Abilene Reporter News, August 25, 1974 : Front Page

Publication: Abilene Reporter News August 25, 1974

Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - August 25, 1974, Abilene, Texas ®fje Abilene porter "WITHOUT OR WITH OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES WE SKETCH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY AS IT GOES"—Byron MTH YEAR, NO. 69 PHONE 673-4271 ABILENE, TEXAS, 79604, SUNDAY MORNING, AUGUST 25, 1974—ElGHTV-FOl'R PAGES IN SIX SECTIONS 25c SI’NP AY +lc St.te S.let Tm Associated PressWRancher Killed; Convicts Elude Manhunt FUGITIVE DALTON WILLIAMS ... escaped from Colorado jail Reporter-News Staff Writers ROTAN—a Stonewall County rancher said to be on an escaped convict-s “death list” was shot and killed Saturday, a day after he warned authorities he might be in danger. Three armed convicts sought in connection with the killing exchanged gunfire with police Saturday night about 150 miles east of here, authorities said. The convicts, escaped from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City, were identified as Dalton Williams, 29, formerly of Snyder; Jerry Aimer, 22, also formerly of Snyder; and Richard Magnum, 22. The Texas Department of Public Safety said the convicts had been seen in Palo Pinto County and had exchanged shots with a DPS unit and a sheriff’s office patrol car. “There were no injuries,” a DPS spokesman said. THS THREE, however, es- The Abilene office of the Department of Public Safety reported late Saturday that several persons were injured in the Hannibal Community in Erath County and there were unconfirmed reports of kidnappings by the three armed convicts being sought by law officers in the death of a Rotan rancher. Unconfirmed reports were that a woman had been killed at Santo in Palo Pinto County shortly before ll p.m. A spokesman for the Stephenville Hospital late Saturday night said three persons suffering from gunshot wounds had been admitted. The three were in undetermined cond -lions, the spokesman said. caped and were still being sought after IO p.m. T. L. Baker, 65, was found slain Saturday morning at his ranch house, 16 miles north of Rotan. Two armed men believed to be among a trio of convicts wanted in connection with Baker’s death a 11 e d g e d I y robbed a Breckenridge man of $6 cash Saturday night and stole his 1974 Mercury Cougar. Breckenridge Police Chief Bob Whitley said the armed robbery occurred at 7 p.m. Saturday. Police said Mike Branden-berger, 19, of 407 N. Dubois in Breckenridge was approached by a man carry ing a shotgun who entered his home through the back door. Another man carrying a long barreled gun entered the front door and the two forced Brandenberger into a bedroom where he was bound with electrical cord from a radio, police said. Police were notified about 8:30 p.m. when a neighbor heard Brandenberger’s screams and saw his feet hanging from a window. Brandenberger was not injured seriously, suffering only badly bruised wrists from the bindings. Police said the suspects abandoned a 1969 yellow Chevrolet truek-camper with New Mexico license plates believed stolen in Lovington. N M. LAWMEN SPENT the day in a search concentrated on Fisher, Stonewall and Jones Counties. Late Saturday, the camper in which the escapees were believed to be traveling was recovered in Breckenridge. Williams and another man had been charged with burglarizing the Baker home earlier this year, and Baker reportedly had identified the guns taken from his home as those used by Williams in another burglary. The slain man's son. Gary Baker of Rotan, and law ofli-cers found the body inside the ranch house after the younger Baker, who had been tied to a utility pole outside the house, escaped and alerted of ficers. The younger Baker had been taken prisoner by the three men after he arrived about 8 a.m. Saturday at the ranch where his father lived alone. Gary Baker was tied up and the keys to his automobile taken. Found beside the body of the dean man was the corpse of his constant companion, a Daschund dog. A SPOKESMAN for the Stonewall County Sheriff's office said Baker had come to the office Friday night to tell officers he had heard Williams had escaped from pnson and was coming to get him and others in the Rotan area. Saturday a member of the Baker family revealed that the elder Baker had received threatening letters from a prisoner in the Colorado State Penitentiary. The member, who asked not to be named, said he did not know who the Rancher Was Worried Friday By KATHARYN DUFF Reporter-News Assistant Editor ASPERMONT —T. L. Baker. 