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Jasper woman who made national news has new attorney in criminal case
JASPER - A 26-year-old Jasper woman arrested five times this year on a dozen criminal charges has a new lawyer.

Keyarika Diggles most recent arrest happened earlier this week after Jasper police say she used a stolen credit card to pay court fines on some of her recent misdemeanor traffic offenses.

Diggles made national news last year after surveillance video captured a police office dragging her by her hair at the Jasper City Jail.

Diggles later received a $75,000 out of court settlement from the city of Jasper while two police officers and a dispatcher lost their jobs.

Diggles now has a court appointed lawyer after her attorney withdrew himself from her case.

Diggles will receive an offer for a plea deal on her criminal cases or she can plead innocent and request a trial by judge or jury.

Jasper man sentence for crime against a teen
JASPER - A judge has sentenced a Jasper man on a charge of solicitation of a minor.

Forty-four year-old Bobby Ray Houston will receive the maximum sentence possible the crime, investigators say, was committed against a 16-year-old girl.

Houston was sentence to the maximum'10 years in prison along with a $10,000 fine.

KFDM gets exclusive video of Crystal Boyett during court arraignment Friday

BEAUMONT - KFDM News was at the Hardin County Courthouse Friday and Kara Dixon got exclusive video of Crystal Boyett during her arraignment for manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a crash that killed two sisters and the older girl's unborn son.

Judge Steven Thomas set a number of restrictions on Boyett if she is able to post the $2 million bond and get out of jail.

Boyett surrendered at about 6:45 p.m. Thursday in Hardin County. Her bond is $500,000 for each of the three manslaughter charges in connection with a February 3 crash in Lumberton that killed 20-year-old Connely Burns, her unborn son she'd named Tyson, and Burns' 15-year-old sister, Courtney Sterling. The girls' mother, Dawn Sterling, was seriously injured. If convicted, Boyett could face punishment ranging from probation to 20 years in prison.

District Attorney David Sheffield asked Judge Steven Thomas to place restrictions on Boyett if she's able to post bond and is released from jail.

Among the restrictions the judge set: Boyett can't drive in Hardin County; she can't have contact with the victims' relatives; she must abstain from alcohol; report to the Community Supervisions Department once a month; and pay a bond supervision fee of $40 a month.

Sheffield says she's expected back in court October 22.

 

(Earlier report) HARDIN COUNTY- KFDM News has learned Crystal Boyett surrendered Thursday night at the Hardin County jail and her total bond is $2 million following her grand jury indictment Thursday afternoon for manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a crash that killed a woman, her unborn son and the woman's sister, and seriously injured the sisters' mother.

Sheriff Ed Cain confirms to KFDM News Boyett surrendered at the jail at about 6:45 p.m. Thursday. A judge set her bond at $500,000 for the aggravated assault indictment. A judge had previously set her total bond at $1.5 million, or $500,000 for each of the three manslaughter charges. Boyett was charged soon after the collision and released on $1.5 million bond in June.

The grand jury Thursday indicted Boyett, 40, of Kirbyville, on three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of two sisters and the unborn child of the older sister, and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the injury to the sisters' mother.

Connely Burns, 20, her unborn son, Tyson, and Connely's 15-year-old sister, Courtney Sterling, died in the February 3 crash in Lumberton. Dawn Sterling was critically injured and recovered after a lengthy hospital stay.

If convicted, Boyett could face a sentence ranging from probation to 20 years for each charge. She'd serve the time concurrently, or at the same time, meaning a maximum 20 years in prison. She would have to serve at least half the sentence before she becomes eligible for parole.

Investigators have said they found a bottle of prescription Xanax in Boyett's Camaro, but District Attorney David Sheffield tells KFDM News there wasn't evidence Boyett was intoxicated so the grand jury couldn't indict her for intoxication manslaughter.

In response to what he said were suggestions from citizens that he seek a possible murder charge, Sheffield told KFDM News there's no evidence to back that up.

"This is the legal justice we can give the Sterling family, not pretending to be able to give moral justice to this cause," Sheffield said.

Troopers say Boyett was traveling at more than 150 miles an hour when she was first clocked in Jasper and 120 miles an hour just before the collision at the intersection of Highway 96 and 69 in Lumberton.

