San Angelo Courts Grapple with Sex Crimes and Murder


This week, multiple pre-trial hearings are taking place at the Tom Green County Courthouse. Some of San Angelo's most infamous accused are plea-bargaining or delaying trials. However, some cases are moving along to trial as the slow wheels of justice turn in Tom Green County.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the more notorious cases.

Daniel Armenta Gets Deferred Adjudication for Sex Crime

On Feb. 9, Daniel Armenta, 28, received an Order of Deferred Adjudication to which he pled guilty to one count of Sexual Assault of a Child, a 2nd degree felony. This means that Armenta has been placed on Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision for a period of eight years and is ordered to pay a fine assessed in the amount of $1,000.

In Mar. 2015, Armenta was arrested for two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated kidnapping after picking up a teenage girl by the school buses in Mertzon and bringing her to San Angelo, where he sexually assaulted her.

According to the complaint filed with the case, the female victim, who is under the age of 17, but older than 13, called Daniel Joseph Armenta asking for weed. He told her he would bring her $20 worth.

At around 2 a.m. on March 11, Armenta contacted the girl about the marijuana deal and drove to her place of residence in Mertzon where he picked her up. It was moments later that Armenta sexually assaulted the girl in the backseat, even after her demanding him to stop and forcibly removing his hand from her pants. After a second failed advance, he took her home and met up with her after school by the Irion County school buses in Mertzon for her to have an opportunity to pick up more weed.

According to the complaint, Armenta would not allow the girl out of his car as he drove back to San Angelo’s city limits. At some point back in San Angelo, Armenta fell asleep and the girl was able to gain control of his phone in order to arrange a way home.

For more on Daniel Armenta, click here.

Accused Murderer of Man on a Bicycle

Additionally this week, Stephano M. Culbreath, 46, was appointed a new lawyer. This new lawyer was granted more time to become acquainted with the case files and to familiarize herself with the charges and details. There have been three more pre-trails set so the attorney and prosecutor may decide when to take the Murder case to trial: Mar. 8, Apr. 6, or May 3.

Culbreath is charged with the murder of 24-year-old David Titus. Culbreath and Titus were believed to be acquaintances. Police investigators alleged that Culbreath was pursuing Titus while driving a maroon Chevrolet Suburban and struck Titus’s bicycle before he shot Titus at the location. The complaint against Culbreath suggests that the murder may have been drug related since he was also indicted for possession of a controlled substance, which police found on his person when he was taken into custody.

For more on Stephano Culbreath, click here.

Accused Facebook Creep

Terry L. Freeman, 45, who was picked up by the Texas Department of Public Safety in December of 2014 for one count of online solicitation of a minor. Freeman’s trail has been moved to March 8 at 10:30 a.m. because Freeman requested a new attorney to be assigned to his case.

In July 2014, Freeman was set to plea guilty to his charge but made a last minute move to abandon the deal. A few short months afterwards, in August, there was a first request of substitution of counsel, and six months later, he’s requesting yet another substitution.

Freeman was one of nine jailed in a sting conducted by TxDPS and San Angelo Police in Dec. 2014 that resulted in six third-degree felony indictments punishable by two to 10 years in the penitentiary and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The week-long operation landed Freeman and eight others behind bars, each of them responding to a “bored teen ad” on the Internet. The complaint states that the accused expressed their intentions to engage in sexual activity with minor female children under the age of 15 who were actually police investigators.

Freeman is free on bond.

For more on Terry Freeman, click here.

Accused Miles Sex Offender

Justin Riordan, 29, is set for Jury Trial on Feb. 16 where he is expected to plea not guilty to the charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault to a Child.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 22, 2014, Riordan attended a barbecue gathering in Miles where the victim was staying. During the gathering, the girl consumed large amounts of alcohol without the consent of her guardians and stayed up with Riordan, and two other people, after other guests had left and family had fallen asleep. The victim had fallen asleep with the two others on the sectional couch whereas Riordan positioned himself in the recliner.

At some time around 1 a.m., Riordan positioned himself on top of the victim where he forcibly sexually assaulted her and demanded that she not speak of it to anyone.