65, killed Saturday in what authorities believe was a revenge slaying, told a Stonewall County deputy sheriff late Friday he was worried that an escaped convict was “on his way from Colorado to get me.” Before local officers could confirm there had been a Colorado prison break. Baker’s body was found, draped with a bedspread, in the front yard of his home. The body of his dog lay beslap his. Mrs. Leona Elkins, office deputy to the Stonewall .sheriff, said that Baker drove from his stock farm between Aspermont and Rotan late Friday to ask if officials here had heard a rumor that Dalton Williams, formerly of Snyder, had escaped from the Colorado State Penitentiary. WILLIAMS AND Ray Dean Campbell, of Rotan, are suspects in a January burglary of Baker’s home in which two guns were taken. Both were in the Colorado prison at Canon City, serving sentences in another case. Campbell did not join in the escape in which Williams and two other convicts broke out Thursday night. Deputy Elkins said the Stonewall sheriff’s office had not heard of the escape when Baker came making his inquiry. “Mr. Baker said it might all be a hoax, but he had been told that Williams had escaped and had said he was going to Texas ‘to get’ Mr. Baker, to get Mr. and Mrs. Slim Campbell and Curtis and Donald McQueen, brothers who live at Rotan,” the deputy said. She said Baker did not give Funeral Pending For Baker ROTAN (RNS) —Services are pending at Weathersbee Funeral Home here for T. L. Baker, 65, killed by a trio of escaped convicts from Colorado at his ranch north of here Saturday morning. Born May 13, 1909, in F'sher County, he was a stock farmer and rancher and a lifelong resident of the area. He married Thelma Anita Jones June 13, 1930, in Roby. She died Dec. 27, 1967. He was a Baptist. Survivors are three sons, Eugene of Hamlin, Stanley of Brownwood and Gary of Rotan; three brothers. Jim of Javton, Bob of Dallas and Charles of Amarillo; four sisters. Mrs. Stella Congleton of Abilene, Emma Baker also of Abilene, Mrs. Essie Copeland of Mineral Wells and Mrs. Ellen Gregory of Dallas and six grandchildren. A daughter. Mrs. Betty Akins, died in 1967. Taylor Deputies In Hamlin Units from the Taylor Countv Sheriff’s Office were in Hamlin late Saturday night aiding Jones County lawmen in the investigation of the shooting death of a Roby stock fanner and the manhunt for three convicts connected with the shooting. Chief Deputy Stewart Dickson said earlier in the day that he told Sheriff Woodrow Simmons in Jones County that Taylor County units were readily available in the event they were needed in the investigation. * Under the law we can leave the county boundary.” Dickson said. “We'll go if we are needed, we don't have to be called.” her any information on why the Campbells, parents of Ray Dean Campbell, and the McQueen brothers would be objects for revenge. Neither did Baker give her details on how' he had ben warned, she said, but she understood he had talked with Slim Campbell. *1 told Mr. Baker Friday night we had received no word of a prison break, but would check on it — and for him to be careful,” Mrs. Elkins said. COLORADO PRISON officials confirmed to the Associated Press late Saturday that Williams had left behind a “death list” when he es-cajied the Canon City prison. The prison officials said Baker’s name was on the list but they refused to reveal the other names. Williams, 28. was joined in the escape by two other convicts, Jerry Aimer. 22. formerly of Snyder, and Richard Magnum, 22. The deputy said the Stonewall County sheriff’s office See BAKER, Pg. HA, Col. 4 Uneasy wait Mrs. J. VV. Turner, mother-in-law of escaped convict Dalton Williams, sits uneasily with neighborhood children at her Hamlin home. A police tip sent officers to the home Saturday afternoon in search of the wanted men. (Staff Photo by Bill Ilerridgei Inside Today Cancer Victim Helps Others Despising pity and heroics, a young Abilene cancer victim believes he's been spored to help people. Pg. 17A. The group that sets world air fare prices announces another IO per cent hike on North Atlantic passenger tickets, and indicates charter prices also will rise. Pg. 14A. Defense lawyers at the Wounded Knee trial are released from jail. Pg. I6A. Police have been guarding the hospital room of reputed Mafia boss Prank (Three Fingers) Coppola since an anonymous calI- mouth. Pg. 6A. Abilene Events Calendar Amusements ........ Austin Notebook Berry's World killed Horoscope 3B in his Hospital Patients DA Jumble Putsle 22A Morkets 12-14A 2B Obituaries 2,3 A I-4B Oil 8C 5A Recordings 3B 4A Setting the Scene IB 2B Sports I-BC, 15C IID Texas 4B 18A This Week In West Texas 4B 9-15C Today in History IBA 22A To Your Good Health 22A . 4A TV Tab 1.161 I 6C Women's News 1-100, 12D Pentagon Became Wary in Nixon's last Days By JERRY T. BAULCH Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon kept close watch during the last days of Richard M. Nixon's presidency to guard against any possibility of orders going directly to military units from the White House, officials said Saturday. Pentagon officials said there was concern about the potential Chat “somebody in the White House,” not necessarily Nixon, might go outside the chain of command and take some action. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger and Gen. George Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took what one Pentagon source described as contingency planning “in the event of improbable circumstances.” The Pentagon officials indicated they felt it important to lie on guard against any possibility in an unprecedented situation. Pentagon spokesman Jerry W. Fried-heim, asked about the precautions, said Schlesinger and Brown were never concerned about any action by elements of the military on their own in support of Nixon. “They were never concerned that something would boil up from below,” Friedheim said. “There never was the slightest indication of that.” He also denied reports that the military was placed under a form of surveillance during this period. In Atlanta, Secretary