In the News

6 News Reporter Hana Kim contributed to this report.

At least five other apartments were destroyed. (source: Campbell County Sheriff's Office)
JACKSBORO (WATE) - Four people's homes were destroyed Thursday night when a meth lab exploded in a Campbell County apartment complex. The sheriff's office says it happened around 8:30 p.m. at Rick's Apartments on Pinecrest Road in North Jacksboro.

Officials say David Wayne Williams was cooking meth in his apartment when it exploded. He was burned on his hands, neck and face.

Five other apartments were destroyed.

Most of the units were occupied. Jimmy Byrd says he and three others owe their lives to a passing UPS man who first yelled fire.

"I appreciate it. I had no idea. I didn't smell smoke or nothing," Byrd said.

Williams was flown to the Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville after he was initially treated at St. Mary's Medical Center in LaFollette.

Officials say no one else was hurt in the explosion.

Residents say Williams doesn't live at the apartment complex, and they've never seen him before.

Williams has a long criminal record, including two previous charges of producing meth and several other drug and weapons charges. The charges in this case are pending.

The Campbell County Meth Task Force deemed the burned units unlivable, but says the other residents are okay to stay where they are.

Brandy Leigh Parmer

MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge here on Thursday handed down a 6˝-year prison sentence to a woman who helped buy ingredients for a methamphetamine lab that exploded a year and a half ago, damaging a Bayou La Batre motel.

Brandy Leigh Parmer's sentence is in line with what a pair of co-defendants received in the case, but less than the 10 years sought by prosecutors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gloria Bedwell pointed to the blast at the Bayou La Batre Inn and Suites on July 6, 2009, as well as the explosion of a different meth lab in Choctaw County operated by an associate of Parmer's.

"Her activity makes that possible," Bedwell said.

Parmer, 32, of Mobile, tearfully described her descent into methamphetamine addiction.

"Meth has destroyed my life," she said, adding that she embarrassed herself, her children and her parents. "I am so ashamed."

Parmer originally was set to plead guilty to a methamphetamine conspiracy charge and a gun offense related to a weapon that was found in a vehicle she was riding in January 2009. But U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose stopped her from pleading guilty after determining that there was not enough evidence to support the plea.

Parmer followed through with the guilty plea to the drug conspiracy, but the judge scheduled the case for trial on the gun charge, and a jury acquitted her of that offense in September.

Notwithstanding that not-guilty verdict, Bedwell tried to hold Parmer accountable for gun possession as a sentencing enhancement. A convicted drug dealer, Charles McConnell, testified that in addition to the gun that was in the vehicle in which he and Parmer were riding in January 2009, he also had bought her a .25-caliber pistol the previous September.

"She liked it because it was small," McConnell testified. "So I ended up buying it for her with a half a gram of meth."

Defense attorney Gordon Armstrong confronted the witness with testimony from a former cellmate who told authorities that McConnell told him he would be willing to lie about Parmer if it would help him.

DuBose discounted McConnell's testimony.

"I find Mr. McConnell to be incredible and not worthy of belief," she said.

Parmer's mother, Angela Gillis, told the judge that her daughter married a man she met on a fishing pier. Gillis said that the two used drugs together and, after the husband committed suicide, Parmer ended up marrying his drug dealer.

Gillis said she is raising four of her daughter’s children, while another daughter is raising Parmer’s fifth child. Although she and Parmer's sister have begun the process of legally adopting those children, Gillis said, “We want so much for Brandy to be a part of their lives."

Texas' 10 Most Wanted fugitive arrested

January 05, 2011 4:26 PM
Naxiely Lopez
The Monitor

RIO GRANDE CITY — One of Texas' 10 Most Wanted fugitives was caught here Tuesday afternoon, said Lt. Elizando Bermudez, Rio Grande City police.

Texas Mexican Mafia member Abel "Sleepy" Barrera, 35, was wanted for an alleged parole violation stemming from charges of possession of marijuana and crimes against a person, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A public announcement of his addition to the Most Wanted list was made Tuesday morning and by 2:15 p.m. the Texas Crime Stoppers Hotline had received numerous tips about his whereabouts, according to a news release from DPS. The agency offered $10,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Barrera was arrested later that day around 2:30 p.m. at a friend's home at Las Brisas del Norte apartment complex on north FM 755, Bermudez said. DPS was assisted by the Texas Rangers, Rio Grande City Police Department, Starr County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshals, officials said.

The 35 year-old has been arrested numerous times over the past 15 years for crimes including deadly conduct, evading arrest, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance and many more. A DPS wanted poster reports Barrera tended to fight with other inmates while incarcerated.

A public records search shows Barrera pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in 2001 and to burglary of a habilitation with intent to commit a felony in 1995. He is currently in custody at the Starr County Jail, Bermudez said.

Two people will receive a share of the $10,000 reward.

Naxiely Lopez covers law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor. She can be reached at (956) 683-4434.

Most Wanted fugitives arrested - January 9, 2011

Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND —Three individuals featured recently on Allegany County’s?“Most Wanted”? list were arrested recently by Cumberland Police — two who were charged in connection with a robbery and stabbing, and a third accused of assault and child abuse.

