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Texas' Largest Police News Publication

April 2010

Murder By The Pair 37-Years Later: Where is Unsolved 34-years later Kimberly’s Killer? By James Kelly

The bodies of Bill Pond and Arnoldo (Pancho) Ortega were found in January 1976, inside the trunk of a Cadillac abandoned about 16 miles east of Seguin in Guadalupe County. Pond had been shot several times, one a head wound, and Ortega's body also had a bullet wound in his head. The Cadillac was registered to Pond, a factor that aided officers in identifying the bodies. A lengthy investigation ensued, and it was not until February of 1978 that the Guadalupe County Grand Jury indicted Angleton area residents Edward "Curly" Heim and his son, Charles Heim, on murder charges. Each of them retained a well-known Houston attorney, and made bond, after which extensive legal maneuvering began. This finally resulted in a Harris County judge dismissing the Guadalupe County indictment on the grounds of a technical error. Then, in June 1980, a Brazoria County Grand Jury returned a threecount indictment against both of the Heims, for murder, criminal conspiracy to commit murder, and criminal solicitation to commit the murders of Pond and Ortega. Richard "Racehorse" Haynes, the

attorney for Charles Heim, and Jack Zimmerman, who represented Edward Heim, sought to have the indictments dismissed. The defendants had been accused of the offense "for an agonizing, long period of time," Haynes said, claiming the Texas Speedy Trial Act had been violated. Judge J. Ray Gayle III denied the motion for dismissal. Zimmerman then urged a motion for severance, so that the two men could be tried separately. Zimmerman argued that Edward Heim "was not involved at all except by some peripheral, strained extension, of the law of parties." Brazoria County District Attorney Jim Mapel responded, saying that evidence would involve Edward in the crime, particularly on the count of conspiracy. Again, the defense's motion was denied. The motion for a change of venue from Brazoria County was granted, however, and after additional legal wrangling, the trial was moved to Bay City. Mapel elected to proceed only in Pond's murder. Jury selection was held in January 1981, with Mapel and Assistant Brazoria County DA Mike Echevarria telling prospective jurors that although the Murder...Cont. on pg 2

Was her murder just one of many?

By Barbara Gibson & Debera Phinney

The partially nude body of 16 year old high school sophomore Kimberly Rae Pitchford was discovered in a ditch near County Road 65 in Iowa Colony, Brazoria County, Texas on Friday, January 5th. Iowa Colony is 15 miles north of Angleton and 22 miles south of where she was last seen finishing her driver’s ed class at J. Frank Dobie High School. Dobie is located on Beamer Road in Houston in southeast Harris County. It was 1973. For teens, the early Seventies was a time of long hair, bell bottoms, hitchhiking, and partying. January would see Richard M. Nixon be sworn in for a second presidency after a landslide victory, NASA transition from the Apollo lunar missions to Skylab, the Vietnam war appear to have a peace agreement in sight, and Carly Simon top the charts with her number one song, “You’re So Vain.” Kimberly had arrived at school early the previous Wednesday morning, her first day back from winter break, excited to show off the new coat she'd received as a Christmas gift. The black

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coat set off a striking contrast with her fair complexion, hazel eyes, and long, straight, reddish blonde hair that she parted in the middle, the popular hair style of the time. She was a beautiful young lady but very self conscious of her dental braces. Kim, as she was known to friends and family, having just received her driving learner's permit, was enrolled in the driver's education class at school. Like others 16 year old, she was looking forward to getting her driver's license 37 Years...Cont. on pg 9

Top Guns Two of three Galveston Police Officers named Top Guns in inter-departmental firearms qualifications are pictured with Top Gun trophies.

(L-R) Lt. Byron Frankland, 2nd place; Lt. Henry Porretto, 1st place; Training Sgt. David Simon who conducted the competition, and Captain Joe Pena, Patrol Division Commander. The 3rd place qualifier was Officer Marcelino Gonzales, not pictured. The three officers each scored 100 in reactionary shooting then had a shoot-off to determine the top three placements. Porretto captured 1st place by 4/10ths of a second over Frankland. Top Gun competition was recently added as part of officer training initiated by Sgt. Simon.

THE POLICE NEWS Police News Publishing Co. LLC PO Box 5879 Galveston TX 77554 Editor & Publisher Breck Porter Sales/Marketing Susanne Norman 409-632-0082 Michelle Alvarado 409-256-5135 Contributors Marie Beth Jones Art Director/Graphic Designer Diane Jolley Printing Mirror Publishers, Inc Galveston News Office 409-762-NEWS Business Office 409-632-0042 Advertising/Distribution 409-632-0082 Nationwide Toll Free 1-888-788-8967 The Police News is published monthly in Galveston TX. To subscribe or inquire about your subscription call: 1-888-788-8967 Toll Free Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved

