Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Shootout suspect enters guilty plea before trial starts
From Staff and Wire Reports
A former Pecos resident pled guilty on Monday just after a jury was
seated for his trial on charges murder and attempted capital murder
in the shooting death of his wife and the wounding of an Odessa police
officer, both of whom also are former Pecos residents.
Joe Albert Ramon, 41, pleaded guilty to both counts in 161st District
Judge Tryon Lewis' courtroom Monday without first conferring with prosecutors,
said John Young, Ramon's attorney.
"This case is not about did he do it or not. It's about acceptance of
responsibility for what happened," Young told the Odessa American for its
Ector County District Attorney John Smith said that the state was prepared
to prove Ramon was guilty of shooting his wife, Estella, 36, and Cpl. Greg
Travland on Jan. 18.
Both Ramons were former employees of the Reeves County Detention Center
in Pecos, while Travland is the son of former Pecos postmaster J.E. Travland.
He had been employed as an Odessa Police Department Cadet on Jan. 1, 1980
and began his service as an Odessa Police Officer on March 30, 1981.
Joe Ramon, spent nearly two months in the hospital after his shootout
with Travland. Once released in March, he was formally charged with first-degree
murder and attempted capital murder, charges for which he faces from 5-99
years or life and up to a $10,000 fine per charge, according to Smith.
The next step, Lewis told the jury, is to hold a sentencing hearing,
which begins Tuesday.
"Even though he pleaded guilty, we still have to put out all of our evidence,"
Young declined to comment on his defense strategy, reiterating that Ramon
wants to take responsibility for his actions.
Smith said the prosecution will call about a dozen witnesses. One of
these, he said, could be Travland.
Young said that since Ramon does not have a felony record, if the jury
chooses to do so, Ramon could be sentenced to up to 10 years of probation
for his crimes.
On Jan. 18, Travland had gone to Drug Screen Compliance & Consortium
of the Southwest to talk to Estella Ramon, an employee at the center, about
a domestic dispute. Witnesses said Ramon then entered the building and began
firing a .357 revolver, killing his ex-wife and wounding Travland, who returned
Ramon received four gunshot wounds to the his chest.
Travland was hit once in the upper thigh. His rehabilitation is still
under the guidance of a physician and he has returned to limited duty.
According to Sherry Thomson of the Odessa Police Department, Travland
is still recuperating and is not performing any patrol duties.
Herrera begins rehab in Dallas after injuries
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 22, 2002 -- A recent Pecos High School graduate is recovering
nicely, his family said, after being involved in a one-vehicle accident
in late September.
According to Ricky Herrera, his son Jaime was released from the Covenant
Medical Center in Lubbock on Friday, where he was flown after suffering head
injuries in the one-vehicle rollover 10 miles east of Pecos. After his release,
which the family drove to Dallas, where Jaime's rehab treatments are taking
"He is at Pate Rehab in Dallas," Herrera said. "They will evaluate him
for the first two weeks he is there."
After the two weeks are up, Herrera said that they will meet with the
staff and discuss Jaime's progress.
"We will then come up with an individual therapy plan," said Herrera,
a former Pecos city councilman.
While staying in Dallas, Herrera said that the family is staying at an
apartment which is a part of the of the rehabilitation facility.
"They pick him up at about 8 a.m. and then bring him back at about 3:30
p.m.," Herrera said. "It's like going to school."
Herrera added that he did not think that his son would need much therapy.
"He talks on the phone with his friends," Herrera said. "I talked to him
last night and asked him how everything was going."
To his father it appears that Jaime is the same old Jaime before the accident.
"He watches TV and sports," Herrera said. "And we talk about sports."
Over the weekends, Herrera said that he and the rest of the family would
be traveling to Dallas to see his wife and son. Once Jaime has completed
his therapy, Herrera added that he would be coming back to Pecos.
"He will be coming back home," Herrera said. "We still have a follow up
with the neurologist in Lubbock.
