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KFDM learns Crystal Boyett indicted for crash that killed Lumberton sisters, unborn child

HARDIN COUNTY- KFDM News has learned the Hardin County grand jury has indicted a woman 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.

KFDM's Haley Bull was at the courthouse for the exclusive information and reaction when the grand jury returned the indictments. Watch KFDM News and stay with kfdm.com.

The grand jury Thursday indicted Crystal Boyett, 40, of Kirbyville, on three counts of manslaughter for the deaths 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 20 years for each charge. She'd serve the time concurrently, or at the same time, meaning a maximum 20 years in prison. Boyett was charged soon after the collision and released on $1.5 million bond in June.

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.

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.

Update on area of disturbed weather we're tracking approaching Caribbean

SOUTHEAST TEXAS - KFDM and the National Hurricane Center are monitoring an area of disturbed weather moving into the eastern Caribbean.

Stay with KFDM, KFDM Weather and kfdm.com for the latest on the area of disturbed weather.

Click here for the National Hurricane Center website.

According to the National Hurricane Center, shower and thunderstorm activity associated with an elongated area of low pressure located about 350 miles east of the Lesser Antilles has changed little in organization during the past several hours.

Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development during the next day or so, and a tropical depression could form while the system moves west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph across the Lesser Antilles and over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

The mountainous terrain of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba could limit development during the first part of the weekend, but conditions are expected to become more conducive for development by early next week when the system is forecast to move near or over theBahamas.

Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, gusty winds and heavy rainfall are possible across portions of the Lesser Antilles, PuertoRico, and the Virgin Islands tonight and Friday, and over Hispaniola late Friday and Saturday.

Interests in those islands should closely monitor the progress of this disturbance. An Air Force ReserveHurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the low this afternoon, if necessary.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

Average gasoline price continues dropping in region

BEAUMONT - The average price for one gallon of regular unleaded has dropped three more cents in Beaumont, according to the weekly price survey released Thursday by AAA Texas.

 

The average is $3.21. It was $3.36 at this time last year in Beaumont. The record high in this area was $4 a gallon in July 2008.

 

 

Irving (from AAA Texas) - The statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in the Lone Star State is now $3.28, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.  That price is 1 cent less than last week and 14 cents less than this time last year.  Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in the state drivers in El Paso are paying the most at $3.36 per gallon while drivers in Amarillo are paying the least at $3.17 per gallon.  Texas drivers are paying 16 cents less than the national average of $3.44.

 

With approximately one month remaining before the start of the shift from more expensive summer blend gasoline to the relatively less expensive winter blend, state and national gas prices averages continue to drift lower. 

 

Geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and Iraq continue to make headlines, but unlike years past when global events would lead to concerns of supply disruptions and subsequently sharp increases in oil prices, these events have been largely dismissed as global oil prices continue to slide.  This is largely due to the relative stability of global supply projections, attributed to the U.S. approaching its highest annual level of production since 1972 and Libya's returning to previous production levels.

 

"Texans are now paying about $46 to fill up the typical 14-gallon size fuel tank which is about two dollars less per tank than this time last year," said AAA Texas/New Mexico Representative Doug Shupe.  "That savings will benefit many people who will be driving around this weekend getting their students ready to return to school on Monday." 

 

To help members and non-members identify quality auto repair shops that can assist in the maintenance and repair of their vehicles, AAA offers the Approved Auto Repair program as a free public service.  AAA-approved repair facilities meet and maintain high professional standards for training, equipment, cleanliness and customer service. Motorists can look for the Approved Auto Repair sign at local auto repair facilities, or search for a nearby AAA-approved shop online at AAA.com/Repair.  AAA Texas can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.  Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.

