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Drug crimes alleged in indictments

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Reeves County grand jurors on Thursday returned four indictments related
to drug trafficking and/or possession.

Rodrigo Beltran-Perea, 24, is charged with delivery of cocaine to an
undercover officer on Nov. 2, 1994.«MD112»94 is correct «MDNM» His bail
is $20,000.

Francisco Garcia Rico Sr., 58, is charged with possession of heroin on
Oct. 10, 1995. His bail is $25,000.

Jose M. Camacho, 40, is charged with possession of heroin on Nov. 13,
1995. His bail is $10,000.

Juanita Estorga, 35, was indicted for alleged delivery of cocaine on May
25, 1995. Her bail is $15,000.

Stabbing victim sues PHA

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Staff Writer

A young man who was stabbed two years ago while helping a friend move
into the Farm Labor Housing apartments operated by Pecos Housting
Authority, has sued PHA, the city of Pecos and Raul Ismael Rodriguez.

Jamin Weidner claims in the suit, filed Friday in 143rd District Court,
that Rodriguez stabbed him on Jan. 8, 1994 on housing authority property.

Rodriguez has possessed the apartment which had been rented to Weidner's
friend, and his personal possessions were still there.

The attack was unprovoked by Weidner and was a knowing, intentional and
vicious act of stabbing the plaintiff in the chest area and near his
heart, the petition alleges.

"This attack and hostility toward plaintiff was provoked and caused by
the act or acts of defendants city and housing authority. The attack
resulted in injuries to Jamin Weidner," the petition continues.

City and housing authority employes were negligent in allowing the
contition to continue an failing to warn Weidner of the hostility they
caused in the former tenant, Rodriguez.

They also failed to properly care for the personal property of tenants
and failed to properly dispose of former tenant's property, failed to
maintain a safe environment for residential living, with proper
security; failed to instruct employees on the proper methods of caring
for or disposing of property left in apartments by former tenants, and
in failing to warn plaintiff of the unsafe condition.

Weidner seeks reimbursement for medical care and expenses, physical pain
and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, loss of earnings and
disfigurement, past and future.

Scott Johnson, attorney for the city and PHA, said today that he has not
received a copy of the petition and would have no comment.

Vasquez faces mental check

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Staff Writer

District Judge Bob Parks this morning ordered a psychiatric examination
for Carlos Vasquez, who is charged with the beating death of his
girlfriend, Irma Armendariz.

The 37-year-old defendant allegedly beat Armendariz to death with a
baseball bat at her home in the 400 block of Ash Street.

Pleading "not guilty" to indictments were Queston Nabi Barton, 18, and
Julius Kal Smith, 19. They are charged with the Nov. 17 aggravated
robbery of Olga Ornelas at the Sunday House. They allegedly threatened
her with a BB gun in the course of the robbery.

A forgery charge against Ector Hinojos Martinez, 32, was dismissed
because he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft, said District Attorney
John Stickels. He was charged with forging a payroll check made out to
Luis Ortega.

Antonio Rodriguez, 31, failed to appear for arraignment on a charge of
forgery by passing a $75 check purportedly signed by Jaime Orona. Judge
Parks issued a warrant for his arrest and increased his bail by $2,500.
Freedom Bail Bond posted bail.

Monahans attorney David Zavoda filed a motion to quash the indictment
against Frank Menchaca, and Judge Parks took it under advisement.

Tony Chavez, representing Robert Nunez on a drug charge, withdrew his
motion to reveal the informant after District Attorney John Stickels
gave him the informant's name.

Judge Parks appointed attorneys for Eric Garcia, Delma C. Hernandez,
Gilbert Vasquez and Ector Hinojos Martinez.

Jonathan Locedric Smith and James Keith Halliday said they would hire
attorneys to represent them. Smith is charged with violating his
probation on a burglary conviction, and Halliday is charged with
aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Stickels, who last week negotiated a plea bargain with Benjamin Valles
Valeriano for five years probation in the death of his wife, said the
punishment is the maximum allowed under state law.

Valeriano pleaded "no contest" to criminal negligent homicide in the May
18 traffic death of Yolanda Montano Valeriano.

Judge Parks approved the agreement, suspended a two-year state jail
sentence and placed Valeriano on five years community supervision.

He will also be fined $500 and pay $164.50 court costs.

Valeriano, 36, was charged by indictment with manslaughter.

Stickels said that the difference in manslaughter and criminally
negligent homicide is slight. To find a defendant guilty of
manslaughter, the jury would have to determine he was reckless, as
opposed to being simply criminally negligent.

"I didn't see any possible way I could convict him of murder," Stickels
said. "The question was going to be whether he was reckless or
criminally negligent. He offered to plead to criminal negligence and I
accepted the plea.

"I know it looks bad, but that's the law. I gave him the maximum amount
of punishment for the crime which I believe he actually committed."

Valeriano, a Mexican citizen, received permission from his probation
officer to spend two weeks in Mexico during the Christmas holidays.