of the Army Howard “Bo” Callaway said Schlesinger “never discussed with me or any of my subordinates anything like that. The Army was not involved in anything like that.” Callaway said he and other military leaders were more fearful of a foreign power taking advantage of the turmoil surrounding the impeachment.. Callaway acknowledged that he was unaware of any action taken by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, because he is not in the chain of command. Friedheim said no military units were ever placed on alert during the crisis culminating in Nixon’s resignation and the succession of Gerald It. Ford to the presidency. Nixon resigned Aug. 9 after the House Judiciary Committee had approved three articles of impeachment but before they came to a vote on the House floor. Pentagon sources said the precautionary action was designed specifically to assure that no order would go to anv military’ unit for any sort of action against Congress during the period between a House vote for impeachment and a Senate trial on impeachment charges. A Defense Department official quoted Schlesinger as saying, “in keeping with my statutory responsibility. I did assure myself that there would be no question about the proper constitutional and legislative chain of command, and there was never any question.” Earlier, Schlesinger had described the military in this situation as -a force for stability in the country.” Informed sources said there was no special meeting between the secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan the tightening of lines of authority. Instead word was passed that no military' commander would take an order that did not come down through military channels. prisoner was nor when Baker received the letters. In Canon City. Colo., State Penitentiary Warden Alex Wilson said Williams had left a death list at the penitentiary before he escaped and that Baker was on the list. Wilson, who declined to identify others on the list, said the list “involved a lot of people here in Colorado as well as Texas.” He said those on the list in both states “are being watched pretty closely.” ALMER, serving life for murder, and Williams we're identified as former Snyder residents. Magnum was serving three to five years for car theft, while Williams was serving an indefinite term for assault. Colorado prison officials said the escape was due to negligence by prison personnel. The three stole a car and drove away within sight of See AREA, Pg. HA, Col. 5 Trio Seen In Hamlin By BILL HERRIDGE Reporter-New* Staff Writer HAMLIN—The sun rose on this West Texas city Saturday morning, heralding a day not different from any other Saturday in cotton country. But before the sun set residents learned that a trio of escaped convicts had walked in their midst, only minutes after a Stonewall County rn an’s name had been .scratched from a “death list.” DALTON WILLIAMS, one of three escaped convicts from a Colorado prison, was recognized and identified to Hamlin police by an unidentified Hamlin resident shortly after 9 a. iii. Police Chief Ed Wheat said Saturday evening that he had received the information from an informant he said would remain unidentified, for pi elective purposes. “The informant told us that Williams was in the City Food Market about 9 a.m. this morning, Wheat said. We received shortly afterwards a call from the Roby police Department that three white males, travelling in a 1968 vellow camper with New ‘Mexico plates, might lie heading this way.” He noted that he had not been informed that Williams bad escaped from a Colorado prison before the call from Roby. “If we had known he was loose and heading for Texas, See TRIO, Pg. HA. Col. * Hamlin Hospital Bonds Pass HAMLIN — Hamlin Hospital District voters Saturday approved an addtional $500,000 borid issue despite opposition from a group of landowners in the southwestern part of Jones County. In what was called a “’very good turnout.” 555 voted to approve the bond issue w hile 198 voted against. The additional funding will be used to remodel Hamlin Memorial Hospital, making the present 42-bed hospital into a 34-bed hospital to meet federal standards. The first $500,000 bond issue was passed in December w hen the district was created. The group opposing Hie passage of the bond issue claimed that landowners in southern Jones County don t want to pay taxes to the Hamlin Hospital District when most people in that part of the county use Abilene hospitals. The group also opposed the election saying it had not been publicized enough and that only one boting box was used. and it was in the city hall in Hamlin. ;

  • Alex Wilson
  • Betty Akins
  • Bill Herridge
  • Bob Whitley
  • Dalton Williams
  • Donald Mcqueen
  • Ellen Gregory
  • Emma Baker
  • Essie Copeland
  • Eugene Of Hamlin
  • Gary Baker
  • George Brown
  • James R. Schlesinger
  • Jerry Aimer
  • Jerry T. Baulch
  • Katharyn Duff
  • Leona Elkins
  • N. Dubois
  • Ray Dean Campbell
  • Richard M. Nixon
  • Richard Magnum
  • Slim Campbell
  • Stella Congleton
  • Stewart Dickson
  • T. L. Baker
  • Thelma Anita Jones
  • Woodrow Simmons

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Publication: Abilene Reporter News

Location: Abilene, Texas

Issue Date: August 25, 1974

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