Rusk, Texas: In January 2004, death row inmate Richard Aaron Cobb was convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County’s 2nd Judicial District Court, CAUSE NO. 15054. According to a TDCJ summary of the September 2, 2002 incident in Rusk, Texas, Richard Cobb and codefendant Buenka Adams abducted a man and two women during a convenience store robbery. They fatally shot the man, sexually assaulted and shot the two women. The three victims’ bodies were left in a field near Alto, Texas. The two female store clerks survived. Both Richard Cobb and Buenka Adams were convicted of capital murder in Cherokee County, Texas and sentenced to death.
Information based upon Richard Cobb’s direct appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals indicates that Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth dropped felony gun possession charges on a habitual criminal, named W.T., for his jail cell testimony against Cobb. W.T. was strategically placed in the Cherokee County jail cell (in Rusk) with Richard Cobb during the Appellant’s trial and testified he overheard Cobb implicating codefendant Buenka Adams. W.T., a convicted felon, was incarcerated in Rusk, TX for felony possession of a firearm. Appellant Richard Cobb also argued in his Motion that Elmer Beckworth’s office failed to disclose to defense attorneys one victim’s financial arrangement to have her story/testimony broadcasted on the syndicated “Montel Williams’ Show.” The witness was also in the process of writing a book detailing her ordeal.
During a motion for a new trial, Richard Cobb’s attorneys argued the fact that Cherokee County District Attorney Investigator Randy Hatch had made calls to W.T.’s parole officers asking for leniency on their star witness’ behalf. Felony gun charges were completely dropped against W.T. for his cooperation. To date, W.T.’s Cherokee County record has been expunged. District Attorney Elmer Beckworth denied making ‘deals’ with the felon W.T.; however Beckworth told the TXCRIMAPP charges against W.T. were “just not prosecutable” because W.T. was stopped on a four-wheeler on his way to “target practice” in the woods. The fact is W.T.’s testimony was never needed to convict the Cobb/Adams duo of murder; forensics and material evidence were overwhelming against them both. Plus the two surviving victims’ testimony.
W.T’s unecessary testimony was merely a ruse to bolster the district attorney’s case. And let’s not forget who W.T. is related to in Rusk, Texas…an easy ploy to get a friend’s son off of parole altogether. Former DA Investigator Randy Hatch vouched for a convicted felon on parole caught with an illegal firearm, despite the State having ample testimony from the two surviving victims at trial. There never was a TDCJ Parole Revocation Hearing to determine W.T.’s felon gun possession charges. In fact, W.T. was released early from his parole and his identity wiped clean with the help of the district attorney’s office, for being a supposed jailhouse snitch.
District Attorney Elmer Beckworth’s statement (in the Appellant’s brief) to the court regarding dropping his State witness’ felony gun possession charge:
“My experience in over 20 years of felony prosecution the citizens of Cherokee County and East Texas generally are not real fond of weapons offenses, very difficult to get a jury in a felon in possession with a firearm. And in situations where someone is hunting the weapon is in their home or something like this where it’s target practicing and there is no other crimes involved or activities indicating a danger situation it is very difficult to get a conviction and most of those cases are not prosecuted and are declined on the basis of insufficient evidence.”
Quite the opposite stance Elmer Beckworth and the local Cherokee County media takes when probationers have their community service revoked for “target practice” during ‘slow news daze.’ The Jacksonville Daily Progress even reports in a convenient article the fact that Texas state law prohibits felons keeping a firearm even within their home, until five years have passed after their parole or probation is over. Texas law in 2002 appropriately applied to Mr. Beckworth’s star witness W.T. states it is “unlawful for a convicted felon to possess a firearm outside of their residence at any time.” Deals to strike the arrest record of a convicted felon are also beyond the pale, except in Cherokee County, Texas.