Jaime was airlifted to Lubbock on Sept. 20 after sustaining head injuries
during a rollover on Interstate 20 at the Business I-20 exit east of Barstow.
Herrera, who graduated from Pecos High School this past May, was traveling
in a pickup with another 2002 PHS grad, Jae Ewing. The two were headed back
to Pecos for the 2002 homecoming football game.
According to the Department of Public Safety report on the accident, the
vehicle in which Herrera and Ewing were in rolled over as they exited I-20.
The report said Ewing, the driver of the vehicle, took the exit at an unsafe
speed, causing it to go off the south side of the road.
At that point Ewing then overcorrected causing the vehicle to rollover
and ejecting both Ewing and Jaime.
The two boys where taken to Reeves County Hospital, from where Jaime was
then airlifted to Lubbock. Ewing was released from the hospital on Saturday
with several stitches and bruises.
Lenfest says band judges' ratings right
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 22, 2002 -- Pecos Eagle Band students have a lot to be
proud of and the group received the division rating that they deserved
this past Saturday at the UIL Region VI Marching Contest in Odessa,
the band's director said on Monday.
Competing in the Class 3A division at Ratliff Stadium, the band received
a second division rating of excellent. Three other bands entered in the contest,
Monahans, Fort Stockton and Midland Greenwood, recieved Division I ratings,
and will advance to the regional competition this weekend, while a fourth
area Class 3A band, Kermit, was given a Division III rating.
"I have been preaching to the kids that the most important rating is how
we feel about ourselves as we come off the field and I believe the students
were very proud of themselves," said band director Merle Lenfest.
One judge awarded the group a Division I rating.
"I know this director was proud of them," said Lenfest. "Because music
contest judging is subjective you never really know how you will be rated."
"Last year, I believe we were only average, however, one judge gave us
a second division rating," said Lenfest. "This year we were really pretty
good and one judge gave us a third division rating."
Lenfest said he has told the students that the only way to be sure of
a first division rating is to be so good the judges have no choice but to
award a first division. "We are still a year or two from being that good,"
"That being said, the band has a right to be proud of how far they have
come in one year," said Lenfest. "I believe the feeling the students got
at the end of our show when not only all the purple in the audience stood
up, but, all the other colors stood up is a feeling they want more of."
The rating they received was a good one for them at this time, according
"The judge that awarded us a one was real nice and the judge that awarded
us a three was overly critical," he said. "In the end, a second division
was what we deserved and what we received."
The students performed well and worked hard, according to Lenfest. "However,
to be awarded a rating we have not yet earned would have sent them the message
that we have reached the top, instead of we need to keep working," he said.
"I am so proud of the crowd that came to support us," said Lenfest. "Many
of you think the band deserved a first division. That is what I would expect
the community to think and say, you have a right to be biased towards our
Lenfest said the students deserved our support and applause. "I have to
tell them the reality of where we are," said Lenfest. "There are far too
many directors that blame judges for poor ratings, this is something I will
"The judge can only do his best to rate what he sees," said Lenfest. "It
is my job to make sure our kids have the skills to perform at a first division
level, when we do that the trophies will follow," he said.
Girl Scouts plan tea for current, former members
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 22, 2002 -- The Girl Scouts of Pecos invites all Girl
Scouts, past, present and future, to Tea, at 3 p.m., Sunday at the Pecos
Girl Scout Hut, 715 S. Park.
Come celebrate 90 years of Girl Scouting in America.
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 22, 2002 -- High Monday 89. Low this morning 64. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms,
some storms may be severe this evening with large hail and damaging
winds. Lows 55 to 60. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday:
Areas of morning low clouds and fog: Becoming partly cloudy with
a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. South
winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent
chance of thunderstorms. Lows 50 to 55. Thursday: Mostly cloudy
with a 40 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Highs near 70.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Lows around 50. Highs around 70.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise