SAN ANGELO, TX – Now that the holidays are over, it’s back to business as usual at the Tom Green County Courthouse.
In fact, beginning at 9 a.m. this morning, there are several pre-trials taking place. Some of those pre-trials, and others this month, include some well-known names and cases. Others, however, our readers may need a little reminder of who they are and the charges they’re facing.
Here are the top cases to be on the lookout for this month.
Murder, Manslaughter and Accident Involving Death Cases
A few well-known defendants facing murder, manslaughter and accident involving death cases will be in court this January.
First and foremost is Isidro Delacruz, Jr., 26, of San Angelo. As we wrote previously, Delacruz Jr. was issued another continuance, so instead of going to trial as originally planned this month, he will be in Judge Ben Woodward’s court on Jan. 4, 2017 at 9 a.m. for another Criminal Pre-Trial.
Delacruz Jr. faces the death penalty for the capital felony murder of five-year-old Naiya Villegas in 2014, the daughter of his ex-girlfriend. The incident took place in the 3100 block of Lindell Street, and officials located the knife at 2729 Houston St.
In addition to Delacruz Jr., Kimberly Nichole Linthicum, 32, another defendant facing murder, possession of controlled substance, and burglary of a habitation charges, will be in court this month.
This morning, Linthicum will appear for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17, she will return for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial Case.
A grand jury indicted Linthicum for causing the death of Brian Kyle Plunkett by strangling him in June 2010. This was a cold case solved five years after Plunkett’s death. The charge of murder is a first degree felony.
In Jan. 2015, a grand jury indicted Linthicum for possession of methamphetamine in April 2015, a state jail felony enhanced to third degree felony. In July 2014, she was indicted for Burglary of Habitation, which occurred in Sept. 2014, a second degree felony.
For more on Linthicum, visit here.
Next, Christopher Lee Mata, 40, who was indicted in Jan. 2016 for “intentionally and knowingly” driving a vehicle that involved an accident that resulted in the death of Joe Carlos Lopez in Aug. 2015, a second degree felony enhanced to first degree.
Mata was also indicted for trying to conceal the vehicle, a Ford Expedition. Because he had previously been convicted of Possession of Controlled Substance in Oct. 2009, his third degree felony was enhanced to a second degree felony.
Mata will be in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17 for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial case.
For the original story on this case, click here.
Finally, Carlos Salazar, 30, who pleaded guilty in April 2011 for the manslaughter of David Camp in 2010, and received five years Deferred Adjudication Probation and had to pay a $1,500 fine, will appear in court on Jan. 17 for a Plea of True—No Recommendation.
The State of Texas District Attorney’s Office is requesting to revoke probation because Salazar, on Feb. 2, 2016, was arrested for DWI; he failed to avoid injuries or vicious habits by using alcohol, which was not upon a written prescription of a reputable licensed physician; he failed to report the DWI arrest; and he failed to report to the Concho Valley Community Supervision and Corrections Department, per court order, eight times in 2014 and 2015.
Sexual Crimes Against Children Cases
This month, 14 defendants indicted on sexual offenses against children will make their way to the Tom Green County Court.
One of those will be Stephen Kelly Franks, 39, who faces charges of Continual Sexual Abuse of a Child younger than 14 along with Bail Jumping and Fail to Appear Felon.
Many of our readers may remember Franks. He was set for a jury trial where he planned to plead not guilty before the court on April 25, 2016. However, he never showed, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Franks later turned himself in, but now faces the second charge. However, that action allotted him more time. He was set for trial on May 16, 2016, but a continuance was granted. He was supposed to appear for two more Criminal Pre-Trials and a Jury Trial in June and October, but got continuances for those months as well.
Franks will be in court today, and as long as no more continuances are granted, he should begin a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial Case on Jan. 17, 2017.
Other defendants in court for crimes against children include the following:
- Joseph Prestiano, 40, faces Sex Abuse of Child Continuous of a child younger than 14; he will appear in court today for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17 for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial Case. For more on his case, click here.
- Cody Daniel Granado, 27, faces a Sexual Assault of Child charge; he will appear on Jan. 30 for a Plea of Not True to Motion to Revoke Probation (this means he will deny having violated his probation). He was originally indicted in April 2011, and the crime occurred in May 2009.
- Robert Bruce Bamman, 54, previously pleaded guilty to Indecency w/child Sexual Contact with a child younger than 17. This is an older case dating back to Sept. 1996. However, he will appear on Jan. 31 for a motion hearing.