Connely was in the rear seat of her family's Nissan Murano. Her sister, Courtney was driving the Murano. Their mother, Dawn, 46, was in the front passenger seat.

Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins called it a "horrific scene." The Camaro struck the rear of the Murano and pushed it off the highway and onto the grassy median near the service road. The collision was so violent debris flew about 600 feet, or the length of two football fields, from the point of impact.

Chief Sullins says Burns graduated from Lumberton High School. He told us her husband was working in the oil industry in North Dakota when he learned about the accident that killed his wife and her their unborn child.

(Thursday report) HARDIN COUNTY- by Haley Bull

The Hardin County Grand Jury has indicted a suspect from Kirbyville for a collision that killed a woman, her unborn son and the woman's sister.

The grand jury indicted Crystal Boyett on three counts of manslaughter for each death and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for injuries the girls' mother suffered in the collision.

The crash in Lumberton Feb. 3 killed Connely Burns, 20, her unborn son she'd named Tyson and Burns' sister, Courtney Sterling, 15. Sterling was a student at Lumberton High School.

The same day the grand jury returned the indictments, friends remembered the sisters.

"She's like our inspiration, just to do good and like, always smile and perform and be happy," Maci McCurley said.

Four of Sterling's friends gathered, talking about their memories of a friend, classmate and color guard teammate.

"We're constantly talking about her, like what would Courtney be doing right now, like how would Courtney feel about this situation and like, she's definitely a part of color guard it doesn't matter if she's here or not," Kealey Jackson said.

"It'll be weird to think you don't have any classes with her, but you know it's still like you'll sit in a chair and know she'll be there like encouraging you, telling you how to do your classes right," Morgan Mount said.

Next week, the four girls will head back to class at Lumberton High School keeping the memory of Sterling alive.

"It's like you know that she's there and that she's watching over us and that she's telling us to calm down," Paige Hunley said.

Crosses on the side of the road mark where investigators said a driver traveling at more than 100 mph just before the crash, hit the family's SUV near the intersection of Highway 96 and Highway 69 in Lumberton.

"I wouldn't term this an accident. From our point of view, it's a horrific crime," Hardin County District Attorney David Sheffield said.

Two days after the collision, police arrested the driver of the car, Crystal Boyett, 40, of Kirbyville. A grand jury indicted her Thursday on three counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, each is a second-degree felony. If convicted, Boyett faces a punishment from probation up to 20 years in prison. If convicted and sentenced, Boyett would have to serve at least half the sentence before she is eligible for parole.

Sheffield said there was not enough evidence to charge Boyett with intoxication manslaughter. In response to what he said were suggestions from citizens that he seek a possible murder charge, Sheffield told KFDM News there's no evidence to back that up.

"This is the legal justice we can give the Sterling family, not pretending to be able to give moral justice to this cause," Sheffield said.

Even after they're gone, the sisters are still bringing smiles to their friends' faces.

"They were always the kind of there kind of pulling people up instead of pushing them down," McCurley said.

"Now it's just kind of like you laugh and you find the energy to stop crying and remembering," Mount said.

Connely's best friend Brooke writes to KFDM News:

"Connely was my best friend of six years. We knew we would be the day we met. She was everything you look for in a good person, and she would have been a great mom. Her son, Tyson, would be around 4 months old now. We were all so excited to watch him grow, as well as to see her continue to grow as a beautiful mother. I have so many great memories with her. My favorite was Christmas Day of this past year; I had to work all day so she came up there that evening with dessert Dawn had made and stayed with me just talking together for hours so I wouldn't be alone. That's the kind of thing she would do for the people she loved. That's what I know people will remember about her. Now that she's gone I have a huge emptiness in my life. I miss the three of them all day everyday and the feeling will never go away."

KFDM learns Crystal Boyett in Hardin County Jail after surrendering Thursday night

HARDIN COUNTY- KFDM News has learned Crystal Boyett surrendered Thursday night at the Hardin County jail and her total bond is $2 million following her grand jury indictment Thursday afternoon for manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a crash that killed a woman, her unborn son and the woman's sister, and seriously injured the sisters' mother.