Page  - The Police News

Murder..Cont.from pg 1 main prosecution witness was in the penitentiary, it would be "unfair to discount" his testimony. Both defense lawyers also had warnings for the prospective jurors. Much of the prosecution's evidence would be circumstantial, and the case would be "a hotly contested" one, Zimmerman said. Haynes, who by this time had gained a widespread reputation for clever courtroom tactics and successful defense of his clients, told the jury panel that "it would be absolutely unfair to score" against the defendants because of his own professional reputation. The day-long examination of the prospective jurors concluded at 8 p.m., with five women and seven men from Matagorda County chosen to serve on the jury. Judge Gayle was assigned to hear the case due to the illness of Judge Olin G. Wellborn Jr., whose judicial district included both Brazoria and Matagorda counties. The prosecution called James Spruill, 28, as its first witness. An inmate in the Texas Department of Corrections, Spruill had been imprisoned in August of 1978, after pleading guilty in connection with Pond's death. Spruill said he became acquainted with Pond in late 1973 or early 1974, when Pond was a supplier for an alleged marijuana operation. The operation included a middleman, as well as Spruill and his partner, and when Pond and the middleman fell out, the operation was moved to Houston, Spruill said. The marijuana was then stored on the Heim ranch north of Angleton, he said, explaining that 300- to 500-pound loads of marijuana were brought there, and later sent to Memphis, Tenn., for sale. He and Pond disagreed over a debt that Pond alleged Spruill owed him, Spruill testified. On Januanry 22, 1976, Spruill said, he was met at Houston Intercontinental Airport by Charles and taken to the Heim ranch to await delivery of a load

of marijuana. Charles told him that Pond wanted Spruill held at the ranch until Pond could collect the debt, Spruill said. Instead, he testified, he and Charles decided to set Pond up. "When he arrived, we were going to kill him," Spruill told the jury. He said Edward Heim was not present during this discussion. Spruill said he flew back to Memphis, where he obtained an AR-18 semi-automatic rifle and a suitcase, and returned to Houston. At the Heim ranch, he said, he, Charles and two Heims' employees, Artie Brown and Walter "Noose" Ford, tried out the weapon. On January 25th, Spruill said, they received word that Pond was en route to the ranch from the Rio Grande Valley. Charles took Spruill to a location near a bridge, where Spruill waited for a couple of hours that night. When a pickup truck arrived at the location, Pond got out to open a gate, and Spruill fired at him twice, according to his testimony. He said another shot struck Pond as he ran toward the truck, which by that time was backing away. Spruill said Pond fell and began firing back, and Spruill ordered him to drop his weapon. Charles got out of the truck and he and Spruill approached Pond. Saying that Charles told him to shoot Pond, but he could not do it, Spruill said he gave the rifle to Charles, who then "put one round right between Pond's eyes." When Charles' pickup got stuck, he and Spruill began walking, and panicked when another truck pulled up, Spruill said, adding that Edward, who was in the second truck, gave the two of them a "Valium" to calm them. Edward told them that Ortega had accompanied Pond to the ranch, and was waiting for them at Charles' house. Spruill said he and the Heims then decided to kill Ortega, thus eliminating a potential witness. Again, Spruill said, he waited by a gate. When Ortega got out of the truck, Spruill fired but missed. He said he again gave the gun to Charles who shot Ortega in the head. They loaded both bodies into the trunk of the Cadillac, and Spruill drove it down I-10 toward San Antonio, abandoning it when it ran out of gas, according to his testimony. He said he returned to the ranch in a vehicle driven by one of the Heims

Ranch employees. In cross-examination Zimmerman hammered questions to indicate that Edward Heim was not directly involved with the death of either Pond or Ortega. Haynes' questioning also covered differences in Spruill's courtroom testimony and a statement he had given to Texas Ranger Carl Weathers. The differences ranged from actual ownership of the murder weapon to who picked up Spruill at the Houston airport prior to the killings, and whether Charles had held Pond and Ortega hostage at the ranch to where Pond threw his gun when ordered to get rid of it. In answer to Haynes' questions, Spruill said he had worn gloves and had not touched the murder weapon. He bought the bullets with his own money while he was in Houston, he said, acknowledging that there was no physical evidence to connect Charles with either the weapon or the deaths. Zimmerman asked if Weathers had told him that throughout the investigation the Ranger had been "trying to pin the murders on Charles…." Spruill at first denied this, but later said Weathers had used "words to that effect." Zimmerman also elicited testimony from Spruill that Edward had not been mentioned in connection with Pond's death in the early meetings between Spruill and the Ranger. Finally allowed to step down after four days of rigorous cross-examination, Spruill was followed on the witness stand by Texas Ranger L.T. Carpenter. He had photographed the bodies of the two men he described as a Caucasian male and a Latin American male, found in the trunk of Pond's Cadillac. Another witness, Gerhard Helmle, 40, of Dallas, told the jury that he knew Pond, Charles and Spruill. He said that Charles told him at one point that although Pond was "a good ole boy," if he didn't "go along," Charles "would put him out of the way." Helmle said Spruill made similar comments, but in answer to questions from Zimmerman said he had never seen Edward until coming into the courtroom. Questions by both defense attorneys emphasized alleged discrepancies between a written statement Helmle gave to Ranger Weathers and his court-

