Posted by : November 20, 2015
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Property dispute may have lead to mass murders
Monitor Staff Reports
PALESTINE–Close relatives of the mass murder victims on rural property near the Tennessee Colony in Anderson County suspect a motive for the six killings, reported Sunday, Nov. 15.
Carina Kamp, the former wife of Thomas Kamp and the mother of their two sons slain, told the Palestine Herald-Press that it might have resulted from anger over her former husband’s purchase of the property from the murder suspect’s father.
The Anderson County Sheriff took William Hudson, 33, into custody in connection with the multiple homicides on Monday. He was found at his mother’s nearby home. Bond has been set at $2.5 million. The sheriff’s office says law enforcement officers have dealt with Hudson in the past few weeks on an assault call. They say he is not cooperating with the investigation.
Thomas Kamp, 45, purchased the property from Hudson’s father, before he died last December. Hudson resented the sale and Kamp’s construction of a locked chain fence on the property, cutting it off from Hudson’s and public access, according to Carina Kamp.
Taylor said that this is the largest mass murder that he has ever seen, The Palestine Herald-Press reported.
The Kamp’s two eldest sons, Nathan 23, and Austin, 21, were among the bodies found in a pond on Hudson’s property, along with the body of their father Thomas Kamp, 45, and Kade Johnson, 8, the son of Hannah Johnson who was Thomas’ girl friend.
They were found Monday afternoon on property adjoining the camping site. It was not clear if they had also been shot.
Deputies first found the bodies of Carl Johnson, 77, and his daughter, Hannah, shot to death in the travel trailer.
Cynthia Johnson, 73, was the only one to survive the killings.
She ran away from the travel trailer and hid in a nearby wooded area. She called 9-1-1 to report the killings at 7:02 a.m. and identified the suspect. “Apparently he (the killer) did not see her run away,” Taylor said. “She was able to hide, thank God.”
“Mine and my family’s theory is that Mr. Hudson got mad that my husband bought the land and this (the murders) was something he planned on doing,” Carina Kamp said. Sheriff Taylor ascribed no motive for the killings.
The Texas Rangers and Palestine Police Department assisted in the investigation.
Posted by : November 19, 2015
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Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City Police officers took a Scurry man into custody after he led them on a short vehicle chase Nov. 12. Upon a search of his vehicle, drugs and a firearm were found.
It started as a traffic stop. Once the driver was identified as Gary Blanton, 48, a background check revealed he was wanted on a parole violation.
However, when officers asked Blanton to exit the vehicle he put the car into drive and took off.
According to a press release the pursuit was short-lived and Blanton was placed into custody.
In plain view a quantity of methamphetamine was located in the driver’s seat, along with a pistol – later found to be stolen, a bag of marijuana and a scale.
Officers also found another bag of meth along the side of the road where Blanton started to evade police.
Blanton is being held on bonds totaling $47,000 in the Henderson County Jail. He is charged with manufacture and delivery controlled substance more than 4 grams and less than 200 grams, possession of marijuana, evading arrest, tampering with physical Evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, in addition to his original parole violation.
Posted by : November 18, 2015
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Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Henderson County District Attorney reports a 10-year sentence for a Payne Springs man for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.
District Court Judge Dan Moore handed down the sentence to Jason Shane Sorrells, 43, after he pleaded guilty to the charge.
Assistant District Attorneys Justin Weiner and Nancy Rumar prosecuted the case on behalf of the people of Henderson County.
Sorrels was indicted by a Grand Jury based on the execution of a March 2 search warrant.
Investigator Kendell Wellman of the Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant targeting narcotics trafficking at 119 Dardenwood Way in Payne Springs. Sorrells was residing at the residence and trafficking narcotics. Chief Deputy Botie Hillhouse, Captain Bryan Tower, and Lieutenant Charlie Severen, along with Narcotics Investigator Kay Langford and other investigators participated in the execution of the search warrant.
The residence was known to have weapons inside and was also equipped with a video monitoring system. Due to the dangerousness of the situation, the warrant allowed the deputies to enter the home without knocking.
After arriving, investigators found four people inside, including Sorrells, who was located in a bedroom rummaging in a closet. Sorrells refused to comply with verbal commands to stop moving and get on the ground. Due to the noncompliance, Wellman forced Sorrells to the ground and secured him with handcuffs.
Later, Wellman found a .45 caliber handgun just inches from where Sorrells was reaching inside the closet.
A search of the residence produced 2.25 grams of methamphetamine, $763 in cash, numerous plastic baggies, digital scales, eight glass pipes, a firearm, and marijuana.
Additionally, a female juvenile was located in the room with Sorrells when he was detained. Child Protective Services was notified and sent an investigator to the scene.
After the sentence, ADA Weiner stated: “I applaud the tremendous efforts of the deputies at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office who were able to safely bring Sorrells to justice. Their planning, vigilance, and professionalism ensured that a very dangerous situation was handled cautiously and efficiently.”
District Attorney Scott McKee also commended the officers for their work on the case. “Guns and drugs are a very dangerous combination,” McKee said. “I am glad he is off the streets, and the officers executed the warrant without a single injury.”