon.
A propane tank inside the trailer exploded during the fire.
Boyd and Rhome firefighters extinguished the fire.
The road was reopened around 11:30 a.m.

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Fire leads to apartment evacuations


Tenants at the Henderson Terrace Apartments in Bridgeport were evacuated Thursday evening due to a small fire in an exterior wall of Building 2.

A nearby homeowner said he witnessed electrical sparks shoot about four feet from the center of the building near the stairwell before the fire started.

Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said he suspected the fire started due to an electrical issue and spread throughout aged wood. Two units experienced minor damage.

“As old as these buildings are, we got lucky,” Long said.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to spot the heat inside a wall and used drills and other tools to reach and extinguish the blaze.

Bridgeport Police Department assisted with the evacuations. The Wise County Fire Marshal’s office also responded to the scene.

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Parr booked on felony charges


Precinct 3 Constable Doug Parr turned himself in Tuesday afternoon at the Wise County Jail after being indicted last week on multiple felony charges.

He posted a total bond of $29,000 and was released.

He is facing the following indictments: theft of property greater than $2,500 but less than $30,000, third-degree felony, ($10,000 bond); abuse of official capacity greater than $2,500 but less than $30,000, state jail felony, ($5,000 bond); and seven counts of tampering with government record defraud/harm, state jail felonies, ($2,000 bond for each count).

A story on the indictments ran in the weekend  Wise County Messenger. More details will be in the midweek paper on newsstands Wednesday.

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Multiple people injured in 3-vehicle crash


Two people were taken to a Fort Worth hospital Monday following a three-vehicle accident on Farm Road 730 south of Boyd.

Department of Public Safety Trooper William Wallace said a small sports utility vehicle was stopped in the northbound lane waiting to turn left onto County Road 4770 about 4:45 p.m. when it was struck from behind by a pickup. The impact pushed the SUV into oncoming traffic where it struck a southbound passenger car.

The passenger car spun around, ran across the northbound lanes and through a fence. Wallace said the driver kept her foot on the accelerator, ran through a pasture and hit a tree before coming to rest at the edge of a creek, about 100 yards from the initial impact.

Although names were not available at the scene, Wallace said the driver of the passenger car, an elderly woman, and her male passenger were taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth by Wise County EMS.

Two women and an 18-month-old who were in the SUV were taken to Wise Health System in Decatur, according to Wallace. The driver of the pickup was not injured.

More information will be posted as it’s available.

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Escaped inmate caught in Wise County


Arthur Thurman, 32, of Abilene was caught in Wise County Friday night after escaping March 2 from the Callahan County Jail in Baird.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Deputy James O’Bannon pulled Thurman over near Taco Casa in Rhome just before 10 p.m. on a traffic violation.

“He originally said his name was Mark Thurman, and he had trouble remembering his birth date,” Akin said. “This made the deputy suspicious, so he kept asking questions.”

Thurman told O’Bannon his birthday was in 1976, but this raised more questions as he didn’t appear to be in his 40s, according to Akin. O’Bannon eventually discovered Thurman’s true identity and arrested him immediately. He had been jailed in Callahan County on methamphetamine charges.

“Thurman was continually deceptive, but he didn’t try to run,” Akin said. “This is an example of diligent work by Deputy O’Bannon.”

Akin said there was also a female in the car with Thurman, but she was not arrested.

Thurman escaped the Callahan County Jail with the assistance of his nephew, Olmedo Bailey Olivas, 19, according to a story posted on the KTXS 12 website. Following their escape, there was a massive manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies, but the duo eluded officers.

According to KTXS, Olivas surrendered to authorities March 13. He was charged with facilitating escape and evading arrest.

Thurman was booked into the Wise County Jail early Saturday. In addition to the warrant for his escape, he had a second warrant out of Garvin County for unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance without a prescription. Akin said Thurman was released to Callahan County officials Saturday morning.

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