Murder..Cont.on next page

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Murder..Cont.from previous page room testimony. They also asked whether the words "put him out of the way" was adequate to constitute a threat by Charles and Spruill to kill Pond. Helmle said he considered them as such, but failed in his effort to contact Pond to warn him after talking with Charles and Spruill. He did not contact law enforcement after Pond's body was found, Helmle said, because he felt someone would eventually be arrested in the case. Artie Brown, who worked on the Heim ranch at the time of the murders, said Charles offered him $1,000 to bring Spruill back to the ranch after Spruill ditched Pond's Cadillac. He did so, Brown said, and a few days later Edward Heim paid him $500. Brown moved to Massachusetts for a time, and after moving back to Angleton in ‘79, he had a chance encounter with Charles. He told the jury that Charles told him unless Brown gave a statement to Charles' attorney, Brown would be charged with murder. Brown said both Charles and Edward Heim took him to the office of Houston attorney Ray Bass, where he gave a statement that was taken down by a court reporter. Despite cautions from Judge Gayle, Brown chose to testify without a lawyer, saying he intended to tell the truth. He admitted he had been deceptive in his deposition because he was afraid of being charged with murder, but was telling the truth in the courtroom. Brown said Edward Heim had nothing to do with the planning or the murders. He had worked for the Heims since age 12, he said, and they had never previously asked him to do anything illegal. Charles made no mention of the crime when he offered him the money to pick up Spruill, Brown testified, adding, "I thought it was easy money." When he learned that murder might be involved, he said, he told the others, "I ain't gona shoot no one. I let them know right off." Ranger Weathers was called to the stand, but his testimony was interrupted several times when the jurors were removed from the courtroom, twice for about an hour. Questioning the legality of the Ranger's search of the Heim property, the defense raised questions about its ownership. Weathers told the jury that he served the search warrant to the sister of Edward Heim, who lived on the property and told him that she was "as much the owner" as anyone. Haynes and Zimmerman said she owned only one-seventh interest in the property and contended that the person "in possessive ownership" was asked

for consent to search or presented with a warrant. Judge Gayle denied the motion to suppress the warrant, allowing it to be entered in evidence. Weathers said he found four expended shells of brass casings for bullets while searching the property. Another defense motion concerned contents of a case Weathers carried as he testified. Judge Gayle ordered that it be turned over to the defense for examination. Weathers, who said he became involved in the investigation some time after the bodies were found, told the jury that he had visited Spruill in Mississippi and later took him into custody. Spruill was transferred to the Matagorda County Jail, then a few days later to the Gonzales County Jail, where he gave a written statement and drew a map purporting to show the scene where Pond and Ortega died. The Ranger also testified about the brass casings he found in searching the Heim property. The defense attacked the chain of custody of those casings. After lengthy objections Judge Gayle admitted two of them and an aerial photo of the scene into evidence. Weathers also testified at length about his conversation with Helmele, particularly whether the word "kill" had been used in Helmele's statement concerning what he heard Charles Heim say. To his recollection the word was not used when he typed Helmele's statement, Weathers said, but was used prior to that, when he and Helmele talked about it. The defense lawyers also elicited information from Weathers that Spruill told him he was "stoned and drunk a lot at that time" and did not recall any meeting with Helmele. In response to Haynes' questions, Weathers said his investigation revealed that Pond had been in the drug and marijuana business, and that Helmele was familiar with Pond's operation. The Ranger said Helmele operated a club in Houston. To his knowledge, Weathers said, Helmele was not involved in any illegal activities. Despite repeated questions from the defense, Weathers consistently denied that Spruill had been offered a "deal" to testify against the Heims. In cross-examining Weathers, the defense attacked statements from Gene Casaver, Gary Clements and Spruill, which they said differed in some respects. Former Bexar County medical examiner Dr. Ruben C. Santos, who acted as a consultant to Guadalupe County in performing autopsies on the bodies of Pond and Ortega, said both men were killed about January 26, 1976. He said Pond had three gunshot wounds, includ-

ing one in his head, but declined to say which was fatal. He found no evidence of powder burns, smudges of gunpowder or stippling to indicate that Pond was shot at close range. He told Zimmerman that the wound to Pond's thigh was probably not immediately fatal, but was "definitely a contributing wound" to Pond's death. Ballistics testimony was given by John Beene, a Department of Public Safety chemist from Houston, who examined the .223 cartridge casings found on the Heim estate. He described two of the shells as "military" in origin, but said tests available could not determine whether they were fired from the same gun. A Remington shell found by Ranger Weathers in a different location than the other three did not come from the same box of ammunition, he said. He attributed time and exposure to the elements as being responsible for eliminating the signature on three of the shells. Responding to Haynes' questions, Beene said at least five weapons could fire a .223 round, and that a number of manufacturers made rounds of that size. All of the shells could have been fired by an AR-18 rifle, however, dents in one of the shells would not have been caused by its firing. The jury was retired again when Walter Ford, a Heim employee at the time of the shooting, was called to the stand. Ford invoked the Fifth Amendment concerning any connection with testimony in the case. Most of Casaver's testimony was ruled hearsay, and was not allowed. The final witness called by the prosecution was Ronald Kalish, manager of a Houston retail clothing store in 1976. He said he had met Pond a year earlier and associated with him socially. Pond put up collateral for a retail clothing business which Kalish was to manage, he said. Although he admitted knowing of allegations that Pond was involved in marijuana, Kalish said he was not involved in any alleged drug traffic. Telling the court that Pond was "always in danger," Kalish mentioned a reported break-in at the apartment of Pond's girlfriend, as well as an alleged shooting incident in which Pond's car was supposedly hit by gunfire. Judge Gayle sustained a defense motion to dismiss two of the three counts in the Heims' indictment for lack of evidence. These were a count of criminal conspiracy to commit murder and criminal solicitation to commit murder, leaving the jury to consider only the charge of Pond's murder. Haynes and Zimmerman complained at length about their supposed difficulty in reaching Spruill, but were unsuccess-