Vehicles, cash, weapons, cell phone seized

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Staff Writer

District Attorney John Stickels has filed notices of seizure and intent
to forfeit a pickup, car, cash, cellular telephone, 14 weapons and
personal property taken in a Nov. 21 drug raid in Balmorhea.

Daniel S. Dutchover of Balmorhea owns the 1985 Chevrolet pickup, which
he allegedly used to deliver cocaine and marijuana to an undercover
officer on Oct. 23 and on Nov. 16.

When officers with the Permian Basin Drug Task Force and others served a
search warrant at the Dutchover home on Nov. 21, they also seized a 1985
Century stock trailer, 14 weapons and personal property, the notice

Dutchover was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana over
four ounces but less than five pounds.

That same night, Hector Brito Pando and Yolanda Gonzales Pando also were
arrested and charged with delivery of cocaine, delivery of marijuana and
criminal conspiracy with intent to deliver cocaine.

They allegedly delivered cocaine and marijuana to an undercover officer
on Nov. 21 in a 1988 Cadillac four-door. Cash totaling $798.98 and a
cellular telephone with case and cigarette adapter were found in the car.

Stickels asked the court to forfeit the seized items to this office and
participating agencies.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Leif M. Clark of El Paso has set a hearing for
2:30 p.m. Jan. 9 on a motion to compel in the bandruptcy of Recovery &
Reclamation Inc. of Pecos.

Tradewinds Leasing Inc. filed the motion to compel assumption or
rejection of leases and an application for payment of administrative
expenses, said Lawrence T. Bick, clerk of the court.

R&R is a battery recycling company with numerous related businesses, all
of which filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy

Benjamin Valles Valeriano pleaded "no contest" this morning to criminal
negligent homicide in the May 18 traffic death of his wife, Yolanda
Montano Valeriano.

District Judge Bob Parks approved a plea agreement proposed by District
Attorney John Stickels, suspended a two-year state jail sentence and
placed Valeriano on five years community supervision.

He will also be fined $500 and pay $164.50 court costs.

Valeriano, 36, was charged with murder in the death after police learned
he had been seen assaulting his wife at the Anchor West parking lot and
was chasing her northbound on Eddy Street at the time of the accident.

Yolando Valeriano's 1994 Pontiac failed to negotiate a curve in the 1100
block of S. Eddy Street and struck a concrete signpost at high speed
just after midnight. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

In other action today, Judge Parks modified the appeal bond of Billy Ray
Overcash, who was convicted last month of endangering a child.

Conditions of his release include reporting weekly, staying home at
night, using no drugs or alcohol and staying away from witnesses in the

Hudspeth District Court backlogged

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Staff Writer

Creation of a new state judicial district covering five West Texas
counties has had little impact on the backlog of felony cases in
Hudspeth County.

With 55 cases on the docket for arraignment last week before 394th
District Judge Kenneth DeHart of Alpine, the court now has more than 600
cases pending trial, said a spokesperson for the office of district

Most of those cases involve possession of marijuana or other illegal
drugs found at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on I-10 west of Sierra
Blanca, she said.

When U.S. attorneys decline to prosecute the cases in federal court,
they are turned over to the district or county court.

In Brewster County, the grand jury recently handed up 25 indictments for
DeHart's court. Of those, 12 were for possession of illegal drugs.

Presidio County Commissioners on Monday authorized the sheriff's office
to participate with the Permian Basin Drug Task Force.

County Judge Jake Brisbin Jr. said he believes the cooperative effort,
along with the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs task force being formed,
will "do something about the terrible drug situation in Presidio County."

The Permian Basin Task Force also is working with the Jeff Davis County
sheriff's office. Jeff Davis, Culberson, Hudspeth, Presidio and Brewster
counties make up the new 394th judicial district.

Pando gets house and shop released

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Staff Writer

District Judge Bob Parks released a house, carport and mechanic shop
owned by Hector and Anival Pando on a $30,950 replevin bond while the
property is in a forfeiture dispute.

District Attorney John Stickels filed notice of seizure and intent to
forfeit the Pando's home and shop following their arrest on narcotics
charges Nov. 22, alleging they were used in narcotics trafficking.

Also seized were a 1989 Ford Bronco, $4,276 cash, a digital scale,
cellular telephone, .357 caliber pistol, .22 caliber semiautomatic
pistol and a satellite receiving dish.

The real estate includes 2.975 acres of land at 2301 Sandia Road, a
residence with carport, mechanic shop building and an apartment.

Tony Chavez, attorney for the Pando family, filed a general denial that
the seized items are subject to forfeiture under the Texas Health and
Safety Code.

Hector Pando and Anival Pando signed the replevy bond, assuring the
court they would abide by its decision and would release the property if
it is forfeited.

Bond hearing set for Pandos, Dutchover

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Staff Writer

District Judge Bob Parks set habeas corpus hearing for Hector Brito
Pando, Yolanda Gonzalez Pando and Daniel Saldico Dutchover for 2 p.m.
today in Monahans 143rd District Court.

