Klement Ford

Firefighters battle house fire near Paradise


Fire departments from Paradise, Bridgeport and Decatur responded to a house fire in the 200 block of Private Road 3360 west of Paradise Wednesday afternoon. The fire was called in by a neighbor around 3:30. There were no reports of injuries. Firemen arrived to find flames and smoke engulfing the double wide mobile home. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard was on the scene to investigate.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Rhome PD, Sheriff’s Office investigate shooting


Rhome Police Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office are working a crime scene  on U.S. 81/287 at County Road 4838.

At 5:22 p.m. Tuesday a woman called 911 and reported a black car driving erractically in the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 near Rhome. Sheriff David Walker said the caller reported that the driver was moving from the roadway to the shoulder and was partially off the road at times.

The complainant turned on her hazard lights and drove behind the vehicle until a Rhome police officer intercepted the car. While the Rhome officer was attempting to stop the car, the vehicle failed to yield and eventually hit a sign, coming to a stop.

The male driver was discovered slumped over the steering wheel, and according to Rhome Police Chief James Rose, the officer discovered the driver had a gunshot wound. He said there was a gun in the driver’s lap, between his legs.

The driver has not yet been identified. More information will be posted as it’s available.

 

 

 

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2 injured in rollover near Alvord


Two Borger residents were taken to hospitals following a single vehicle rollover near Alvord late Sunday night. Department of Public Safety Trooper Tim Murphy said Michael Libardo Ybarra, 19, was northbound on U.S. 81/287 about 1 1/2 miles north of Alvord when he lost control of his vehicle in a curve, ran off the roadway and rolled into the ditch around 11:15. Ybarra suffered a laceration to his head and was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. A passenger, Alexandria Perez, 18, was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. Northbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 were shut down for about 30 minutes so the helicopter could land.

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Dallas man faces numerous charges after pursuit


A man who led officers on a chase that stretched across two counties Friday night has been arrested on numerous charges, including felony drug charges. Chbira George Chavira, 29, of Dallas has been charged with manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance 4-200 grams, evading arrest/detention with vehicle, tamper/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, no driver’s license and failure to maintain financial responsibility. His total bond was set at $78,800, and he remained in the Wise County Jail late Saturday. Sgt. Bryan Nodine with the Decatur Police Department said he was parked on the shoulder in the 1400 block of U.S. 81/287 in town when Chavira swerved and almost struck his vehicle around 9:20 p.m. The pursuit reached speeds of around 110 miles per hour as Chavira headed north on U.S. 81/287 to Alvord before he turned around and headed back south. During the chase, Nodine said he saw Chavira constantly throwing items from the vehicle. He ran several people off the road, Nodine said, and when he reached Rhome, he headed east toward Texas Motor Speedway in Denton County. Since this is a race weekend, traffic got much heavier as Chavira approached Interstate 35, and he ran over barricades and narrowly missed causing accidents. He finally wrecked near the intersection of I-35 and Texas 114, striking Nodine’s car in the process. Chavira tried to run on foot but got only about 20 yards before he was caught. Police recovered about 50 grams of methamphetamine in his vehicle but suspect much more was thrown out his window during the chase. No one was injured in the pursuit.

Chbira Chavira

Chbira Chavira

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Rhome home catches fire


Four fire departments responded to a house fire in the 300 block of Private Road 4732 in the Diamond Ridge subdivision near Rhome early Saturday. The Rhome Volunteer Fire Department received the call around 12:15 a.m. When they arrived, they could see flames in a front room and heavy smoke coming from the front door of the double wide mobile  home. East Wise, Newark and Justin fire departments assisted with the fire, which was extinguished shortly after 1 a.m. Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said the cause of the fire is undetermined, but it will most likely be an electrical malfunction, possibly from a space heater. Three adults and a couple of pets live in the home. No one was injured. Red Cross was called out to the location to help the three who were displaced by the fire.

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Pursuit causes havoc on roadways


A suspect running from police reached speeds of up to 120 miles per hour in a cross-county chase Friday night. According to police radio, a Decatur officer began the pursuit of a silver passenger car in Decatur on U.S. 81/287 northbound around 9:20. The driver ran several cars off the road and briefly went northbound in the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 near Alvord before heading back south on U.S. 81/287. The driver continued back into Decatur at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour and running people off the road as the chase continued south from Decatur. The pursuit continued into Rhome, where the driver  took the Texas 114 East exit toward Denton County. It was between Rhome and the county line that speeds reportedly reached 120 miles per hour. As the driver passed Northwest ISD Stadium, officers reported the chase was entering a higher traffic area, and the suspect continued to “run over obstacles” as he neared Texas Motor Speedway. He finally wrecked near the intersection of Texas 114 and Interstate 35. More information will be posted as it is available.