ful in their motion to dismiss the murder charge against the Heims. They called no defense witnesses. Judge Gayle's charge to the jury noted that the case against Edward Heim appeared to be largely circumstantial, and cautioned that jurors should have a "reasonable and moral certainty" before returning a guilty verdict against him. The case against each defendant should be considered on a separate basis, he said. He also instructed the jury about accomplice testimony given by Spruill, saying they could not convict either defendant on his testimony without corroboration from another person. In final arguments, Mapel said a key question for jurors was whether Brown was considered an accomplice, but pointed out that Brown's only act was to follow Spruill in a separate vehicle and bring him back to Angleton after Pond's Cadillac was abandoned. Echevarria pointed out that Brown did not personally know Pond and had no motive to kill him. Zimmerman asked the jury to screen evidence through the filters of reasonable doubt and circumstantial evidence, reiterating that to find Edward Heim guilty, they must have "reasonable and moral certainty" that he was involved. Zimmerman added that if they could think of one reasonable explanation consistent with Edward Heim's innocence, they must acquit him. Haynes covered much of the same ground, noting that Brown's status as an accomplice was a critical factor. He said both Spruill and Brown had lied and "are victims of their own acts and their own lies." Mapel concluded for the prosecution, saying witnesses' memory might be at fault after the extended period since Pond's death. He also attempted to answer questions raised by the defense concerning various witnesses' testimony. After just five hours of deliberation the jury signaled it had reached a verdict, voting to acquit both Edward and Charles Heim. The men's relatives and friends in the courtroom were heard to breathe sighs of relief on hearing the verdict. Both of the Heims said they planned to remain in Brazoria County. Charles said he was "speechless," but added that there was "only one judge and He's the one above." Edward, who said he felt as though "this whole courthouse has been lifted from my shoulders," expressed the hope that his reputation would remain unsullied. He said all long-time residents of Brazoria County "know me and know that I am a good citizen. I've never been in trouble in my life." James Kelly is an investigative reporter and regular contributor to The Police News. The Police News - Page 

Galveston Police Dept is accepting applications for

POLICE OFFICER Attention Police Department: The City of Galveston is now accepting applications for the position of Police Officer with the Galveston Police Department. All applicants are required to take a civil service exam. The civil service exam will be given at the following date, time and location:


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You must pre-register for this examination by calling the City of Galveston Human Resources Office at (409) 797- 3650. The deadline for registration is Thursday, April 8th, at 5:00pm. A study guide for the exam is available from the Human Resources Office free of charge. The study guide contains questions similar to those that will appear on the test. It is highly advised that you obtain a copy at least one (1) week prior to the examination. The test will be scored immediately after the exam. Directions and schedules for each step in the hiring process will be announced following the test. ARRIVE EARLY! Bring picture identification. The doors will open at 8:30 am. The test will begin promptly at 9:00 am. NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED AFTER 9:00 am. The Galveston Police Department is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer.

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These are NOT wanted fugitives, but Registered Sex Offenders. If observed residing at any address other than the one listed below the photo, please notify the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office 979- 864-2392.

KRAMER, JOHNNY W/M DOB: 9-21-1973 220 Marine Way #1 , Freeport Tx 77541 Indecency with child – Contact Victim: Female/7 Risk level: Low

PHILLIPS, DANIEL EUGENE W/M DOB: 3-5-1975 7216 CR 829, Pearland Tx 77584 Agg. Sexual Assault Child Victim: Female/13 Risk level: None Assigned

MOORE, ERIC ANTON B/M DOB: 2-27-1969 53 E. Candlewood Ct.(CR 854D) Richwood Tx 77531 Sexual Assault Child Victim: Female/13 Risk level: Moderate

POWELL, STANLEY JOE B/M DOB: 11-19-1965 20218 Spruce Forrest Dr Guy Tx 77444 Burg Habitation – intend other felony Victim: Female/24, Female/24 Risk Level: None Assigned

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Meat Market 409-762-3765 SORIA, DAVID JOHN W/M DOB: 10-27-1980 20838 CR 213 Angleton, Tx 77515 Sexual Assault Child (2 counts) Victim: Female/14 Female/14 Risk level: Low

RAMOS, GUADALUPE JR H/M DOB: 3-16-1959 1644 CR 180, TRL 10 ALVIN, TX 77511 KIDNAPPING Victim: Female - stranger Risk level: High

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409-744-1314 HALL (BIVENS) CHARLES ANTHONY B/M DOB: 2-10-1968 1813 S. Columbia West Columbia, Tx 77486 Aggravated Sexual Assault - Child Victim: Female/11 Risk level: Moderate

GERTSON, KEVIN MATTHEW W/M DOB: 4-16-1983 2148 CR 540 Alvin, Tx 77511 Indecency with child by contact Victim: Female/5 Risk level: Moderate

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12531-1/2 FM 1764 – Santa Fe, TX 77510 HORNAK, DAVID W/M DOB: 12-24-1970 227 CR 486, TRL #11, Freeport Tx 77541 Aggrav Sexual Assault Child (2 counts) Indecency with child - Sexual Contact Victims: Both 2 yr old boys Risk level: High

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We believe our readers need to know who got busted and for what. So we provide you with pictures of these child predators, drunk drivers, deadbeat parents, and killers. This page will give you a sampling of the criminal element The Police News reports about online everyday. You will find hundreds more on our website ThePoliceNews.Net.