All three were arrested in Balmorhea Nov. 21 and jailed on a variety of
drug charges.

The Pandos, who live in the Lindsay Addition southwest of Pecos, each
have bail set at $80,000 for possession of cocaine, $150,000 for
possession of heroin, $25,000 for delivery of marijuana, $25,000 for
delivery of cocaine and $50,000 for delivery of cocaine.

Odessa attorney Tony Chavez filed motions to reduce what he terms
excessive bail.

Dutchover's total bail on 11 charges is $425,000. His attorney, Roddy
Harrison, filed a motion to lower bail to $47,000.

Their arrests came after an undercover investigation by Pecos Police,
Reeves County Sheriff's deputies and the Permian Basin Narcotics Task

Jack Brewer, assistant task force chief, said they are working toward
filing the charges in federal court.

Beating death nets grand jury charge

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Staff Writer

Reeves County grand jurors on Wednesday indicted one man for murder, two
for aggravated robbery and six others on varied charges.

Carlos A. Vasquez, 37, is charged with the Oct. 13 murder of Irma
Armendariz by beating her to death with a baseball bat. His bail is

Queston Nabi Barton, 18, and Julius Kal Smith, 19, are charged with the
Nov. 17 aggravated robbery of Olga Ornelas at the Sunday House. They
allegedly threatened her with a BB gun in the course of the robbery.
Their bail is $20,000 each.

Ector Hinojos Martinez, 32, is charged with forging a payroll check made
out to Luis Ortega. His bail is $5,000.

Roque R. Madrid, 56, is charged with possession of a prohibited weapon -
a rifle with a 16-inch barrel - on Aug. 23. His bail is $15,000.

Efrain Pena Soza Jr., 21, is charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon
on licensed premises on Sept. 1. He allegedly entered a building at 2202
Balmorhea Highway, which is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, with a
handgun in his possession. His bail is $5,000.

William Michael Meierhoff, 29, is charged with burglary of a building
owned by Earl Bates on Oct. 2. His bail is $10,000.

Arturo Quezada Saenz, 23, is charged with escaping from Reeves County
Sheriff's deputy Tony Aguilar on Sept. 21. His bail is $50,000.

Antonio Rodriguez, 31, is charged with forgery by passing a $75 check
purportedly signed by Jaime Orona on Dec. 28.

Daniel Salcido Dutchover, who has not yet been indicted, filed a write
of habeas corpus seeking to have his $425,000 bail reduced on 11 felony
drug-related chrarges.

Dutchover was arrested by a narcotics task force at 11 p.m. Nov. 21, and
Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Joel Madrid set bail on 10 charges
arising from that arrest.

Another warrant out of Ector County was also served on Dutchover, court
records show.

His attorney, Roddy Harrison, seeks to have bail reduced to $5,000 on
seven of the charges and to $2,000 on the remaining four, claiming that
Dutchover is not financially able to post the large bail.

Ward commissioner charged with theft

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Staff Writer

Ward County jurors on Wednesday convicted Precinct 1 Commissioner Ben
Villalobos for theft as a public servant, a third-degree felony.

Special prosecutor Tom Lee of Del Rio said the eight counts of a
12-count indictment were related to the theft of specific items
purchased from an auto parts store.

A store employee, Joe Larry Lopez, has already admitted his part in a
scheme to falsify invoices submitted to the county and has pleaded
guilty, Lee said.

Villalobos' precinct foreman, Paul Vallez, is also charged in the
scheme, and his trial is pending.

Lee said one of the counts on which Villalobos was convicted was
appropriation of an auto spoiler. Another was appropriation of a spa hot
tub heater. A third count ties them together to make the violation a
state jail felony. Villalobos' role as a public servant makes it a
third-degree felony, punishable by prison time.

Evidence in the three-day trial before visiting judge Larry Fuller of
Austin showed that Lopez changed the description of items on the
invoices submitted to the county.

"Evidence revealed a scheme developed where auto parts were purchased,"
Lee said. "The code number on the invoice was correct, but the
description of the part was changed so when you looked at the bill, you
might think you are buying a tire when in fact you are buying a hot tub

Tony Chavez of Odessa is representing Villalobos.

Hospital wins judgment against doc

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Staff Writer

Dr. Eunice Anderson owes Reeves County Hospital $104,062.25, plus $8,000
in attorneys fees, District Judge Bob Parks ruled Monday.

Of that, $49,950 is delinquent, Judge Parks ruled. He also awarded 6
percent in pre-judgment interest and 10 percent in post-judgment

RCH guaranteed Dr. Anderson $11,000 per month for the first year of her
practice in Pecos, which she opened Nov. 24, 1992. In addition, RCH paid
some office expenses and allowed her to adopt the second year of Dr.
Orson Anderson's contract when he closed his practice after one year.

When she moved to Big Spring with one year left on her contract, the
hospital board voted to file suit for breach of contract.

The doctors then filed a bankruptcy petition in federal court.