Sheriff Ed Cain confirms to KFDM News Boyett surrendered at the jail at about 6:45 p.m. Thursday. A judge set her bond at $500,000 for the aggravated assault indictment. A judge had previously set her total bond at $1.5 million, or $500,000 for each of the three manslaughter charges. Boyett was charged soon after the collision and released on $1.5 million bond in June.

The grand jury Thursday indicted Boyett, 40, of Kirbyville, on three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of two sisters and the unborn child of the older sister, and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the injury to the sisters' mother.

Connely Burns, 20, her unborn son, Tyson, and Connely's 15-year-old sister, Courtney Sterling, died in the February 3 crash in Lumberton. Dawn Sterling was critically injured and recovered after a lengthy hospital stay.

If convicted, Boyett could face a sentence ranging from probation to 20 years for each charge. She'd serve the time concurrently, or at the same time, meaning a maximum 20 years in prison. She would have to serve at least half the sentence before she becomes eligible for parole.

Investigators have said they found a bottle of prescription Xanax in Boyett's Camaro, but District Attorney David Sheffield tells KFDM News there wasn't evidence Boyett was intoxicated so the grand jury couldn't indict her for intoxication manslaughter.

In response to what he said were suggestions from citizens that he seek a possible murder charge, Sheffield told KFDM News there's no evidence to back that up.

"This is the legal justice we can give the Sterling family, not pretending to be able to give moral justice to this cause," Sheffield said.

Troopers say Boyett was traveling at more than 150 miles an hour when she was first clocked in Jasper and 120 miles an hour just before the collision at the intersection of Highway 96 and 69 in Lumberton.

Connely was in the rear seat of her family's Nissan Murano. Her sister, Courtney was driving the Murano. Their mother, Dawn, 46, was in the front passenger seat.

Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins called it a "horrific scene." The Camaro struck the rear of the Murano and pushed it off the highway and onto the grassy median near the service road. The collision was so violent debris flew about 600 feet, or the length of two football fields, from the point of impact.

Chief Sullins says Burns graduated from Lumberton High School. He told us her husband was working in the oil industry in North Dakota when he learned about the accident that killed his wife and her their unborn child.

(Thursday report) HARDIN COUNTY- by Haley Bull

The Hardin County Grand Jury has indicted a suspect from Kirbyville for a collision that killed a woman, her unborn son and the woman's sister.

The grand jury indicted Crystal Boyett on three counts of manslaughter for each death and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for injuries the girls' mother suffered in the collision.

The crash in Lumberton Feb. 3 killed Connely Burns, 20, her unborn son she'd named Tyson and Burns' sister, Courtney Sterling, 15. Sterling was a student at Lumberton High School.

The same day the grand jury returned the indictments, friends remembered the sisters.

"She's like our inspiration, just to do good and like, always smile and perform and be happy," Maci McCurley said.

Four of Sterling's friends gathered, talking about their memories of a friend, classmate and color guard teammate.

"We're constantly talking about her, like what would Courtney be doing right now, like how would Courtney feel about this situation and like, she's definitely a part of color guard it doesn't matter if she's here or not," Kealey Jackson said.

"It'll be weird to think you don't have any classes with her, but you know it's still like you'll sit in a chair and know she'll be there like encouraging you, telling you how to do your classes right," Morgan Mount said.

Next week, the four girls will head back to class at Lumberton High School keeping the memory of Sterling alive.

"It's like you know that she's there and that she's watching over us and that she's telling us to calm down," Paige Hunley said.

Crosses on the side of the road mark where investigators said a driver traveling at more than 100 mph just before the crash, hit the family's SUV near the intersection of Highway 96 and Highway 69 in Lumberton.

"I wouldn't term this an accident. From our point of view, it's a horrific crime," Hardin County District Attorney David Sheffield said.

Two days after the collision, police arrested the driver of the car, Crystal Boyett, 40, of Kirbyville. A grand jury indicted her Thursday on three counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, each is a second-degree felony. If convicted, Boyett faces a punishment from probation up to 20 years in prison. If convicted and sentenced, Boyett would have to serve at least half the sentence before she is eligible for parole.