Attorneys for Richard Cobb produced letters written by W.T. to Elmer Beckworth and his office referencing W.T.’s meetings with Beckworth and investigator Randy Hatch, stating: “At our meeting in Mr. Hatch’s office on 12-19-02 you agreed to completely clear this charge as well as try to have the parole hold lifted so I could get released.” Another letter was written by Beckworth on January 10, 2003. Although it was addressed “to whom it may concern,” Beckworth testified that it was sent to [W.T.'s] parole officer, Roy Shamblin. The letter stated: “Please be advised that this office will not seek prosecution on [W.T.] for the offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon. If anything further is needed please contact this office.” Signed Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr. and Randy Hatch.
Apparenlty District Attorney Elmer Beckworth did make a sweet deal with convicted felon W.T. We can always count on local media to avoid reporting actual court documents and prosecutors to lie about actual proceedings. The ends always justify the means.
Richard Cobb’s capital murder conviction was affirmed by the appeals court and Cobb remains on death row in Huntsville. The Appellant’s arguments were predictably immaterial to the Court of Criminal Appeals; however they shed light on how effortlessly Cherokee County’s district attorney office lies about the deals they cut, when it is politically expedient. Especially when felons are used to bolster their cases. A more progressive court of appeals may have released these murderers back into society and agreed with the Appellant’s points of error made by the Cherokee County, TX prosecutor. Cronyism with unreported and nondisclosed felons is a common Cherokee County district court tactic. And when the judicial errors are revealed, the local newspapers report a crackdown of the exact same crimes ignored prior, complete with embellished police reports. Why? Because Cherokee County is corrupt.
And innocent rail-roaded defendants in the region can expect even the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct, collusion between State Witnesses and Investigators, a la the jailhouse snitch and Randy Hatch, and complete baldface lies to be sanctioned by the higher appellate courts.
The argument is not that Richard Cobb and/or Buenka Adams were obviously guilty of murder and should be put to death. The question is why would the Cherokee County District Attorney deliberately risk putting the trial jury’s verdict in jeopardy by swearing in a convicted felon (who they made deals with) on the stand. Why rely on a jail house snitch to testify when two surviving witnesses would have presented unimpeachable evidence against the defendants? Why? Because Cherokee County is corrupt.
Richard Cobb, death row
Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth blames another rape victim for being “too embarrassed to go to trial” during an interview in the August 19, 2008 issue of the Jacksonville Daily Progress. During June and July, Beckworth’s office offered probation and a 24 month prison sentence to Jacksonville, TX resident Stephen Oliver. Oliver, age 48, pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually assaulting a local teenage boy for over a 2-1/2 year period.
Beckworth, pleased with the light sentence of the child rapist, stated to the Daily Progress the victim would “recant his story” if the case went to trial. Of course Cherokee County residents, voters and readers of the Daily Propagandist are too stupid to realize even teenage minors don’t take the stand in cases of sex assault; their statements are enough to convict offenders for life. Stephen Oliver will spend less time in prison than he did sexually assaulting and ruining the life of a innocent youth.
After serving a few months of his prison term, Stephen Oliver can join the following list of registered Cherokee County Texas sex offenders given probation by Elmer Beckworth, whose names were released in 2006:
• Frank Birden Guinn, age 82, Alto TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 12-year-old female;
• Michael Morrison, 48, Alto TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;
• Gary Mark Hayles, 43, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female;
• Wesley Boyd Mohr, 60, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;
• William Barry Travis, 54, Bullard TX, aggravated sexual assault of a child of an 8-year-old female;
• Matthew Isaiah White, 17, Bullard TX, indecency by exposure involving a 15-year-old female;
• Christopher Steven Goleman, 33, Gallatin TX, aggravated sexual assault of a disabled 39 year-old female;
• Tommy Junior Allen, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;
• William Tracy Arnold, 42, Jacksonville TX, burglary and felony involving a 34-year-old female;
• James Travis Baker, 22, Jacksonville TX, indecency of a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;
• James Isaac Barnett, 18, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child of a 14-year-old-female;
• Brian D. Black, 19, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 10-year-old female;
• Vernon Willis Blackshire, 29, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;
• Anthony Eugene Boone, 38, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year-old male;
• Cole Joseph Brooks, 22, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;
• Christopher Lee Calley, 25, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 3-year-old female;
• Gark Michael Clark, Jacksonville TX, 52, sexual assault of a child of a 16-year-old girl;
• Arturo Allen Cochran, 26, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;
• Carlos Jerome Conner, 37, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;
• Steven Daille, 58, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• James William Dennis, 64, Jacksonville TX, agg. kidnapping/sex assault of a 38-year-old female;
• Jose Ramon Galan, 53, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 9-year-old female;
• Jonathan Keith Glenn, 23, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;
• James Henry Golden, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 36-year-old female;
• Nathan Wayne Grimes, 61, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 9-year-old female;
• Ollie Ray Grogan, 62, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 5-year-old male and 7-year-old female;
• Nickolas Noel Harwell, 31, Jacksonville TX, two counts of aggravated sex assault of a 12-year-old female;
• Kevin Lyn Hawes, 42, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old;
• Christopher Michael Hennessy, Jacksonville TX, 25, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female; absconded.
