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updated 5:28 PM UTC, Jul 22, 2019

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Spurger man dead from gunshot wound

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Wilmer TaylorWilmer TaylorSPURGER – On Sunday, July 21st, 2019, at approximately 3pm, Tyler County Deputies responded to a shooting that occurred off County Road 4375, in the Spurger area. Upon arrival, deputies observed a male subject, deceased from an apparent gunshot wound to his chest. The victim was identified as Jeremy Smith, age 47 of Spurger.

Several witnesses remained on scene and deputies were able to identify the shooter as Wilmer Taylor, age 83 of Spurger. Tyler County investigators learned that Taylor and Smith, who were neighbors, were engaged in an altercation over property issues.

Taylor was taken to the Tyler County Jail, charged with murder. A judge will magistrate and set bond for Taylor later today.

An autopsy will be performed on Smith today in Beaumont.

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Jury sentences Tubb to 17 years

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By Chris Edwards
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Tubb MugWOODVILLE – A Tyler County jury handed down a 17-year sentence to a Woodville man last week. The sentence is one District Attorney Lucas Babin said, “sends a strong message” that county residents “have no tolerance for meth.”

Christopher George Tubb, 47, was given the sentence for possession of meth. He will serve his sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice: Institutional Division.

Tubb’s day in court came last Tuesday. During the trial, Babin and First Assistant DA Pat “Hawk” Hardy presented evidence to the jury from a November 2018 arrest. The arrest occurred within the Woodville city limits. Tubb was stopped for an expired registration sticker by Woodville PD Officer Steven Hoke.

During the stop, Tubb, whom Hoke recognized as a habitual offender for driving with an invalid license, refused to produce identification or to roll down his window or exit the vehicle he was driving.

A search of the vehicle produced a baggie containing approximately 14 grams of crystal meth. The jury heard comments from Adam Park, a special agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety, who said the amount of meth confiscated from the vehicle is a sufficient quantity for anywhere from seven to 28 people to obtain a high.

In addition to Park’s testimony, the jury also heard from Tyler County Sheriff’s Office deputy Garret Nalley and narcotics officer Simon Prince, both of whom testified to previous incidents where Tubb refused to produce a valid driver’s license when stopped.

Babin expressed gratitude to local law enforcement and to DPS for their hard work and cooperation in apprehending Tubb. “Without their efforts, this offender would still be on the street buying and likely distributing meth,” he said.

Tubb’s most recent arrest in Tyler County happened in June, when according to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, narcotics deputies patrolling along FM 1746 stopped him for a traffic violation. Tubb remained in the vehicle with the window up.

“After several minutes of talking with Tubb, deputies ultimately had to break the driver window to take Tubb into custody,” Weatherford said.

After sentencing, Babin said the guilty verdict and sentence “shows that the citizens of Tyler County are tired of meth ruining their communities.”

“The jurors had a wide range of punishment to choose from, which included probation. Seventeen years sends a strong message,” he said.
Tubb was booked into Tyler County Jail to await transfer to a TDCJ facility.

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Restaurant employee allegedly stabs co-worker

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By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – A stabbing occurred at Elijah’s Café in Woodville last week and resulted in a man being treated for injuries and another faced with assault charges.

The incident occurred last Wednesday morning at the popular eatery. The victim, identified as Jose Oscar Azcona, of Jasper, was training Richard Calvin Cryer, a 31-year-old Colmesneil man how to prepare food. According to Woodville Police Chief Mike McCulley, Cryer allegedly attacked Azcona twice with a large kitchen knife.

Azcona sustained a stab wound to his abdomen and a severe cut to his arm. He was taken to Tyler County Hospital, where he was treated and later released.

According to McCulley, the suspect fled the scene and police arrested him a few blocks from the restaurant. Officers were also able to locate the weapon. He said that according to co-workers’ statements, Cryer appeared to be agitated about something upon arriving at work. Also, co-workers noted that Cryer had only been working at the establishment for about two days.

Following the incident, Elijah’s was closed for a few hours, but re-opened in the afternoon.

Cryer was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was arraigned on Thursday morning by Municipal Judge Judith Haney.

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Physician charged in multiple counts of sexual abuse

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By Valerie Reddell
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Kerry EvansWOODVILLE — Local physician Kerry Evans has been charged with multiple counts of indecency with a child by contact and continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to indictments handed down by the Tyler County grand jury on June 26.

Evans works as a physician for an urgent care company based in Woodville and has practiced as an Emergency Room doctor In Livingston and many other East Texas hospitals.

His status with CHI-St. Luke’s Hospital was unknown as of Friday afternoon.

The indictment accuses Evans of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 14 on multiple occasions between May 18, 2012 and May 17, 2014.

Further indictments detail additional charges involving a child victim under age 17 that occurred on or about May 1, 2017 and June 1, 2017.

Evans surrendered to officials at the Tyler County Jail and was released on bonds totaling $350,000.

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