Sheffield said there was not enough evidence to charge Boyett with intoxication manslaughter. In response to what he said were suggestions from citizens that he seek a possible murder charge, Sheffield told KFDM News there's no evidence to back that up.

"This is the legal justice we can give the Sterling family, not pretending to be able to give moral justice to this cause," Sheffield said.

Even after they're gone, the sisters are still bringing smiles to their friends' faces.

"They were always the kind of there kind of pulling people up instead of pushing them down," McCurley said.

"Now it's just kind of like you laugh and you find the energy to stop crying and remembering," Mount said.

Connely's best friend Brooke writes to KFDM News:

"Connely was my best friend of six years. We knew we would be the day we met. She was everything you look for in a good person, and she would have been a great mom. Her son, Tyson, would be around 4 months old now. We were all so excited to watch him grow, as well as to see her continue to grow as a beautiful mother. I have so many great memories with her. My favorite was Christmas Day of this past year; I had to work all day so she came up there that evening with dessert Dawn had made and stayed with me just talking together for hours so I wouldn't be alone. That's the kind of thing she would do for the people she loved. That's what I know people will remember about her. Now that she's gone I have a huge emptiness in my life. I miss the three of them all day everyday and the feeling will never go away."

Billboard to display picture of credit union robber

SOUTHEAST TEXAS - From FBI

 

A digital billboard campaign is being launched offering a reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of an unknown Beaumont bank robber.  The armed robber held up tellers at the Southeast Affiliated Federal (SAFE) Credit Union located at 2002 North 11th Street in Beaumont, Texas earlier this month.     

 

In an aggressive effort to identify this armed robber, the FBI is partnering with the Lamar Advertising Company, Clear Channel Outdoor and Crime Stoppers of Houston.  Starting today, digital billboards located in both Beaumont and Houston will publish the armed robber's photograph and advertise a reward in the case.  Crime Stoppers of Houston will pay up to $5000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the armed robber.   

 

The armed robber's aggressive tactics caught the attention of bank employees and responding officers on Thursday, August 7, 2014.  At approximately 9:35a.m., the robber entered the SAFE Credit Union wielding a knife and demanding money.   After jumping the counter to get some cash, he fled east on foot through the Sweet Gum apartments and in the direction of the Ridgewood Retirement Center.  No one was physically hurt during the robbery.

 

The armed robber is described as a Black male, approximately 5'9" tall with a thin build.  He wore baggy tan pants, a dark hoodie, dark bandana or ski mask and a baseball style hat with an orange bill. 

 

In addition to the bank robber, investigators need the public's help to identify another individual who is wanted for questioning in the ongoing investigation.  This individual conducted business inside the Safe Credit Union the day before the robbery.  A photograph of the man wanted for questioning is attached to the end of the press release. 

       

Anyone with information that could help identify the unknown bank robber or the man wanted for questioning in this ongoing investigation should call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS (8477).  Tips may also be submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org, or sent by text message: text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637).  All tipsters remain anonymous.

 

Clear Channel Outdoor and the Lamar Advertising Company donated the digital billboard space as a public service to the community. 

 

Former Chambers County deputy, suspended jailer both arrested

CHAMBERS COUNTY - From Chambers County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Brian C. Hawthorne reports today that Chambers County Sheriff's Office Investigators have been working on information that has led to the arrest of Charles Culp, a former deputy of Chambers County Sheriff's Office who was assigned to the jail as a Jail Supervisor and Tracy Rogers a commissioned correctional officer who was also assigned to the jail, and is currently on suspension pending the outcome of this investigation.

Information of falsifying documents or the misuse of documents had come to the attention of the Sheriff's Office administration. After a thorough investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit of the Chambers County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division, (CID) felony warrants were filed charging the two with the "Misuse of Official Information." The charge is classified as a 3rd degree Felony.  

Sheriff Brian Hawthorne stated "This administration is doing what we said we wanted to do, and that is to bring integrity back to the Chambers County Sheriff's Office."

Both turned themselves in at the Chambers County Jail and are awaiting arraignment.

This case is still under investigations by the Chambers County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Unit.

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