• William Lee Hershiser, 48, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Roger Hunter, 72, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;
• Aaron Lee Joslin, 25, Jacksonville TX, two counts of sexual performance of a 7-year-old male;
• Robert Michael Lane, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 10-year-old female;
• Jackie Neal Locke, 46, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 13-year-old female;
• Ben Mallard, 47, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;
• James Donald McClain, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 20-year-old female, and 11-year-old female;
• Leroy Edward McCuen, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 9-year-old female;
• Kenneth Ray Messick, 59, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female and 16-year-old female;
• Stacy Bernard Mills, 39, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 11-year-old female;
• Tracey Dewayne Moseley, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by exposure, of a 15-year-old female;
• Jamie Lee Newburn, 28, Jacksonville TX, two counts of attempted sexual performance of a 14-year-old female;
• Sammy Carroll Newman, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;
• Patrick Brian Norsworthy, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of an 8-year-old female;
• Derrick Wendell Owens, 34, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 9-year-old female;
• Kevin Wayne Patton, 36, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 14-year-old female;
• Glenn Durrell Pierce, 49 years of age, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male;
• Bruce Townsend Powell, 48, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 30-year-old male;
• Jimmy Reed, 47, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 25-year-old female and unknown female;
• Mandell Rhodes Jr., 43, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 52-year-old female;
• Thompson Ward Stricklen, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 11-year-old female;
• Paul Arlen Taylor, 51, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 13-year-old female;
• Terry Lawrence Taylor, 48, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;
• James L. Wells, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old female and 6-year-old female;
• Johnny Decole Wells, 25, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Larry Wayne White, 45, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;
• Timothy Kevin Zweck, 32, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Robby Lee Buffalo, 32, Rusk TX, prohibited sexual assault (incest) of a 11-year-old female;
• Richard Dean Davis, 47, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;
• Nile James Dean, 39, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 8-year-old female;
• James William Hammons, 45, Rusk TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;
• Jason Aaron Husband, 29, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a child of a 15-year-old female;
• Elbert James Patton, 90, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female and 9-year-old female; deceased.
• Delian Brenanard Session, 43, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a 34-year-old female and 11-year-old-female;
• Troy Gibbs Sutherland, 31 years of age, Rusk TX, attempted sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Aubrey Thomas Taylor, 48 years of age, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;
• Dale Joseph Tylich, 51, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a female less than 16 years of age;
• Charles Clifton Bruner, 45, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;
• Michael Servetus Childs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;
• Tommy Robert Husband, 46 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 16-year-old female;
• Michael Sean Lee, 33 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 13-year-old female;
• Timmey Martin, 41 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;
• Michael Ryan McMichael, 34 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 12-year-old female;
• Martin Otis Pitts, 51 years of age, Troup TX, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a 7-year-old female;
• Bryan Thomas Toombs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female.
• Alisha Arriola Corley, 36 years of age, Wells TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male.
That’s your Cherokee County Texas district courts hard at work. The District Attorney’s office makes sure assault arrests of their grand and petite jury foreman never sees the light of day, either. Do a county by county comparison.