Michael Caleb Paugh, 28, of Cumberland, was being held on $100,000 bond in connection with an incident at a Pennsylvania Avenue residence on Jan. 2, when a 41-year-old victim reported that Paugh had stabbed him with a pocket knife after Paugh and another suspect took cash from his wallet, according to Cumberland Police.

The victim was taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Police arrested Paugh on Jan. 5 at a Virginia Avenue residence after receiving a tip on his location, according to a press release issued Saturday. He is charged with armed robbery and first-degree assault.

On Friday, Cumberland Police arrested a second suspect in the case. Danielle Nicole White, 24, of Cumberland, was charged with robbery, armed robbery, theft, and conspiracy and was being held on $100,000 bond, according to police.

A third “Most Wanted”?Allegany County suspect, Brandon Jamal Spruell, 23, of Cumberland, was served two warrants at a residence on Winchester Road in Cresaptown by members of the C3I?unit, with assistance from the Maryland State Police.

Spruell was charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in connection with a Dec. 4 incident when his 23-year-old wife reported he had assaulted her at their home during an argument. In a separate case, Spruell was charged with second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault after a joint investigation by the C3I?unit and Child Protective Services into allegations that Spruell had physically abused a 3-year-old child several times during the month of December.

Spruell was being held on two bonds totaling $100,000.

Missing child found

Tamarcus Daise, 1, was found near the 2100 block of Dartmouth Avenue in St. Petersburg.

Updated: Friday, 07 Jan 2011, 11:23 PM EST

Published : Friday, 07 Jan 2011, 5:23 PM EST

ST. PETERSBURG - A child reported missing inside a stolen car has been found.

Police said the 1-year-old was found at the 2100 block of Dartmouth Avenue in an alley. They say he appears to be unharmed.

Earlier Friday afternoon, police said the child's father left him in an unlocked running car while he knocked on the door of an acquaintance's apartment from the area of 17th Street near 1st Avenue North.

When he turned around, he saw the car taking off with the child in it, police said.

The child was identified as Tamarcus J. Daise. The child's father, also named Tamarcus Daise, was reportedly arrested on an obstruction of justice charge. Police said the father provided them with false information, but did not say what the false information was.

There is no word yet on who stole the car with the child inside it.

Jaycee Dugard Found After 18 Years, Kidnap Suspect Allegedly Fathered Her Kids
Husband-and-Wife Suspects in Custody; Husband a Registered Sex Offender

LOS ANGELES Aug. 27, 2009

A girl who was snatched off the street 18 years ago has been found and the man-and-wife team that allegedly grabbed her has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape, officials said today.

Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29, was kidnapped 18 years ago, but has been found and rescued. Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy have been charged with her kidnapping and are being held on $1 million bail. (Handout)

The identity of Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29, was revealed when she accompanied Phillip Garrido for questioning by his California parole officer. Garrido, a convicted kidnapper and rapist, also was accompanied by his wife Nancy and two young children that Garrido said were his.

Undersheriff Fred Kollar said in a news conference that Jaycee was the mother of the two young children who had been fathered by Garrido.

Jaycee, who Garrido had renamed Allissa, was reunited with her mother Terry Probyn today, and the mother told ABC News that her daughter had been held against her will all these years and confined in a box in the back of the Garrido's house.

Kollar said that Jaycee had been held captive at a house in Antioch, Calif., since the day she was abducted and none of their neighbors ever knew.

He described the location as a "hidden back yard" within a larger yard that was arranged in such a way "to isolate the victims from outside contact."

Entrance to the secret yard was guarded by a 6-foot-tall fence, tall trees and a tarp, he said.

Kollar said Jaycee and the two children lived a series of sheds, including one that was soundproofed and that could only be opened from the outside. In addition, there were two tents in the yard.

"None of the children had ever gone to school, they had never gone to a doctor," Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation."

When asked about Jaycee's condition, the undersheriff said, "She is in good health, but living in a backyard for 18 years does take its toll."

Jaycee was with her mother today along with her two children, ages 11 and 15.

Garrido had been called in for questioning by his parole officer after being alerted by University of California-Berkeley campus security that Garrido was acting suspiciously. When Garrido showed up for his grilling, there was difficulty in establishing the identity of everyone with him, said Scott Kernan, undersecretary for operations of California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Under questioning, Garrido admitted to having kidnapped Dugard when she was 11 years old.

"There is nothing to indicate this was anything other than a stranger abduction," Kollar said. "No connection to the family. They literally snatched her off the streets." Officers were convinced that Garrido was telling the truth when he and Jaycee told them details that only the kidnapper and victim would know, Kollar said.

Both Phillip Garrido, who is a 58-year-old registered sex offender, and Nancy Garrido, 54, are being held on $1 million bail, charged with kidnapping to commit rape.

The stunning news that Jaycee was alive and had been found elated Jaycee's parents.

"I had personally given up hope," her step-father Carl Probyn said. "I had just hoped for a recovery" and to find the people responsible. Instead, he said, "I've actually won the lotto."

But as the day wore on and details emerged of Jaycee's ordeal, Probyn became distraught.

Breaking down in tears, Probyn told ABC News, "My girl has no proper schooling and I don't even know what shape she is in. I don't know if she was treated like an animal. ... This is so horrific, I don't believe it."

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