Two days later, a sexual assault examination confirmed that the victim had indeed been sexually assaulted.

Riordan is requesting the jury to grant him community supervision, if convicted, as he has no prior convictions. Riordan is currently out on bond and maintains his "not guilty" plea.

The Paul Ramos Saga

Paul L. Ramos, 45, was granted consolidation of all charges where now he will be facing two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, one count of Indecency with a Child Exposed, and one count of Indecency with a Child Sexual Contact. Ramos is set for a Criminal Pre-Trial on Apr. 5 and a jury trial on Apr. 25.

In Apr. 2015, Ramos was accused of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 14 on a continual basis since “the 100th day of school” this year, resulting in his arrest last week on a first-degree felony charge.

The investigation into Larry Paul Ramos, the accused perpetrator, began when the child victim made an outcry to Officer Cathy Delaughter at the San Angelo Police Department on Mar. 18, 2015. According to a complaint, the child told forensic interviewer that Ramos had repeatedly sexually assaulted her from approximately Feb. 11 to Mar. 15.

Ramos later consented to an interview and admitted that he had access to the child during the time frame the abuse is alleged to have occurred, but stated that he had no sexual contact with the girl. Instead, Ramos told detectives that she had asked him to inappropriately touch her in the past.

Ramos is currently out on bond.

For more on Paul Ramos, click here.

Accused Child Abuser

Brett A. Brooksmith, 50, is on trial yet again, but this time for three counts of Injury to a Child/Elderly/Disable with Intent Bodily Injury.

He is accused of sticking a child younger than 14 years of age and intentionally and knowingly causing bodily harm. According to the arrest complaint, authorities said Brooksmith abused a 13-year-old boy on May 12 last year; that boy later reported the abuse to someone at his school. Brooksmith was indicted on the charges on July 8.

Brooksmith is currently in jail and has been restricted from contact with the victim. The courts have set his trial date for Feb. 16 where, even though he is pleading not guilty to all charges, even the prior, the State Defense Attorney has offered him a plea deal. That offer was to expire at the close of business Feb. 10.

His prior convictions, which are disposed, include two cases of Indecency with a Child Exposure in 1995, sex offenders duty to register and a motion to revoke his probation for sex offenders duty to register 10 years (which was granted) in 2004. He was charged again with sex offender’s duty to register 10 years (failure to register) in 2006, and is now facing his current charges.

For his first case of failure to register, Brooksmith was given community supervision where he was restricted from leaving Tom Green County without the approval and permission of his Supervision Officer or the Court. During Brooksmith’s second charge of failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements, he plead guilty to and his probation was revoked. He was confined to the State Jail Division for a period of 365 days (1 year) with a fine of $2,500.

His third charge of failure to register was a request to reduce his sentence that was denied, even though he met the requirements of attending the Cognitive Intervention Program and the Face of Anger course. Considering his current charges, those classes don't appear to have worked.

For more on Brett Brooksmith, click here.

Failing to Register

Harry Perales, 39, another sex offender, is charged with Failure to Register. His is currently scheduled for a Pre-Trial hearing on Mar. 8.

Perales' previous convictions include an Aggravated Sexual Assault to a Child in 1994 where he engaged in intercourse with a female younger than 14 years of age. He only received 10 years probation for this offense, and 8 years later, after the conditions of his probation were modified in lieu of a violation report. This report stated that Perales used alcohol, went to a place where children commonly gather, was in possession of pornography, and failed to submit to a polygraph examination. He was referred for outpatient substance abuse counseling due to his prior alcohol abuse that he completed successfully.

Perales later submitted to a polygraph examination in 2003, which proved he continued to look at pornography, used prohibited substances and was still in contact with minors. Another report also shows that he has repeatedly defied his conditions of probation by not submitting to a urinalysis examination and avoiding a supervision officer.

In 2004, Perales went to court for a Motion to Revoke Probation that was granted, and he was confined in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of eight years. He failed to register again in 2005, which was dismissed. Now he is facing charges again for failing to register.

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