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Morning accident injures 2


Two men were injured in a two-vehicle accident just before 6 a.m. Thursday on Texas 114 between Rhome and Boyd near Paintball Paradise. Senior Department of Public Safety Trooper Gary Rozzell said Collin Kelley, 20, of Azle was traveling westbound on 114 in a 2012 Honda Accord. For unknown reasons, he drifted into the eastbound lane and hit a 2003 Chevrolet car, driven by James Slimp, 55, of Decatur. Kelley was extricated from his vehicle and was transported by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, and Slimp was transported by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. Rozzell said both patients are in good condition, and none of their injuries are life threatening. Trooper Bobby Marquez investigated the accident, and Texas Department of Transportation crews were called to help remove debris from the roadway. Wise County sheriff’s deputies also assisted at the scene.

 

 

 

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2 injured in crash


A crash around 9 Wednesday morning near Decatur sent two people to hospitals. Department of Public Safety Trooper Bobby Marquez said a car driven by Patricia Woodrick, 56, of Aubrey was northbound on County Road 3051 just south of Preskitt Road when she topped a hill and struck a southbound vehicle driven by Justin Caldwell, 25, of Decatur. Woodrick suffered a head laceration and was transported by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Caldwell was taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur after complaining of abdominal pain. Marquez said Woodrick failed to give  half of the roadway.

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Blaze devours Boyd home


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Firefighters from four departments battled a blaze in the 400 block of County Road 4599 near Boyd Tuesday night, and despite the efforts of the Boyd, Paradise, Rhome and Cottondale departments, the home will likely be a total loss.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard and Assistant Fire Marshal J.C. Travis remained on scene as of 11:30 p.m. to determine the cause of the fire.

The home was occupied by six people — three adults and three children, according to Lisa Fourd, one of the adults who lived in the home. The names of other family members were not available Tuesday night.

“I’d only been here a couple of weeks,” she said, clearly shaken. “I came down here to help my brother with his kids. His wife is sick.”

Fourd said her sister-in-law suffers from seizures and can’t stay alone with the couple’s children, ages 5, 4 and 3. Her brother works in the oil field and is gone for several days at a time.

“We had gone to Denton to pick up his check, and when we came home, the back of the house was on fire,” she said.

Her brother ran into the house to rescue the pets and tried to put the fire out with a water hose. He suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

The home, owned by Donnie Johnson, was a single-story, brick structure. Beard said electrical work was being done on the house last week.

American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the family. More details will be posted as they’re available.

 

 

 

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Boyd man arrested in cold case murder


Richard Keiper, 67, of Boyd was arrested by Texas Rangers Thursday for a murder that occurred 45 years ago in Pennsylvania.

According to a press release from  the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop N, the agency has charged Keiper in the 1968 murder of Alfred Louis Barnes. Barnes was an assistant to the vice president of Bethlehem Steel at the time of his death, and his body was found in a field in Chestnuthill Township in Monroe County, Pa. He had been shot multiple times, and his new, 1969 Ford Thunderbird was missing from the scene. It was later recovered in Warren County, N.J.

Keiper was 22 years old at the time of the murder and had ties to Monroe County. According to Pennsylvania State Police, he’s been in Texas for several years but also has ties to Virginia and Florida.

Keiper is currently in Wise County Jail, but he will be returned to Pennsylvania to  face murder, robbery and theft charges in District Court 43-3-04 in Brodheadsville, Pa. According to the press release, officers received assistance in this case from the Wise County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Rangers and Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania.

If you have information about Keiper, call Trooper Donald Marsh, Corporal Shawn Williams or Corporal Thomas McAndrew at Troop N Headquarters, 570-459-3890.

Read more in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

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2 injured in Tuesday morning rollover


Two Nevada men were injured in a one-vehicle rollover south of Decatur. The accident occurred just after 2 Tuesday morning.

The names of the victims were not available at the scene. Both were transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with non life-threatening injuries.

According to investigators, the men were traveling south on U.S. 287 from Reno, Nev., to Houston when it appears the driver fell asleep. The vehicle rolled across the media, across the northbound lanes and across the railroad tracks before landing on a fence on the east side of the tracks.

No other vehicles were involved.

Decatur police and fire department responded along with Wise County medics.

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Monday wreck victim identified


A Bellevue man was killed in a wreck involving a passenger car and an 18-wheeler north of Chico Monday morning.

Larry Robert Hilbers, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The wreck occurred just after 5:40 a.m. as rain fell steadily.

The 18-wheeler, driven by Robby Dan Carlock, 55, of Bridgeport, was northbound on Texas 101, approaching a curve near the intersection of County Road 1786. Investigators believe Carlock tapped the brake which, along with standing water in the roadway, caused the semi to jacknife.

The trailer swung to the right into oncoming lanes of traffic as Hilbers, who was driving southbound in a silver Ford Focus, approached the same curve.