Monday's hearing followed notice that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Larry E.
Kell dismissed the bankruptcy petition for "substantive abuse of
Chapter 7."

Richard W. Simmons, U.S. trustee for Region 7, filed the motion to
dismiss, claiming the petition filed on July 13 showed $82,545.24 in
unsecured debts; primarily consumer debts.

The debt statement showed a monthly income of $16,917 for Anderson and
her husband, with monthly expenditures of $8,766.

Simmons said the expenditures are in excess of what is reasonably
necessary for maintenance and support.

Although the petition showed no dependents, the doctors have five
children, and $1,725 of their monthly expenditures are for private
school tuition.

Other monthly expenses listed are $1,200 for food, $1,400 for clothes
and $552 for health insurance.

"Even if based solely upon disposable monthly income of $8,151 reported
by the debtors, the debtors could fund the plan under Chapter 13 in
repayment of 100 percent of the $82,524 over 11 months," Simmons said.

If excessive expenses were eliminated, repayment could be made in a
shorter period of time, he said.

The ability to repay is a primary consideration justifying dismissal,
Simmons said. The doctors couuld reasonably pay and should be required
to pay their unsecured debts.

When Dr. Eunice Anderson left Pecos, she was employed by a clinic
operated in Big Spring by Shannon Medical Center of San Angelo.

He shows his practice to be at Scenic Mountain Medical Center in Big
Spring at the time of the bankruptcy petition. Eunice Anderson showed
only the Orson and Eunice Anderson M.D.'s, P.A. in Big Spring.

In the bankruptcy petition, the doctors showed gross income of $333,251
in 1993, $185,350 in 1994 and $120,000 through July 13 this year.

Overcash guilty

A 143rd District Court jury on Thursday found Billy Ray Overcash guilty
of abandoning or endangering a child and recommended a state jail
sentence of two years, plus a $2,500 fine.

Overcash, 19, was charged with engaging in conduct that placed a child
younger than 15 in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical
or mental impairment on June 20.

The jury deliberated two hours on the "guilt or innocence" phase of the
trial and for 50 minutes on the punishment phase, returning the verdict
at 6:55 p.m.

Doc says county will get goat money

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Staff Writer

Reeves County will recover the $131,000 loaned to Pecos River Livestock
Inc., said Dr. Elvia Reynolds, one of 10 guarantors on the loan through
the Pecos Industrial Foundation.

A suit filed in 143rd District Court this morning names nine of those
guarantors as defendants, along with the corporation that was formed to
start a goat dairy 10 miles south of Pecos.

"I wish I had never seen a goat," said Louis Lively, who invested
$15,000 in the corporation, used his tractor to construct a pad for the
milking barn and guaranteed to repay the county $19,650 in case of a
default on the loan.

"All I got out of it was four gallons of goat milk. Where the money went
and what happened, I have no earthly idea." he said.

The corporation was formed in September, 1993 and forfeited its charter
on Aug. 3, 1995, the petition alleges.

By signing the promissory note for $131,000, payable to Reeves County,
the investors mortgaged 80 acres of land, all livestock, fixtures,
equipment and tools of the business.

Dr. Reynolds said that it will take some time to gather and sell all the
assets, "then the 10 guarantors can settle the deficit."

"As I see the situation, the Pecos Industrial Foundtion (county) will
not lose any funds on this transaction," Reynolds said. "I appreciate
the patience of county officials in this matter."

He said that two big barns, 90'x50' and 40'x50', are located on the
property. The milking barn is complete but not finished on the inside.

John F. Teague, one of the original investors and past president, said
the county will get their money.

"It is just a matter of getting it down to where we can do something
with it," he said.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo said that filing the suit is part of the
foreclosure process.

Commissioners voted to hire John Stickels to file the suit when County
Attorney Bill Weinacht said he was friends with one of the investors and
asked to be excused.

Before the court decided to foreclose, the stockholders were given the
opportunity to pay the $14,967.90 semi-annual payments that were due in
March and September, Galindo said.

Other defendants are Rosemary Wilkie, David Kidd, Mark Wilkie, Wiley B.
Kidd, Roger Simmons and Trevor Teague.

The Wilkies, Kidds and Simmons live in Carlsbad, N.M. Others are Pecos

Randy Reynolds, the 10th guarantor, has already paid $5,000 and promised
to pay the remainder in installments, Stickels said. He is not named in
the suit.

Cattle feeder loses verdict appeal

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Staff Writer

Jurors acted on the evidence in finding Reeves County Feeders liable for damages in a suit filed by a former employee, said District Judge Bob Parks this morning in overruling a defense motion to set aside the

The jury awarded Overcash $4,000 after finding Reeves County Feeders
violated the Texas Worker's Compensation Act in discharging Overcash
after he was injured on the job. Defense attorney Roddy Harrison filed
the motion to set aside the verdict.

Eva Marie Leahy, Overcash's attorney, said the judge should uphold the

"There was testimony my client was discharged and that derogatory
comments were made regarding his injury," Leahy said.