§ 22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense ifThe offense is a third degree felony if the offense is committed against an arresting officer or a victim of family violence.
(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes
bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with
imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or
(3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical
contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably
believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or
Anderson County Sheriff candidate Steven Quick, age 46, was arrested on a domestic violence charge on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at their Palestine, TX residence. Both Quick and his girlfriend are Anderson County Jail employees; Mr. Quick being the former Chief Jailer and Democratic candidate vying for Anderson County Sheriff in November’s general elections. The assault appears to be isolated to a domestic dispute involving the dog kennels at their trailer house.
Steven Quick, Palestine TX
Texas Occupational Code
CHAPTER 53. CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION
§ 53.002. APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. This chapter does
not apply to:
(1) the Supreme Court of Texas, a person licensed
under the court’s authority on behalf of the judicial department of
government, or an applicant for a license issued under the court’s
authority on behalf of the judicial department of government;
(2) a peace officer or an applicant for a license as a
peace officer described by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal
(3) a person who:
(A) is licensed by the Texas State Board of
Medical Examiners, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the State
Board of Dental Examiners, or the State Board of Veterinary Medical
(B) has been convicted of a felony under Chapter
481 or 483 or Section 485.033, Health and Safety Code.
Under Title 3 of the Texas Occupational Code and the Medical Practice Act, autonomous state agencies regulate the licensing of doctors, dentists, pharmacists, acupuncturists and other health providers. Such as the Texas Medical Board and Board of Dental Examiners. It is this dichotomy of legal statutes that allows arrested and convicted offenders to continue to practice their licensed professions unnoticed within the county. Normally, the arrest of Cherokee County professionals and subsequent dismissal of charges goes unreported. Especially those members of the local Chamber of Commerce or related to the county’s ‘Politico.’ The district attorney’s office doesn’t want anyone to spill the beans.
The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) compiles public databases to review license holders’ disciplinary actions. The Texas State Pharmacy Board also reviews its members. And these professional boards don’t look kindly at license holders not reporting their assaultive offenses and continuing to operate in health related services. Because the local Cherokeean Herald and Jacksonville Daily Progress take their marching orders from the Rusk Texas courthouse (and refuse to print articles when prosecutor’s cousins are arrested), readers can be informed of Cherokee County inmate bookings via the online VINELink. Anderson County jails, however are routinely offline. Crime victims may choose to register with the service: The Texas Statewide Automated Victim Notification System (SAVNS) that gives offenders’ county jail custody and case status. The Texas SAVNS hotline is available 24/7 at 1-877-TX4-VINES (1-877-894-8463).
TDCJ also offers inmate information at their state-level facilities via their website at : http://22.214.171.124/webapp/TDCJ/index2.htm
Under Sec. 153.0045. RULES ON CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION, the boards adopted Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupational Code requiring hearings and stiff penalties when license holders are convicted of crimes.
“The board shall adopt rules and guidelines as necessary to comply with Chapter 53, except to the extent the requirements of this subtitle are stricter than the requirements of that chapter-Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1.12, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.”
A good example from the Texas Medical Board, Fall 2006-
UNPROFESSIONAL OR DISHONORABLE CONDUCT VIOLATIONS:
GOODMAN, JOHN WILLIS, M.D., RUSK, TX, Lic. #D2437
On October 6, 2006, the Texas Medical Board and Dr. Goodman entered into an Agreed Order requiring that he have a chaperone in the room any time he performs a physical examination on any patient and prohibiting him from performing genital or rectal examinations. The action was based on allegations that Dr. Goodman conducted inappropriate genital examinations on several [Rusk State Hospital] inmates in 1998.
Sec. 153.006. CRIMINAL RECORD REPORT.
(a) “The board may receive criminal record reports from any law enforcement agency or another source regarding a license holder or license applicant. ” This is a valuable law and resource to the public when it comes to drug convictions of health professionals, that may otherwise go unreported. As in Dr. Goodman of the Rusk State Hospital in 2006.
