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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 29, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas TJT SATURDAY MAY f n FORUM LETTERS Readers discuss Memorial Day Wein and Saengerffest Social j Security and lone soldier coun j cilman Valentine SPORTS SEASON ENDS Smithson Valley Rangers fall to Corpus Christ Moody 100 in second game of playoff series Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since f852 Vol 163 No 172 16 pages 2 sections CK com i Partly cloudy High Low 96 72 Details1B 2B Hernandez sentenced to 55 years for murder By Ron Malonoy Staff Writer After hearing two weeks of testimony a Comal County jury Friday took three hours to convict John Hernandez of organized criminal murder and sentence him to 55 years in state prison Hernandez 32 faced up to 99 years in state prison for the April stabbing death of Pablo Esquivel even though he reportedly didnt do the stabbing himself Codefendant Santiago Crazy Jimmy Suarez has admitted the stabbing to detectives Codefendant Daniel Campos Correa plead ed guilty to murder in exchange for a maximum 11 year sentence cap Hernan dez drove the car used in the Defense attorney Glen Peterson vowed to appeal As Hernandezs wife Rosa Linda left the courtroom cry ing Peterson laid out his plans for continuing the defense of his client after the jurys ver dict Peterson and cocounsel Rebecca Gibson argued repeatedly against admitting police officers testimonies about information gained about the Mexican Mafia from Girl injured in wreck DAVID Branch and Canyon Lake Fire and EMS personnel prepare to load Laci Lee Belcher into an awaiting helicopter after the Smithson Valley High School senior was thrown from the pickup truck she was driving onto the shoulder of FM 3159 about Friday afternoon Belcher was scheduled to graduate today Lad Lee Belcher was set to graduate from SVHS today By Brand Grissom Staff Writer The evening before she planned to graduate from Smithson Valley High School emergency medical technicians worked desper ately to keep Laci Lee Belch er alive after a onecar acci dent Belcher 18 was driving a newermodel Ford F150 pickup truck southbound on FM 3159 about about one mile south of the rest area when she lost con trol of the vehicle said Texas Department of Safety troop er Rusty Nesbitt The vehi cle careened into the south bound shoulder then slid across the highway into the northbound culvert where it struck a large rock and began to roll Nesbitt said Belcher was ejected from the vehicle during the roll Nesbitt said She was airlift ed to University Hospital in San Antonio by Critical Air At press time a hospital spokesman said Belcher was in critical condition Comal County Sheriffs offi cers the first to arrive on the scene found Belcher on the shoulder of the road with a major head injury said Canyon Lake Emergency Medical Services Chief Shawn Wherry She was unresponsive and had major head injuries and a right femur Wherry said She had a pulse and medical personnel had opened an airway to allow for assisted breathing when Crit ical Air staff arrived to trans port Belcher he said Comal Independent School District spokeswoman Kari Hutchison said Belcher is a strong leader her peers as well as the faculty and staff at SVHS During her junior year See WRICK Page 3A Couple says drunken tubers assaulted them By Brandi Gruttom Staff Writer April Shortridge said her arm is in a sling and her neck is in a brace because she was trying to protect her children from river revelers indecent behavior Shortridge and Robert Nate who live in the 100 block of Liberty Avenue just blocks from the Comai River were injured in an altercation with several tubers who decided to use the street in front of their home as a restroom The incident began after the two confronted the young men about their behavior While Shortridge and Nate say the fight Thursday was just another sign of river revelers getting out of hand police and city officials say the situation was one that could have been avoided They advised New Braunfelsers to prepare for a weekend of rowdiness by being cautious These guys Jo wrong no said John YiUanreal New Braunfels police lieu tenant But confronting them See TUMBE Page 3A and Robert Mate say they were attacked 8 iiw of lutaw OMllidl IW Utarty Awm hoflw Thursday awswg after asking them not to urinate in toe mat informants and asked for a mistrial Robison allowed the testi mony nonetheless although he appeared to reverse him self in his instructions to the jury telling them to disregard the testimony Within 30 days Peterson will prepare a petition to the Third Court of Appeals in Austin Prosecutor Joe loane who claimed from the beginning of the trial Hernandez was a soldier in the Me ican Mafia said Petersons vie vpoint was not surprising See MURDE Page 3A Memorial Day observances no like they used to By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Although we celebrate Memorial Day as the begin ning of summer it is foremost a day of remembrance for those who died in our nations service Memorial Day should be a day to remember the sacri fices that gave us the free doms we enjoy every said Mayor Adam Cork We need to remember past gen erations of men and women who died for the freedoms we Michael Meek Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Com merce president urged peo ple to pay tribute to veterans I hope people take the time this holiday to remember vet erans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our he said As the years go by we lose more and more veterans who served in World War II and other Local veterans groups will conduct Memorial Day cere monies Beginning at 8 Sunday American Legion Post 35 and See HOLIDAY Page 3A AMERICAN LE ON AND AUXILIARY OST35 1 Members will pi e small flags on ve erans graves beginning at 8 a n Sunday at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park on Texas 4 Members will place large flags beginning at 7 Monday in down own New Braunfels The fifth annual service and layin wreath will take at the Quad Memorial Park o Mike Fitsko will WALTON F HOI FMANN MEMORIAL M 8T 179 AMERICAN lEQldN Members will pi veterans graves teries on Peace ning at A breakfast hon War II veterans at 9 Mond home at 410 W VFWPOS Flag raising at 8 at post home at Ave FIRST BAPT1S 1 am and 1 Sunday Memori es at 733 Cross recognition of a sonnel attendin service be emorial of the ace at 10 upe Valley Texas 46 eak e flags on t the ceme begin vlonday ng World II take place at the post oil St For 250179 7110 m Monday 00 Peace CHURCH Day servic special nilitary per he COMING SUNDAY CISD fears unanticipated costs will put budget in red By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Comal Independent School District trustees are con cerned the district might be over budget for the 200304 school year Trustees approved in additional funds for main tenance and operation proj ects Thursday night but they were not happy about it In recent months we have become aware of spending issues that raise a lot of ques said newly appointed board President Nick Nichols We do not have a good idea of what the overall picture is going to be in August is the last month of the districts fiscal year Additional fur ds were approved for unforeseen air conditioning repairs reloca tion of portable bui dings and permits for waste water dis posal facilities The extra expense will come out of the general fund Superintendent Nancy Fuller said she did riot believe the district would finish the year in the red We are not expecting a negative she said Trustees are nervpus about Page3A KRA
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