Leahy also filed a motion for continuance in a criminal trial in which
Overcash is charged with endangering a child. She said one of the
defense witnesses, Robert James Wilson, Overcash's 21-year-old half
brother, is a Marine serving aboard an aircraft carrier in the
Mediterranean. He will return to Pecos in February, she said.

District Attorney John Stickels opposed the delay because Leahy has made
no attempt to obtain Wilson's testimony by deposition.

"The case against Wilson for the same offense was not presented to the
grand jury for the sole reason he is a member of the armed forces,"
Stickels said. "When he is available, I can reasonably anticipate that
criminal charges will be brought against him. The state is ready for
trial," he said.

Overcash allegedly forced Chase Laurence, a child under 12 years of age,
to drink a large amount of tequila on June 20, Stickels said. Two older
juveniles were involved, but only Laurence was named as a victim in the
indictment because it is a felony offense to provide alcohol to a child
under 12, he said.

The other violations would be classed as misdemeanors.

Rape victims testify in murder trial

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Staff Writer

Two Pecos women who claim they were raped by Henry Lopez Ortiz testified
Thursday in the punishment phase of his capital murder trial in
Amarillo, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reported.

Ortiz was convicted Wednesday of the abduction, rape and murder of
10-year-old Juliann Powell in Midland. The trial was moved to Amarillo
because of pre-trial publicity.

Other witnesses Thursday were a Dallas psychologist, who said he
believes Ortiz will pose a threat to society if he is released from
custody, and a co-worker who said that Ortiz was vindictive and
manipulative after losing a chance for promotion to the co-worker.

In the Pecos cases, a woman who was 18 years old at the time charged
Ortiz with raping her at his home when she went there for a youth Bible
study on Dec. 22, 1990.

While investigating that case, Police Captain David Montgomery said that
officers turned up evidence that Ortiz had sexually abused two other
young females, but those cases were not presented to the grand jury.

One of those alleged victims testified Thursday that Ortiz assaulted her
in 1985.

A jury heard evidence in the 1990 case and acquitted Ortiz on July 22,

While in Pecos, Ortiz was a member of Grace Fellowship, which later
merged with another congregation to form Abundant Life church. However,
the 18-year-old girl said the youth Bible study was non-denominational
in nature.

Jurors could begin deliberations in the punishment phase of the trial as
early as Tuesday to determine whether Ortiz will be executed or placed
in state prison for life.

Ortiz punishment trial opens

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From staff and wire reports
Aquittal on a sexual assault charge in Reeves County is expected to be
part of the defense for Henry Lopez Ortiz in the punishment phase of his
capital murder trial in Amarillo.

Jurors took 1½ hours Wednesday to find guilty of abducting, raping and
suffocating 10-year-old Julianne Powell in Midland. Her body turned up
in his laundry hamper.

Ortiz, 42, faces life in prison or the death penalty. Testimony on
punishment began today. His attorneys obtained a copy of the order of
aquittal this morning from 143rd District Court.

Julianne and her mother were living in the apartment above Ortiz's
apartment when she disappeared Feb. 10. Police found her body about two
hours later while searching the defendant's bedroom.

The trial was moved to Amarillo because of extensive news coverage
around Midland.

The defense earlier this week presented testimony that Ortiz suffers
from brain damage that impairs his judgment.

He is a counselor's aide with a degree in criminal justice.

In the Pecos trial, Ortiz was charged with sexually assaulting an
18-year-old female at his home on Dec. 22, 1990. She said she went to
Ortiz's house for a youth Bible study, but that she and Ortiz were the
only ones present when the alleged assault occurred.

R&R suit on hold

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Staff Writer

Bankruptcy cancelled a civil damage suit against Recovery & Reclamation
Inc. that had been set to begin today in 143rd District Court.

William R. Meador filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in El Paso
federal court Friday for himself and nine corporations.

Rose Traders Inc., Recovery & Reclamation Inc., POA Inc., BJB Leasing,
Reeves County General Contractors Inc., R&R Trucking Inc., Sandhills
Salvage Inc., Advanced Conseling & Environmental Services, Wm. M. &
Associates Inc. and Wm. R. Meador are listed in court records as filing
bankruptcy Friday.

Scott Johnson, who represents R&R in the civil suit, said that when
bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect on all claims
against a debtor.

"There are provisions for trying it in bankruptcy court or removing it
back to state court," he said.

District Judge Bob Parks denied a motion for summary judgment in the
multi-plaintiff case, following a pre-trial hearing Friday morning in
which Meador said he planned to file bankruptcy.

On motion by Kermit attorney Michael Fostel and agreed to by all
parties, Judge Parks issued an order that the bankruptcy could not be
filed later than 3:30 p.m. Friday nor for a two-week period.

El Paso Attorney Margaret Christian filed the bankruptcy petitions
Friday with federal bankruptcy Judge Clark, who consolidated them under
Rose Traders Inc.