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Angela Denise Owens Assault with Auto Texas City Police

Christopher Patrick Metheny, 42 Poss of Drugs and Paraphernalia Friendswood Police

Michael Curtis Gregory Robbery in Webster HCSO Deputies

Michael Alexander Chenault, 23 Burglary with intent to rape Harris County Sheriff

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Tiffany Denise Morris, 21 Interfering with Police & EMS League City Police

Daniel Dotson, 24 Auto Burglary Friendswood Police

Melvin Edwards, 29 Aggr Assault w/Deadly Weapon La Marque Police

Theordore Baines, 49 Carrying a Pistol/Aggravated Assault Rosenberg Police

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The fact that a person is arrested does not imply or infer that anyone pictured on the pages of this publication has been convicted of a crime. All persons are considered innocent until convicted in a court of law. The Police News - Page 

Horse’n Around on the Beaches Veteran Galveston County Lawman Retires Beach goers on Galveston Island may see a new kind of beach patrol this summer. Recently patrolling the beach at Jamaica Beach were these members of the Galveston County Constable’s Mounted (L-R) Deputies Lisa Sweeney, Jennie McLauglin, Mike Delbosque and Patrol. Telena Desormeaux (

When Driving Drunk, Watch Out For Garbage Trucks Forty-three year old Kearston Schroeder was aiming her pickup through Santa Fe during 5 o’clock afternoon traffic when she side-swiped a sanitation worker riding on the back of a garbage truck. Her rearview mirror knocked the worker off his truck smashing the mirror through the window of the pickup. The worker was treated for minor injuries. She was treated to dinner in the city jail, no cocktails. Kearston Schroeder

Megan Brooke Long, 23 and beau Justin Chase Abels, 24, were passing through Webster from Louisiana a few minutes after midnight with 430 Vicodin, Clonzepam and Suboxone pills and some weed when along came a Webster cop. Long tried to hide it real quick by stuffing it in her britches. Megan Brooke Long Justin Chase Abels The cop figured out she wasn’t scratching an itch and off to jail they went. (

Steal From Mama, Stay In Jail, Says Judge

Page  - The Police News

GALVESTON - Veteran Galveston County lawman Donny Allen, one of two Chief Deputies under Sheriff Freddie Poor, announced his retirement in March. A life-long resident of Galveston County, Allen started his career with the Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy in May, 1980, moving into full-time service in 1982. After a short stint working in Patrol, he moved into the Bailiff and Court Security Division, an area he worked and excelled in until his promotion to Chief Deputy in 2009. “Donny has long been an important part of the Sheriff’s Office, and we’ll certainly miss having him around every day,” said Poor. Allen, noted for his deep involvement in the community he served, chose re-

Mary Armstead

Edwin Garrott Armstead

Donny Allen

tirement to spend more time with his family. He will remain with the Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy. (

I Can Fly, I Can Fly! Oops! Everytime the cops come for 27-year old Joe Thornburg, and they often do, he runs, or jumps or dives. Once he jumped into Clear Creek to get away but most recently when Friendswood Police tracked him to an apartment in Pearland, Joe dove from a second story window onto the concrete parking lot below. After a few repairs from the hard landing, he landed in the county jail. No bond.


The old “Stuff It In Your Britches” trick didn’t work

Edwin Garrott Armstead, 50, and his wife Mary Armstead, 36, sit in the Galveston County Jail after being indicted for stealing $1.5 million from his mother. They spent the money on a trip to Hawaii, new cars, land, and generally high-rolling. Their request for a bail reduction was denied by State District Judge Susan Criss.(ThePoliceNews.Net)

From Reserve Deputy to Chief Deputy

Joe Thornburg

Amanda Hall, 27, of Houston, was jailed in Galveston County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $291,586 and Eric Ramirez, 31, of Crosby, on bonds totaling $310,000 charged with robbery after they pulled a knife on a man and took his prescription pills. Hall was also wanted by Baytown Police and Ramirez was wanted in Harris County. (


Rx For Arrest

Amanda Hall

Eric Ramirez

How to Get a Crook Off The Roof

Call the dogs and helicopters Webster police detectives doing covert surveillance along the IH-45 corridor spotted ex-convict Gustavo Guadalupe Aybar, 24, burglarizing a truck. Aybar spotted police, a chase ensued, Aybar crashed his car and fled on foot to the roof of a nearby building. Police with dog’s and helicopters brought him down and locked him up. His ex-convict status will probably be changed back to ‘convict.’ (

Gustavo Guadalupe Aybar

37 Years...Cont. from pg 1 and the freedom that would accompany it. As she left that morning, her mother reminded her to call home after school to let her know what time to pick her up after class. The call never came. When Kim failed to call or arrive home, her parents, Elmer and Carol Pitchford, began a frantic search for their daughter. This was out of the ordinary as Kimberly always let them know her whereabouts or ask permission before changing plans. After speaking with Kim's friends, the Pitchford's retraced their daughter's steps that Wednesday. She boarded a bus to school, attended morning classes and had lunch with her best friend, Karen Fram. Karen said she loaned Kim money for lunch and that she was upset over her boyfriend being in jail. Her parents were not aware she had a boyfriend. During 6th period class, it was reported that Kimberly was visibly upset and several boys were teasing her about crying. When the final bell rang, Kim was required to report to detention by 3:45 p.m. for being tardy to a class. After detention at 4:30 she crossed the street to the Stop N Go convenience store then returned to Dobie by 5 o'clock to begin her driving class. The class ended at six and the next group of students began arriving for the class. They were questioned but none recalled seeing which way Kim may have gone. After an exhaustive search that day with no results, Elmer Pitchford notified authorities that his daughter was missing. The Harris County Sheriff's Office dispatched Deputy W. L. Norman to the Pitchford residence. A missing person's report was filed that evening and an investigation was initiated. Earlier that day, two boys driving home from hunting, noticed what appeared to be a coat caught on the fence next to a wooden bridge on County Road 65 in Brazoria County. The oldest boy remembered seeing it the day before and decided to stop for a closer look. The coat was out of reach and as they walked back to their truck they made the ghastly discovery of the scantly clad body of a young woman, lying face down in the bayou below. Horrified, the boys raced home to alert their father of the discovery. He returned to the bridge with the boys and used a long branch to touch the mannequin-like body to determine if it was human. It was, in fact, a real body being held against the bridge piling by the force of water’s current. The family drove to the nearest home and called the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office. In 1973, Sheriff Robert (Bob) Gladney did not have the advantage of modern

