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updated 12:55 PM UTC, Oct 14, 2018



Martial arts instructor charged with sexual assault

Troy Lee Smith, Jr.Troy Lee Smith, Jr.


WOODVILLE – A Woodville martial arts instructor was arrested for an alleged sex crime last week.

Troy Lee Smith, Jr., was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 28 and is currently in the Tyler County Jail on a $150,000 bond set by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford. A warrant for Smith’s arrest was issued on the day prior. He is charged with Sexual Assault of a Child.

The warrant was issued after a former student of Smith’s martial arts academy reported abuse while studying under Smith.

Smith, an accomplished martial artist, had operated the Grandmaster Smith Academy of Martial Arts in Woodville for several years.

The investigation into the allegation is ongoing and there is no further information at present, according to Sgt. Brian Seales with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office.

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Fugitive sex offender arrested after manhunt



Brian Bevelhymer 08302018FRED – The three-day hunt for a fugitive sex offender ended last Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office arrested Brian Bevelhymer, 51, of Warren, in the Fred area. On Tuesday afternoon, TCSO received a tip that a man matching

Bevelhymer’s description was seen walking on FM 1943 East in Warren and had been picked up by a passerby headed toward Fred.

Deputies in the Fred area were able to locate the vehicle with the caller’s assistance, as the caller followed the vehicle.

When the deputies initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, the suspect provided them with a false name.

TCSO began searching for Bevelhymer on Friday, Aug. 17 when he allegedly removed his ankle monitor and took off. Bevelhymer was indicted on a felony aggravated sexual assault of a child charge from an April 2017 incident. According to TCSO he was out on bond and required to wear the ankle monitor as a condition of the bond.

Bevelhymer is currently in the Tyler County Jail on charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child/Violation of Bond and Fail to Identify: Fugitive from justice.

In a post on its Facebook page, TCSO said it would like to thank everyone who assisted by sharing a post about Bevelhymer that went out on Friday, providing tips and reporting possible sightings.

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Six injured in multiple-vehicle crash



On Monday morning at approximately 9 a.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to a four-vehicle crash in US-190 in Tyler County, which occurred near CR 4040.

Initial reports indicate that a 2003 Jeep was traveling eastbound on US-190. A Honda passenger vehicle was traveling westbound on US-190 followed by a 2017 Jeep and a 2009 Dodge Ram pickup truck. For an unknown reason, the driver of the 2003 Jeep crossed the center dividing line and struck the Honda. After colliding with the Honda, the Jeep then struck the 2017 Jeep and continued off the roadway. The impact of the second collision caused the 2017 Jeep to collide with the Dodge pickup truck.

The driver of the 2003 Jeep, 34-year-old Jason Barrow of Wharton, was transported by medical helicopter to Conroe Regional hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the Honda, 80-year-old Alton Wolf of Colmesneil, was transported by ambulance to the Tyler County hospital in Woodville with serious injuries.

The driver of the 2017 Jeep, 43-year-old Annette Whittenberger of Killeen, was transported to Conroe Regional hospital with unknown injuries.  Her passenger, 17-year-old Haeli Whittenberger, was transported by ambulance to a local hospital in Lufkin with serious injuries.

The driver of the Dodge, 42-year-old Ryan Polly of Houston, and his two passengers sustained minor injuries but refused medical treatment at the scene.
All information is preliminary as troopers work to determine the exact factors that contributed to this crash.

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District Attorney Cloy removed from office



WOODVILLE – A jury decided on Monday, Aug. 20 to remove Tyler County District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy from office.

Cloy, who has largely been absent from office, since winning election in 2014, was put on trial following a petition filed by a citizen which cites incompetency and official misconduct as reasons for removal from office.

Cloy did not appear at her trial, which was presided over by K. Michael Mayes of Montgomery

County. Cary Kirby, the elected County Attorney for Angelina County, served as special prosecutor. 

Following Kirby’s approval of the judgment to remove Cloy, she was removed on Tuesday.

Anne Pickle, who served as Assistant DA, was appointed interim DA following a May 25 hearing, which suspended Cloy from her position. Pickle will serve as DA until Lucas Babin is sworn-in on Jan. 1, 2019.

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