 

 

Area

Current 08/21/14

08/14/14

Difference

Year Ago 08/21/13

Difference

Record High Date

Record High Price

National

$3.44

$3.47

-0.03

$3.53

-0.09

07/17/08

$4.11

State

$3.28

$3.29

-0.01

$3.42

-0.14

07/17/08

$3.98

Amarillo

$3.17

$3.21

-0.04

$3.37

-0.20

07/16/08

$3.98

Austin-San Marcos

$3.27

$3.29

-0.02

$3.39

-0.12

07/17/08

$3.97

Beaumont

$3.21

$3.24

-0.03

$3.36

-0.15

07/16/08

$4.00

Corpus Christi

$3.26

$3.28

-0.02

$3.36

-0.10

07/15/08

$3.96

Dallas

$3.27

$3.24

0.03

$3.48

-0.21

07/16/08

$3.98

El Paso

$3.36

$3.38

-0.02

$3.34

0.02

07/17/08

$3.97

Ft. Worth

$3.28

$3.24

0.04

$3.48

-0.20

07/16/08

$3.97

Galveston

$3.29

$3.30

-0.01

$3.44

-0.15

07/14/08

$3.97

Houston

$3.28

$3.30

-0.02

$3.41

-0.13

07/17/08

$3.96

San Antonio

$3.26

$3.28

-0.02

$3.39

-0.13

07/16/08

$3.96

Texarkana

$3.28

$3.32

-0.04

$3.38

-0.10

07/17/08

$3.98


Orange County deputies find cocaine, prescription meds in vehicle

ORANGE COUNTY - from Orange County Sheriff's Office

On Thursday, August 21, 2014, around 12:15 a.m., an Orange County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a 2010 Chrysler four door passenger vehicle on IH-10 Eastbound at the 865 mile marker for following too close, in violation of Texas Transportation Code 545.062.

When the Deputy spoke to the driver, he noticed the driver was overly nervous.  The Deputy became suspicious after questioning the driver and a passenger, which led to the Deputy asking the driver for consent to search his vehicle.  The driver consented to the search and the Deputy located approximately 400 grams of cocaine wrapped in duct tape and plastic, hidden in the trunk. 

The driver was identified as 29 year old black male Tyronne Gillin and the passenger was identified as 23 year old black female Erica Patin, both of New Orleans, Louisiana.  Gillin and Patin were placed under arrest of Possession of a Controlled Substance, a 1st Degree Felony, and booked into the Orange County Jail.  During the book-in process, it was discovered that Patin had 67 illegally possessed prescription pills identified as Tramadol, hidden in clear plastic packaging under her clothing.  Patin faced an additional charge of a Class B misdemeanor for Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Justice of the Peace Precinct #1, Judge David Peck, arraigned Gillin and set his bond at $50,000.  Patin's bond was set at $51,000.  Both Gillin and Patin remain in custody at the Orange County Jail.  

Man facing prison time for sex trafficking of minors

SAN ANTONIO - From U.S. Attorney's Office for Western District of Texas

In San Antonio today, a federal jury convicted 38-year-old Marcus Deshawn Wright for his role in prostituting two minor females last year announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI's San Antonio Division and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. The jury convicted Wright of two counts of sex trafficking of minors and one count of production of child pornography.  Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Wright and his codefendants, 22-year-old Malcolm Deandre Copeland and 20-year-old Amber Doak, both of San Antonio, were involved in a scheme beginning in August 2013 to entice and encourage minors into engaging in sexual acts for money.  Wright recruited two minor females to engage in commercial sex in San Antonio and Corpus Christi for his financial gain.  Wright also produced multiple videos which depicted sexual activity involving a minor.

Wright, who remains in federal custody, faces between ten years and life in federal prison for sex trafficking of minors and between 15 and 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16, 2015.

On July 23, 2014, a federal jury convicted Copeland of two counts of sex trafficking of minors. Doak pleaded guilty in March 2014 to one count of sex trafficking of minors.  Each faces between ten years and life in federal prison.  Sentencing for Copeland and Doak is scheduled for December 4, 2012, and September 12, 2014, respectively.

The remaining co-defendant--41-year-old New Hampshire resident Raymond Valas--awaits jury selection and trial scheduled for November 17, 2014, before U.S. Chief District Judge Fred Biery.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) together with the San Antonio Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Bettina Richardson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Geoff Barr from the Texas Attorney General's Office are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

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