The car became jammed underneath the trailer, and the impact sent both vehicles into the southbound-side ditch.

“That curve is pretty rough,” said Trooper Adolfo Patterson.

A heavy wrecker was called to remove the car from the trailer.

Processed chicken, transported by the 18-wheeler, and fluids from the engines of both vehicles spilled into the ditch and road, making for treacherously slippery surfaces.

The conditions are believed to have caused a one-vehicle just a few hundred yards south of the fatal accident minutes later.

The driver was transported to Wise Regional Health System with non life-threatening injuries.

Alvord and Bridgeport fire departments, along with Wise County medics, assisted Chico at the scene of both wrecks.

State troopers also responded and remained on scene until late Monday afternoon conducting their investigation.

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County Judge collapses in meeting, dies at hospital


Bill McElhaney

Bill McElhaney

Wise County Judge Bill McElhaney died just before noon Monday at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He collapsed during a meeting of county commissioners around 10:15 a.m. and was treated at the scene by Wise County medics before being transported.

Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Jan Morrow has ordered an autopsy by the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

McElhaney, who lived in Bridgeport, was serving his second term as county judge and was currently serving as vice president of North Central Texas Council of Governments.

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Wounded men identified in gun, knife fight


Wise County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigation team is still looking into details of a violent street fight that left two men seriously injured early last night in Chico. Edmond Wallace was allegedly stabbed in the lower back by Kevin Martinez in the middle of the road on Oakwood Street. After being stabbed, Wallace  managed to go into his home, grab a pistol, come back outside and shoot Martinez in the leg. Both men were flown from Chico by helicopter to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. Sgt. Kevin Benton said both men were now in stable condition.

The incident started with Martinez going through the neighborhood, looking for someone who had sold him some bicycles. During his interrogation of Wallace, it turned violent. No charges have been filed, but it’s possible aggravated assault might be filed against or both of the combatants.

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County judge collapses during meeting


Wise County Judge Bill McElhaney was taken to Wise Regional Health System after collapsing during a meeting of county commissioners this morning on the third floor of the Wise County Courthouse. More information will be posted as it is available at WCMessenger.com.

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One killed in Chico wreck


The driver of a passenger car was killed in a wreck with an 18-wheeler Monday morning.

The accident occurred around 5:40 near the intersection of Texas 101 and County Road 1786, north of Chico.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Victim IDs not yet released


Wise County Sheriff’s Office investigators have not yet released the victims’ names in the Sunday night shooting and stabbing in Chico. They did confirm both victims are males. One was shot and one was stabbed during a disturbance just before 7:30 p.m. in the 300 block of Oakwood St.

Both victims were transported by ambulance to Chico High School, which was used as the landing zone for two helicopters. Both men were flown to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

A Sheriff’s Office investigator has traveled to the hospital while others remain on scene in Chico interviewing witnesses. Captain Kevin Benton plans to release more information Monday morning.

 

 

 

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One shot, one stabbed in disturbance


One person was shot and one stabbed in a disturbance just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday night in Chico. Both victims were transported by helicopter ambulances to Metroplex hospitals.

The incident occurred in the 300 block of Oakwood. Initial reports indicated one person suffered a gun shot wound to the back of his right femur and a second victim was stabbed in the back. Wise County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators are on scene. More information will be posted as it’s available.

 

 

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Seizure believed to be cause of Saturday wreck


Investigators believe the driver of a white pickup suffered a seizure which caused a one-vehicle rollover around 9:45 Saturday morning.

No other vehicles were involved, and the driver, Jason Whitaker of Oklahoma, was the only occupant of the truck.

The 37-year-old man was northbound on U.S. 81/287 south of Decatur. Witnesses said it appeared Whitaker was turning left at the crossover near County Road 4421 when he veered off the road and drove across the median and southbound lanes of the highway.

His pickup continued through the fence of a property and struck a trailer that the property owner said he was getting ready to hook up to. Whitaker’s pickup continued across a ravine before coming to a rest in a field, about 100 yards from the roadway.

He was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Investigators on scene said he was conscious but not coherent. It appeared the man was still seizing when they arrived on scene.

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2 arrested in Tobacco Town burglary case


Two suspects in the burglary of Tobacco Town in Paradise have been arrested. Last night, the red semi-tractor  seen in security video was located in Fort Worth. With the help of the Fort Worth Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s investigators arrested two people in connection with the burglary: Clark Edward Redmon, 48,  of Springtown, and Maria Kristine Shone, 29, of Fort Worth. Both were booked into the Wise County Jail on one count of burglary of a building. According to a sheriff’s office press release, additional felony charges could follow within the next 48 hours as investigators execute search warrants to gain additional physical evidence. The Paradise burglary took place Sept. 29.

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