- Seth Sterling Allbright, 28, faces six counts of crimes against children: four for Sexual Assault of a Child, one for Indecency w/child Sexual Contact, and one for Indecency w/a Child Exposes. The victim was younger than 17, and the incidents occurred in 2014. He will be in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial. For more on Allbright, click here.
- Clayton Thomas Kitchens, 19, faces an Indecency w/ Child charge of a 14-year-old girl dating back to July 2015. He will be in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial. For more, click here.
- Jonathan Gould, 28, faces Indecency w/child Sexual Contact, with a victim younger than 17, dating back to Aug. 2015. He will appear in court today for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17 for a Jury/Pre-trial Case. For more on this case, click here.
- Jesse L. Rojas, 31, faces three crimes against a child younger than 14 and 17: Two Aggravated Sexual Assault Child charges and one Indecency w/Child Sexual Contact charge dating back to 2009. He will be in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial. For more, click here.
- Miguel Angel Davila, 34, faces a Sex Abuse of Child Continuous: Victim Under 14 charge and Injury Child/Elderly/Disable w/Int. Bodily Injury. The sexual abuse of the child allegedly began in June 2011 and continued through May 2014. He will appear today for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17 for a Jury/Pre-Trial Case.
- Alejandro Perez, 52, faces Indecency w/child Sexual Contact with a child younger than 17 dating back to Aug. 2015. He will be in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17 for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial case. For more on this, click here.
- Dustin Carnes, 38, faces seven charges of Possession of Child Pornography dating back to Nov. 2015. He will be in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial. For more on his case, click here.
- Joseph Prestiano, 40, faces a Sex Abuse of Child Continuous: Victim Under 14 charge dating back to Dec. 2015. He will appear this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial, and on Jan. 17 for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial Case. For more on this story, click here.
- Jesus. H. Ramos, Jr, 75, faces an Aggravated Sexual Assault Child charge of a child younger than 14 dating back to Nov. 2007. Ramos was previously convicted of Murder in Tarrant County on June 12, 1992. He will be in court today for a Criminal Pre-Trial. For more on his case, click here.
- Jimmy Martinez, 37, who was indicted on Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in 1988 will appear in court on Jan. 9 for a Motion Hearing to address Forensic DNA Testing of Evidence Containing Biological Material.
Many readers may remember our “A ‘Big Bag of Crazy’ Found in Suspected Arson Case story involving 34-year-old Chelsea Jo Strube. Strube was indicted for Arson in July 2015. According to the indictment, in Sept. 2015, she “then and there” intended to damage or destroy a vehicle and start a fire by igniting a flammable liquid and piece of fabric placed in and near the gas tank of a vehicle.
Strube will be in court today for a Criminal Pre-Trial. She will also appear in court on Jan. 13 for a Motion to Suppress hearing, and for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial Case on Jan. 17.
Also in court this month for Arson and Possession of a Controlled Substance is 37-year-old Jim Bob Flanagan.
Flanagan was indicted in Jan. 2015 for intending to “damage or destroy” a habitation in the 1300 block of Preusser St. during that same month. He was also indicted in July 2014 for possession of methamphetamine in Oct. 2014.
Finally, Alex Raymond Garcia, 24, will appear in court for a Pre-Trial on Jan. 25. A grand jury indicted Garcia in Jan. 2015 for his “intent to damage or destroy a habitation” in the 100 block of 11th St. by igniting combustible materials inside the residence in April 2015.
For more on this case, click here.
Firearm Smuggling Case
Also in court this morning for a Criminal Pre-Trial is Felix Antonio Pina, 20, indicted in July 2016 for Firearm Smuggling. According to the indictment, on or about April 27, 2016, Pina “knowingly” engaged in transporting or transferring a firearm.
Pina will also appear in court on Jan. 17 for a Jury Trial/Pre-Trial Case.
For more stories on this case, click here.
The Ray Zapata and John Young Case
Finally, on Jan. 30, Ray Zapata, 64, and John Young, 56, will appear in court for a Pre-Trial Hearing.
A grand jury indicted Zapata in Jan. 2015 for Theft Property>=$200K, Aggravated Perjury, and two counts of Forgery Financial Instrument. These crimes allegedly occurred in 2014 and involved the Estate of John Sullivan or The Lawful Heir of John Sullivan.
Young, also in 2015, was indicted on Theft Property>=$200K, Misappropriation Fiduciary/Financial Property>=$200, Aggravated Perjury and Forgery Financial Instrument charges involving the same estate.