day CSI technology, but no murder investigation moved more swiftly than the one he lead on that Friday afternoon. The skill and expertise by his investigators would make CSI-Miami's Lt. Horatio Caine look like a rookie. Deputy David Banta arrived at the scene shortly after noon, secured the area and called for investigators. Minutes later, detectives converged on the scene along with Justice of the Peace, A.L. Lee. Identification Deputy Sam Chamberlin assisted Chief ID Deputy T.O. Bock photographing the body in 35mm black and white film while the body was still in the water. Bock found some articles in the clothing that helped make positive identification. Judge Lee met with Sheriff Gladney and ordered the body removed from the water. “After close examination of the body I pronounced her dead. She was dressed in a blue and red dress and a white bra. She had two small band rings on her left hand and one on her right hand. We checked the two pockets on her dress and found a receipt where she had made an application for a driver’s license on the 2nd day of January 1973, and a small box containing lip rouge and a ball point pen. She also had a small gold cross on a chain around her neck,” said Judge Lee. He then ordered the body removed to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston for an autopsy. Lancaster Funeral Home of Angleton transported Kim’s body from the scene with a brief stop at the mortuary. Deputy Bock went to mortuary and took several more photographs then went to the Sheriff’s Office photo lab where he processed the film. The photographs were given to Investigator B.R. Sanders to aid in his investigation. Sanders said “At the conclusion of the autopsy, Dr. Shelton Green advised the deputies that preliminary examination revealed everything to be consistent with death by strangulation. It also concluded that a small, possibly a three strand rope, had been used and that it did not completely encircle the victim’s neck. Investigators had the crime scene photos and autopsy results before meeting with the Pitchfords that evening. An astonishing accomplishment, considering it was 1973. Within hours of filing a missing person report with local law enforcement in Harris County, the family of Kimberly Pitchford heard a knock at their Houston residence on Wynlea Street. Sheriff Gladney, Investigators Sanders, and Bock of the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office were at the door of their home bearing news that all parents dread to hear. Their daughter’s body had been recovered from a drainage ditch and she had been strangled to death, murdered. Mrs. Pitchford became hysterical over

the devastating news, but soon collected herself with the support of her husband to tell the officers the details they had learned leading up to their daughter’s disappearance. Shaken and through bitter tears Carol Pitchford described Kim as an average student at Dobie that was excited about getting her driver’s license and gaining more independence. Each school break she always got a job at a store in Almeda Mall to earn her own spending money. She’d gotten a new stereo and clothes for Christmas, enjoyed going to the Skate Ranch, shopping with friends at the mall and things overall were going her way. Even though she was beginning to buck them on rules she always informed them of her whereabouts. She had two close wonderful friends, Karen Fram and Jane Hathorne who helped them search for Kim and went with the Harris County Deputy checking out their favorite hangouts like the Olympic Jump Center across the street from Almeda Mall to see if anyone had seen her. They couldn’t imagine a single person that would want to harm their daughter. None of this made sense. The dispatcher notified Deputy Norman to return to the Pitchford home where he was updated on the latest developments by Sheriff Gladney. The investigators of both counties compared notes and decided to split into teams to conduct interviews with Kim’s family members, friends, classmates and teachers. Her boyfriend had been in jail for a minor offense since January 1st and could add little to the investigation other than names of local thugs and drug dealers. The driving instructor, Arthur Clark, noticed a VW parked in the school’s parking lot that he didn’t recognize, but didn’t see where Kim went after she got out of the car. Family members of the other students reported seeing someone fitting Kim’s description walking towards the adjacent school parking lot but were uncertain if she got into someone’s car or continued walking. It was as if she vanished into thin air. The detectives scoured over area crime reports searching for any similar attacks on young ladies and found nothing of significance. However, Alison Craven, a 12 year old girl that lived a mile away had gone missing on November 9, 1971. By February of 1972, some of her skeletal remains were found in a field near her home and the missing bones were found later that month in a field two miles away in Pearland, TX. This appeared to be an isolated case as 24-year old William Doyle Shuflin, Jr. had been convicted of her murder. Yet the body of another Pasadena ISD student, Mildred Knighten, 15, was found stabbed to death at a construction site in Pasadena, Texas. Were there three different killers stalking young girls in