Bill Weinacht, attorney for intervenors Manuel Solis, et al, claimed in
opposing the summary judgment that R&R is a subsidiary of Rose Traders
Inc., which owns all the corporate stock.

R&R is undercapitalized and carries insurance coverage, if any, which is
clearly inadequate relative to risks of the business, and through lower
premiums is able to direct a larger share of its profits into payments
on leased property from POA Inc. to the benefit of Rose Traders, the
petition claims.

Weinacht said the corporations are operated as a joint venture.

"Wm. Meador created all these corporations to hide assets, to avoid
liabilities or both," Weinacht said in the pleading.

They use the same employees, offices, premises, land, address, telephone
number, accountants, lawyers and professional services, he said. They
have a common purpose, and each should be held liable for damages, he

Other attorneys are Roddy Harrison, Steve Hershberger of Midland, Ruff
Ahders of Odessa, Timothy D. Raub of Odessa and Cristina Mireles Cooper,
assistant attorney general of Austin.

Plaintiffs and intervenors are Dora T. Pineda, Louisa Rivera, Elia
Orona, Safina D. Bailey, Ruby Nell Bailey, Linda F. Bailey, Betty
Hignojoz, Eva Medellin, Teofilo Madrid, Zulema M. Palomino, Linda D.
Holden, Elodia Orona, Ruben M. Fuentez, Frances L. Orona, Ignacio
Ybarra, Elida Ybarra, Yvette Ybarra, Mary Lou Marquez, Guadalupe G.
Botello, Vicente Rodriguez, State of Texas, Melissa Polanco, Emma
Valdez, Rachel Arenivas and Manuel Solis.

Income tax statements entered in evidence show that Rose Traders lost
money in 1991 and 1992, but made a small profit in 1993.

Gross sales in 1991 were $548,726. After deductions, including $88,440
in salaries, the net taxable income was -$24,778.

In 1992, gross sales were $1 million, salaries $325,475, and net taxable
income -$105,840.

Meador paid $3,583 in taxes on net taxable income of $22,826 in 1993,
records show. That was on gross sales of $2.7 million, with $820,600
paid out in salaries.

The fire that triggered the suits began in a storage building, ignited
by a reactive substance in a barrel and spreading to nearby batteries.
Fumes drifted over the countryside throughout the morning, then over
Pecos as winds shifted.

About half the residents and businesses were told to evacuate, and
thousands gathered in Barstow until the perceived danger was past.

Numerous persons exposed to the fumes were treated at Reeves County
Hospital for breathing problems, irritated throats and skin. Hospital
patients were evacuated to the Reeves County Civic Center after the wind
shifted, and others were treated there.

Overcash wins cash

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Staff Writer

Jurors in 143rd District Court last week awarded Billy Ray Overcash
$4,000 in lost wages since his termination from Reeves County Feeders in
October, 1994.

However, the jury found that Overcash is not entitled to additional
damages for emotional distress. Neither did they award exemplary damages
to punish the company and set an example for others.

Overcash claims he injured his right hand while working for Reeves
County Feeders in September, 1994. He then filed for worker's
compensation benefits, which he began receiving in October, 1994. He
says he was fired on October 17, before physicians released him to
return to work.

Scott Evans, Reeves County Feeders owner, denied firing Overcash, who
was a part-time employee. Overcash quit, he said.

Jurors found that RCF did violate the Texas Worker's Compensation Act,
which provides that no person may discharge an employee because the
employee has, in good faith, filed a claim.

Ten jurors signed the verdict, which was not unanimous.

Eva Marie Leahy represented Overcash, while Roddy Harrison defended RCF.
District Judge Bob Parks presided.

Judge Parks on Friday sentenced one man to state jail for one year and
placed two others on deferred adjudication probation on their guilty
pleas to possession of heroin.

Delma Campos Hernandez was given three years deferred-adjudication

Adan Martinez Salcido will spend one year in a state jail, then be
placed on three years community supervision.

Gilbert Vasquez was placed on five years deferred adjudication probation.

They will each pay a $500 fine, $314.50 in court costs and $140
restitution to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Following a pre-trial hearing on Linda D. Holden, et al vs. Recovery &
Reclamation, Inc., Judge Parks set trial for today. However, R&R filed
Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday in El Paso.

"When bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect on all
claims against a debtor," said Scott Johnson, R&R's attorney for the
civil suit.

He said the law provides for the suit to be tried in bankruptcy court or
removing it back to state court.

In effect, the bankruptcy petition protects the company from debtors and
allows them to continue operating.

R&R is primarily a battery recycler. Besides the Holden suit, in which
numerous plaintiffs claim damages caused by a 1993 «MD112»?«MDNM»fire at
R&R, the company also faces claims by former employees that they suffer
from mercury poisoning from handling batteries.

Ortiz goes on trial for girl's murder

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Staff Writer

Testimony began today in 47th District Court in Amarillo for the
kidnap/murder trial of Henry Lopez Ortiz of Midland.

Midland County District Attorney Al Schorre said he expects the trial to
last about two weeks. He is seeking the death penalty.

