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New felony charge against murder suspect

JASPER COUNTY - By Steve W Stewart/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company

A new felony charge has been filed against a man who, along with his girlfriend, are accused of murdering an elderly man near Jasper late last year. According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a charge of attempted robbery has been added to the list of charges against Robert Kelly Mounts, 48, of Vidor.

Mounts and Ashley Nicole Lewis, 29, of Newton, are accused of the November 2014 murder of 85-year-old Herbert W. Deaton at his home west of Jasper. Investigators say the pair took Deaton’s pickup truck and credit cards and used them for several weeks as they fled the area and the State of Texas. Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman says along the way they committed more crimes to finance their flight from justice before they were eventually captured several months later in an Indiana motel room several months later.

Mounts is now charged with Murder, Tampering with Evidence, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, and Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse of an Elderly Person, all in Jasper County, along with Attempted Felony Class 5 Robbery in Colorado and two charges of Sexual Assault in Maine.

Lewis is charged with Murder and Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse of an Elderly Person, both in Jasper County.

Mounts and Lewis remain in the Jasper County Jail.

North Texas man sentenced in fictional Disney scheme

SHERMAN, TX (U.S. Attorney's Office) - A 35-year-old Plano, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for defrauding investors in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

 

Thomas W. Lucas, Jr., was convicted on Feb. 13, 2015, of seven counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI and was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.   

 

According to information presented in court, from 2006 to 2010, Lucas devised and executed an elaborate scheme to defraud approximately 280 investors out of approximately $20 million by telling them he had insider information regarding a Walt Disney resort and theme parks planned for the North Texas area. 


Lucas’s scheme to defraud solicited two types of investors – those that invested in options to purchase land supposedly near the Walt Disney property and those that actually purchased land supposedly near the Walt Disney property. 


While information presented in Court showed tens of millions of dollars more were raised based on Lucas’s fraudulent Disney information, the value of the land purchased was subtracted to determine the overall loss amount of approximately $20 million. 


The 65 investors that invested in options to purchase land lost all of their money invested, which was slightly over $8 million, and received no interest in land.         

 

According to Lucas, the Disney Resort and Theme Park was originally set to be called, “The King Ranch Project,” but that changed in 2007 to “Frontier Disney DFW,” both of which were completely fabricated. 


Disney witnesses, including Disney’s then Chairman of Parks and Resorts and executive assistants, testified at the trial that the information presented to investors by Lucas was not authentic and that Disney never had any intentions of opening a Disney resort and theme park in north Texas at any time. 


Lucas pocketed approximately $450,000 from fees and commissions gleaned from the various land deals closed on his fraudulent Disney information.  When confronted by the FBI about the scheme, Lucas falsely blamed the Disney information on a man he had previously met at a methadone rehabilitation clinic, who is now deceased.  Lucas was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 11, 2013. 

 

Lucas was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $8,456,360.00 to the investors who invested in options to purchase land, and was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Eason and J. Andrew Williams. 

DPS releases gang threat report

SOUTHEAST TEXAS- Jessica Crawford

The Texas Department of Public Safety has released a Gang Threat Assessment.

To view the report, click here.

Tonight at 6 on KFDM, Jessica Crawford reports which eight gangs the DPS says are making an impact on the region.

The report outlines which gangs the DPS sees as "significant" throughout different regions of Texas. It also projects whether gang activity will increase or decrease.


 

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