the same area? One caller reported a suspicious man in a 68/69 green Corvette at Stuchbery Elementary (near Dobie) on January 20, 1973. The same color and type of car Dean Corll bought for one of his accomplices, David Brooks. We may never truly know the depths of this evil clan that were responsible for the murder and mutilation of 27 boys and young men over a 3-year span that came to light in August of ‘73. Corll’s accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. and David Owen Brooks were both actively dating young ladies. Robert Abel, League City Police Department’s prime suspect for the unsolved “killing field” murders that occurred between 1983 and 1991 also lived within one minute of Dobie in 1973 and two blocks from the Craven’s residence. Abel owned several properties in the area from the late sixties to 1979. The Pitchford family heard rumors that convicted Tennessee serial killer Paul Reid had attended Dobie. He did, but long after Kimberly’s disappearance. For months investigators ran down every lead received from other law enforcement agencies as far away as Dallas along with tips generated by the Houston Post’s PUBLIC PROTECTOR that offered a reward, but like clouds in Carly Simon’s coffee nothing was clear except that a young lady was senselessly murdered. Although Mrs. Pitchford has since passed away, her family still maintains total confidence that the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, the oldest law enforcement agency in Texas, will solve their daughter’s case. Kimberly would have celebrated her 54th birthday April 9th of this year and would likely be looking forward to seeing her high school classmates in June for their 35th class reunion. Instead there will be an empty chair at both tables. Readers who may have any information that could help investigators solve this case and help bring closure to Kimberly’s family, please contact the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office at (979) 849-2441. Barbara Gibson is a former administrator for a national missing person's organization, having been involved in over 100 cases. She is an independent investigative reporter, focusing on cold cases. E-mail her at Debera Phinny is a true crime buff and assists Gibson with research and investigations of cases.

The Police News - Page 

Governor Reappoints Porretto AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry recently reappointed Galveston Police Lt. Henry Porretto to the Crime Victims’ Institute Advisory Council. The council advises the Crime Victims’ Institute regarding the compilation and study of information on the impact of crime to victims, relatives, guardians and society, and assists the institute to develop policies to prevent the victimization of society by crime. Porretto is a Commander in the Op-

Potty Call LA MARQUE — Melvin Edwards, 29, was wanted by La Marque police for beating and choking his common-law wife with a belt and a piece of cable. When they went to arrest him they found him hiding inside a portable outdoor toilet.


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erations Bureau of the Galveston Police Department. He received both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Mountain State University . Porretto is reappointed for a term to expire Jan. 31, 2012. (

TEXAS EXECUTIONS SchScheduled Execution: April 22, 2010 William Josef Berkley White man born January 16, 1979 Education Level: 10th Grade Occupation: Laborer Native of: Schwavish Hall, Germany On March 10, 2000, during the night time hours, Berkley attacked and kidnapped 18 year old Sophia Martinez in El Paso , Michael Adam Sigala Texas . He took her to a deserted area where he raped, robbed and shot her five times in her head with a 25 caliber pistol. Two days later, the body of the Burges High School senior was found in Northeast El Paso. A jury of seven women and five men convicted him of capital murder and sentenced him to death after an eightday trial in 2002. Scheduled Execution: April 27, 2010 Samuel Bustamante Hispanic born December 11, 1969 Education Level: 10th Grade Occupation: Laborer Native of Wharton County, Texas In 2001, Samuel Bustamante was convicted of the Jan. 18, 1998 fatal stabbing of 27-yearold Rafael Alvarado of Richmond and sentenced to die by lethal injection. Bustamante Samuel Bustamante and three other men drove from El Campo to Rosenberg where they picked up Alvarado near a bar shortly after it closed at 2 a.m. In the back of a pickup, Bustamante stabbed Alvarado 10 times before he fell from the vehicle. His body was found the next morning in a ditch. “Alvarado tried to escape, but Bustamante and an accomplice, Walter Escamilla, tried to pull him back in, but Alvarado managed to break free and fall to the ground. Escamilla yelled at the driver of the truck to stop, ‘ but by the time he did, appellant and the others were unable to see Alvarado because

of the darkness,’” the Herald reported. “Bustamante said he wanted the victim’s boots, but after the men walked around the area for several minutes without finding the victim, Bustamante decided that they should leave. Another accomplice, Dedrick Depriest, said that, had they found the victim, they probably would have robbed him.” When Alvarado’s body was found, his jewelry, money and wallet were undisturbed. On April 20, 2001, authorities took Bustamante from death row to the Wharton County where he pleaded guilty to the Feb. 13, 1998 murder of a 60-yearold homeless man outside of El Campo. 329th District Court Judge Daniel Sklar sentenced him to 40 years in prison, to be served in concurrently with the death sentence. Bustamante and his brother, Bill both confessed to the murder of Lloyd Harold Turner because they wanted to “work out some aggravation.” Having already killed a pregnant dog earlier that night, the two stopped for hamburgers and fries before driving to the U.S. 59 overpass south of El Campo where the homeless man was living. Bill Bustamante had taken the man food and other items in the months before the attack. That night Samuel Bustamante stabbed him 10 to 20 times with a knife, then his brother hit him with a baseball bat. They left the loose change in the man’s pockets after the killing. Bill Bustamante pleaded guilty to the Wharton County killing in October of 1998 and is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence. Dedrick Depriest, 23, and Arthur Escamilla, 32, both pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and received eight-year sentences in 2001. Prior criminal history: North Carolina Department of Corrections on a one year sentence for Forgery, confined 6 months, released on parole; #503412 on a 5 year sentence from Wharton County for one count of Burglary of a Building, released on parole to Dallas County; returned from parole with a four year sentence for one count of possession of a prohibited weapon, released on parole on 2/16/1991.