Lopez, 42, is charged with kidnapping a neighbor, 10-year-old Julie Ann
Powell, on February 10, sexually assaulting and strangling her. Police
found Powell's nude body in a laundry hamper in Lopez's apartment during
a search for the missing girl.

While Lopez has admitted the neighbor girl came to his apartment looking
for her pet, he said he does not recall assaulting her.

Midland attorney Woody Leveritt is representing the defendant. Teresa
Clingman and Brian Carney are assisting Schorre.

Schorre said he expects to question four or five prosecution witnesses
today in the Amarillo courtroom, where the trial was moved on change of
venue due to pre-trial publicity.

Grand jury re-indicts squash farmers

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Staff Writer

Ernesto and Orfa Carmenates were indicted for the second time Thursday
by the Reeves County grand jury on charges of theft and making false
statements to secure credit.

They borrowed $60,000 from Reeves County in July, 1993 through the Pecos
Industrial Foundation. They allegedly told Dick Alligood of the PIF that
there was no lien on collateral securing the loan.

Reeves County Sheriff's deputies investigating the case after the
operation went broke determined that all the farming equipment securing
the county's note was bought on credit and not paid for.

In a prior court appearance, the couple was released after agreeding to
repay the loan in full.

Others indicted Thursday are:

* Ruben Orona, possession of marijuana over five pounds but less than 50
pounds on February 13. Bail is $25,000.

* Guadalupe Ybarra, 30, driving while intoxicated on July 28, two prior
convictions, bail $5,000.

* Denise Garcia, forgery by passing, bail $5,000. She allegedly passed a
check for $109.59, signed "Maria N. Nieto," to Niomi Ann Tarango at
Wal-Mart on July 8, knowing Nieto did not sign the check.

* Rene Rodriguez Garcia, 31, possession of a controlled substance -
cocaine over four grams but less than 200 grams - on January 13. Bail is

* Angel Garcia Fuentes, 20, arson on September 10, bail $5,000.

* Linda Lujan, 30, forgery by passing on July 5. She allegedly passed a
$65 check signed by Ben Salcido to Lillie Armendariz, knowing Salcido
did not sign the check. She has one prior conviction for delivery of a
controlled substance on July 12, 1987.

* Frank Menchaca, 22, forgery on August 8 by passing a $95 check on Bob
Beauchamp to Kris Terrazas.

Compensation case postponed

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Jurors got a break this morning when a civil trial scheduled for 143rd
District Court was postponed.

Judge Parks granted a motion in abatement this morning in the worker's
compensation suit styled Severo R. Natividad vs. Reinicke Corporation
and Pennzoil Company.

Natividad claims he broke his ankle while working for Pennzoil but was
denied compensation under Pennzoil's Texas Worker's Compensation
insurance policy.

TWC has a benefit review conference set for next Monday to determine
whether the policy was in force at the time of the accident. Judge Parks
agreed with attorneys for both sides that the trial should be postponed
until after the hearing.

District Judge Bob Parks told 47 of the panelists to return Wednesday
morning for another civil trial. That trial concerns another injury on
the job.

Contractor sues county for injuries

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Staff Writer

A concrete contractor who claims he was injured while working at the
Reeves County Law Enforcement Center last December has sued the county
for an unspecified amount of damages.

Manuel Esquivel of Odessa said in the suit filed in 143rd District Court
that he was working at the LEC on Dec. 12, 1994 when the blade of a
front-end loader dropped on him, severing a portion of his left index

He claims that a prisoner was operating the loader at the time of the

RCLEC was negligent in allowing an unqualified, incompetent person to
operate the machinery, in failing to adequately train or supervise the
operation of a dnagerous machine, and in failing to keep a proper
lookout for Esquivel's safety.

He seeks damages for psychological trauma, physical injuries and
disfigurement, extreme physical pain, medical expenses and loss of
earnings, both past and future.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said this morning he received notice
of the suit, but since the incident occurred before he took office, he
had no comment.

Chamber exec says he was framed

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Staff Writer

Tom Rivera said this morning that he believes someone took a pile of
trash from the alley behind his home at 1518 Iowa St. and dumped it on a
county road to frame him.

He has pleaded "no contest" to a charge of illegal dumping, filed
September 27 with Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Lamberto Herrera.
Herrera assessed a fine of $500 for the Class C misdemeanor.

Armando Gil, who enforces the Texas Litter Abatement Act in Reeves
County, said the charges stem from an investigation by Reeves County
Sheriff's Deputy Cesario Urias.

Urias' report shows that Gary Taylor reported on September 23 that
someone had dumped trash on County Road 415 west of Farm Road 2119
(sulphur mine road).

Upon checking the trash, Urias found a receipt signed by Rivera. He then
requested Pecos Police investigator Cosme Ortega to assist with the
investigation by taking photographs of the trash and tire tracks leading
up to it.