Deborah Raissi, wife of Jacksonville, TX City Manager Mo Raissi, pleaded guilty on Monday, June 9, 2008 to possession of marijuana and drunk driving from an earlier arrest in Bullard, TX. Mrs. Rassi was pulled over by Bullard PD on Highway 69, in the wee morning hours back in October 2007. She was offered 2 1/2 years probation, a thousand dollar fine and community service. And the story has been cached away from public scrutiny.
D.Raissi (Courtsey Smith County, TX)
Smith County, Texas:
Precinct 1 Constable Henry Jackson recently facing 10 State charges, ranging from felony tampering with governmental records, official oppression and sexual harassment of a female deputy. Constable Jackson had his bond lowered after an alleged violation, i.e. he continue to operate his unlicensed security company. His bond was originally set at $1 million.
Constable Jackson’s criminal trials began in August, but was postponed for the more sensational “Mineola Swingers’ Club” trial in Smith County. Felony corruption charges were completely dropped during an impromptu meeting with State and County attorneys and Jackson’s defense team. According to the Tyler, TX newspaper, Jackson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and was fined $100. He must complete an overly excessive 6 months probation and 200 hours of community service before returning to work without a criminal record. Constable Henry Jackson runs unopposed in Smith County’s Pct.1 during November’s elections. And that is East Texas politics at its finest hour!
Timothy Adcock, age 25, of Whitehouse, TX pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Tyler’s federal court. He is facing 10 years in federal prison. Having a cousin or two in the prosecutor’s seat at the Rusk, Texas courthouse gives Cherokee County’s variety of counterfeit Christians, wife beating sociopaths and pedophiles absolutely no culpability. Contrasted with Smith County officials who admit child abuse is on the rise in the area.
Henderson County, Texas:
Inmates within the Athens, TX jailhouse are suing Henderson County authorities on a variety of health and sanitation issues. Inmates named in the federal class action suit are seeking punitive damages for neglect.
Shelby County, Texas:
A federal lawsuit claims that Shelby County officials working out of Tenaha, TX have been targeting minorities and motorists during obvious ‘asset seizure’ practices. Innocent people have been forced to sign over their personal effects during traffic stops in the county, to avoid being charged with “money laundering.”
Tenaha, Texas is on a major drug route. US 59
The most recent case to make through the well-disposed US Eastern District Court is 2:2008cv00288 Morrow v. City of Tenaha Deputy City Marshal Barry Washington, et al
The East Texas media has been approvingly quiet in the past when it came to small towns’ “Highway Robbery.” An example that barely saw the light: in 2007, Shelby County Assistant Auditor Marilyn Lout, age 70, stole nearly $200,000 from the county’s Indigent Health Care Fund. Mrs. Lout, a cancer patient and grandmother, had been funneling money to her daughter-in-law in Hardin County. The Texas Attorney General’s office seized other diverted monies and assets of unnamed individuals after a raid on Lout’s Shelbyville, TX home. Marilyn Lout quietly accepted a plea bargain with Shelby County prosecutors of 10 years probation after threatening to “tell all.” This poor East Texas grandma meant business and the sympathetic media in the region has all but buried the misappropriation and theft of taxpayer money.
Marilyn Lout, Shelby County TX auditor
It has come to light that Shelby County officials have been supplementing their county salaries with over $3 million in seized money and property from motorists. The Shelby County officials named in the Morrow lawsuit are not part of a wider Drug Task Force. US Hwy 59, a notorious corridor for drugs from Mexico, travels through greater East Texas and downtown Tenaha.
Tenaha, TX in Shelby County
The back roads of East Texas are prime sources of undocumented revenue for local law enforcement and officers of district courts. The shakedown of out-of-state travelers has been going on for decades in the Piney Woods. And as they say, there are plenty of narcotic interdiction officers along this route willing to violate the 4th Amendment.
US 59 between Marshall and Jefferson, TX [courtesy Wikimedia]
The best advice to motorists traveling this area of East Texas-
Don’t go. Turn around and go home.