Santa Fe Police Department

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JOB SUMMARY: Under supervision, receives requests for police, fire, and emergency medical services; dispatches public safety units; operates various telecommunications equipment; prepares reports and maintains files; must be available to work any shift, holiday, and weekends as needed for scheduling purposes; and performs other assigned duties as required. REQUIRED EDUCATION, DEGREES, CERTIFICATES, AND LICENSES: High school graduate or equivalent; TLETS II certification preferred or ability to acquire TLETS II certification within twelve months of employment; and ability to obtain appointment as notary public. EXPERIENCE, TRAINING, KNOWLEDGE, AND SKILLS: Ability to understand manuals in order to record work activities, keep records and work with computers; skilled in the operation and maintenance of a number of office machines and equipment such as computers, typewriters, copiers, telephones and facsimile machines; skilled in filing, typing, and word processing; skill and experience preferred in the operation of computerized systems in order to enter and retrieve police-related information; knowledge of the English language, including proper usage, grammar, spelling, and punctuation; ability to perform a variety of tasks, often changing quickly from one task to another without loss of efficiency and composure; competently performs under stress when confronted with emergency and critical situations; ability to exhibit confidentiality; and ability to work without constant supervision. Previous dispatch experience preferred. Spanish an asset. BENEFITS: The City offers competitive benefits, including vacation, sick leave, retirement plan, and medical insurance. HOW TO APPLY: Obtain employment application at Complete and submit application to the City of Santa Fe Personnel Office, 12002 Hwy. 6, P. O. Box 950, Santa Fe, TX 77510-0950.

2010 Texas Police Games Hosted By:

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REGISTRATION -- Will begin at 12 Noon on Wednesday June 16, 2010 at the Holiday Inn, 3777 N. Expressway, Brownsville , telephone 956.547.1500. RESERVE OFFICERS -- Reserve Officers with at least one (1) years active service to his or her Law Enforcement agency are now eligible. Verification from the head of the agency represented must provide written authentication of the active one (1) year status. RETIRED MILITARY LAW ENFORCEMENT -- Retired military Law Enforcement personnel whose career duty assignment was law enforcement/investigations are eligible. Firefighters & Guests FIREFIGHTERS -- Firefighters are invited to participate in the 2010 Games. Firefighter eligibility is indicated on each event schedule link. GUESTS -- Each authorized competitor can sponsor a Guest (Must be 18 years of age, with exceptions) to participate in the 2010 Games (except where excluded). The Guest must compete in the same event as their sponsor! All Guests must complete an application. Guest eligibility is indicated on each event schedule link. For more information log onto TexasPoliceGames.Org

The Police News - Page 11

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The University of Houston-Clear Lake Police Department is now hiring for

These are NOT wanted fugitives, but Registered Sex Offenders. If observed residing at any address other than the one listed below the photo, please notify the Galveston County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office 409-766-2320

POLICE OFFICER and POLICE DISPATCHER Alexander, Gary Wayne 4446 7th Street Bacliff , TX W/M 09-15-60 Victim: Female/7 Sexual Assault of a Child Risk Level: None Assigned

Allen, Steven Ray 4445 13th St #A Bacliff , TX W/M 10-23-86 Victim: Female/4 Indecency with child by Contact Risk Level: Medium

The University of Houston-Clear Lake is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer supporting workforce diversity and doesn't not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or veterans' status. The University hires only individuals authorized to work in the United States and does not observe hiring practices that will result in the displacement of qualified United States citizens or permanent residents. We reserve the right to close, extend or

Blevins, James Michael 1143 East Canal Crystal Beach, TX W/M 01-01-47 Risk Level: Male/4 Sexual Assault of a Child Risk Level: Medium

Bradley, William Michael 6925 Ave L #10 Santa Fe , TX W/M 11-05-89 Victim: Female/15 Indecency with a child by exposure Risk Level: None Assigned

cancel a search and not fill a position. Applicants should park in Lot R across the street from the front entrance of the Bayou Building. Tokens to exit the parking lot are available in Human Resources. Check out our Job Opportunities at UHCL by visiting

Braggs, Lemandale Dwayne 2813 Ave C Dickinson , TX B/M 11-27-76 Victim: Female/19 Sexual Assault Risk Level: Medium

Compton, Dennis Adam 18934 Murphy Road Santa Fe, TX W/M 05-07-70 Victim: Female/13 Indecency with a Child by Contact Risk Level: None Assigned

Hargraves, Joshua Wayne 1416 Kane Lane High Island , TX W/M 12-07-87 Victim: Female/12 Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Risk Level: None Assigned

Odom, Amelia Elizabeth (aka Callihan) 1020 Ave D Bacliff , TX W/F 08-14-52 Victim: Female/16 Indecency with a Child by Contact Risk Level: None Assigned

Velez-Santos, Juan Luis 4600 Bayshore Dr #117 Bacliff , TX W/M 10-29-88 Victim: Female/5 Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Risk Level: None Assigned

Werbiski, James Lee 615 24th Street #47 San Leon , TX W/M 08-29-59 Victim:Female/14 Sexual Assault of a Child Risk Level: Medium The Police News - Page 13

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Oops! We Did It Again In our February edition George Lee Grimes, 29, was shown on the Busted and Cuffed page arrested for Theft of a Bait George Lee Grimes Bike. Grimes wife called very upset that we got the charge wrong. He was not arrested for theft of a bait bike, she said. He was in fact arrested for Assault, Family Violence. We apologize for this error. Editor

Officer Appeals Firing Don’t Hack Me Mo! G A LV E S TON Galveston police officer Jonathan Coward (R) confers with his TMPA attorney Greg Cagle during Coward’s arbitration hearing seeking to overturn his firing by Police Chief Charles Wiley. Coward was fired for failing to go to his patrol district for several hours following roll call in August of last year. (

41-yearold Sydney Momoh of Rosharon surrendered to authorities after his fiancée accused him of punching and hitting her with a machete. (

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The Police News - Page 15

The Police News April 2010