Those photographs show a pile of limbs and shrubbery trimmings, an empty
six-pack beer carton, brown sack and a receipt from Beer Depot $3 for a
six-pack of beer, signed by Tom Rivera.

Gil said that enlargements of the tire tracks shows the tread to match
that on Rivera's truck. Debris in the truck bed matched that found on
the county road, he said.

"The reason we were able to find tire tracks was because traffic was
swerving around the debris in the middle of the road," Gil said.

Rivera said that he pleaded no contest rather than hire a lawyer to
fight the charges because Judge Herrera told him it would be futile with
the evidence the sheriff's office collected.

"But I swear to you I didn't do it," he told the Enterprise.

"I was at the landfill Thursday (9-21) and dumped a load of weeds and
trimming from shrubs and trees. On Friday afternoon late, I took another
load out there. I talked to Jimmy, the foreman. He remembers me being
out there."

He said the girl at the office said she doesn't remember waving him
through and telling him to dump the limbs at the shredder.

"But Jimmy remembers me being there. Why would I go the following day
and dump a load in the county?" he asked. "The only thing I can think of
for the receipt being there is that I put some limbs beside my dumpster
with the intention of hauling them to the landfill Saturday. When all
this started, I went back to the alley and they weren't there.

Rivera said he is not blaming anyone, but "I think if you want to get
to anybody, find out where their dumpster is, go by and get a bag."

Support kids or stay single

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Staff Writer

If you already have one family, you will have to prove you are
supporting your minor children before you can marry again.

One of the new Texas laws taking effect September 1 requires a person
who owes child support to prove he is up-to-date on payments before he
can obtain a marriage license, said Dianne Florez, Reeves County clerk.

Not only that, if he is delinquent, he cannot go fishing, operate a
business or drive a car.

Texas Attorney General Dan Morales said his department has mailed over
75,000 letters to delinquent parents, warning that their license could
be suspended.

Non-custodial parents involved in 6,042 cases have already paid $1.6
million, Morales said.

"The collection of child support is not an easy task. Despite the
increasing challenges, our employees continue to strive to improve the
program for the sake of the children," Morales said. "The success we
continue to experience in our child support program would not be
possible without the hard work of every dedicated child support

Morales siad his Child Support Division has surpassed the half-billion
dollar mark for collections this year.

"We have one of the most aggressive collection efforts in the nation,
and our statistics reflect that," he said.

In State Fiscal Year 1995, more than $514 million was collected and
distributed to children and families that were owed child support. That
is a $79 million increase over last year's collections. Since Morales
took office, more than $2 billion has been collected.

"Forty-three percent of custodial parents seeking child support payments
are currently receiving some form of welfare assistance. By obtaining
child support for them, we end their reliance on public assistance and
allow them to pursue a life of independence," Morales said.

During 1995, 24,219 parents were removed from the welfare rolls as a
result of child support orders and payments the Child Support Division

A total of 42,648 new child support obligations were established in SFY
1995 compared to 36,709 in SFY 1994. Legal filings for the year totaled
228,028, a 17 percent increase over last year.

The Division also successfully increased paternity establishment by 24
percent, to 39,799 during FY 1995. Last hear the division established
paternities for 32,202 children.

"We look to 1996 as another year of program improvements, Morales said.

Adding his name to a growing list, Julian Rodriguez has filed suit
against Recovery and Reclamation Inc. over alleged mercury poisoning.

Rodriguez said in the suit, filed in 143rd District Court, that he was
working at R&R on August 3 when he was exposed to mercury and was
poisoned by that exposure, suffering serious personal injuries.

R&R was negligent in failing to provide a safe place to work, to provide
Rodriguez with protective clothing or gloves and in failing to train and
warn him of the deadly nature of mercury.

He seeks an unspecified amount of damages for pain and suffering, plus
medical expenses.

Odessa attorney Stephen G. Smith filed the suit for Rodriguez.

Scott Johnson, who represents R&R, said the company denies the
allegations and intends to defend itself of the complaint brought
against it.

Jury selection starts in Ortiz trial

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Staff Writer

Jury selection began today in 47th District Court in Amarillo for the
kidnap/murder trial of Henry Lopez Ortiz of Midland.

Midland County District Attorney Al Schorre and assistants Teresa
Clingman and Brian Carney are prosecuting for the state.

Lopez, 42, is charged with kidnapping a neighbor, 10-year-old Julie Ann
Powell, on February 10, sexually assaulting and strangling her. Police
found Powell's nude body in a laundry hamper in Lopez's apartment during
a search for the missing girl.

The trial will be Lopez's second on sexual assault charges. He was
acquitted by a 143rd District Court jury on July 22, 1991 of assaulting
an 18-year-old female at his residence in Pecos.

The alleged victim testified that she and other youth gathered at
Ortiz's house for Bible study. She said that on Dec. 22, 1990, she was
alone with Ortiz at his home when the attack occurred.

Pecos Police Captain David Montgomery said that he sent information
about that investigation and two other sexual abuse allegations to
Midland Police shortly after Ortiz's arrest.

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