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Burnet County Bulletin (Newspaper) - January 20, 1977, Burnet, Texas
Conter p. O. Box 36 pal1j3, to co 532 xxx la iv7i o get probated terms Houston found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in Barton slaying by Chuck Dean Burnett an All White five Maie seven female jury spent two and a half hours tuesday afternoon before finding two Burnet men guilty of voluntary manslaughter but then spent three and a half hours wednesday before recommending probated sentences. Lee Don Houston 22, was sentenced to ten years in the Texas correctional facility and his brother. Frankie Ray Houston 27, was sentenced to five years in connection with the sept. 20, 1975 slaying of David Lee Barton of Burnet. Both sentences however were probated during the trial at which District judge j v. Hammond 33rd judicial District of Texas presided. Burnet county citizens on the jury were mrs. . Lewis Danielle Meredith Matthews mrs. . Hasty Theresa Lewis mrs. Jess Hall Sam Mcham Silas Lemuel Black Juanita Simmons Frances m. Reed Melvin Campbell and Foreman Keith Clark. The two Brothers were convicted of slaying Barton with a .22 Caliper pistol As he stood talking with two Burnet county sheriff s deputies. Prosecuting attorney Lewis Crump of san Saba argued that the men be found guilty of premeditated murder. The two men represented by Edith Roberts of Austin pleaded not guilty by reason of self self defense. Quot i suggest that if there Ever was a premeditated cold blooded murder in Burnet county or anywhere else this was it. This was no Case of self defense Barton was known to be occasionally armed but he was not armed on this Day whatever a Man s reputation he s got a right to defense counsel Edith Roberts argued that the defendants be found not guilty these Young men have nothing to hide. They have both taken the stand when they Aren t required to do so. Lee Don even gave a statement to the police before he knew the Man had died. Nowhere in this Case do we have an autopsy despite the five shots fired from the pistol nowhere is there an official report showing which Bullet was the cause of death the Penitentiary is a place for people who Are a menace to society these Young men have been free on bail for a year and a half and Haven t caused any trouble. Nor do they have a previous record of trouble other than speeding tickets. I done to believe a person who is intent on murder would take a .22 Caliper pistol and commit murder right before the eyes of two the killing of cared on the above Date at around 12 40 As David Barton stood in front of his father s Home at 804 e Marble talking with two deputies Elgin Shelburn and Weldon Buck the two officers were inside their patrol car and Barton stood outside talking through the left front window according to Shelburn testimony. Shelburn testified that the two Houston Brothers pulled up the Burnet county a bulletin i 104 no. 5 Jan 20,1977 4 sections 24 pages Puc ruling favors Burnet i City Falls in rate band two Burnett a it was definitely Worth our Effort to intervene a a wee Burnet City manager Jack Tippitt e reaction to the ruling in the Continental Telephone rate Case which lowered phone rates in Burnet by $1.75 for one party residential customers end raised one party business rates 50 cents. In the final order which was announced it a hearing last Friday the Public utilities commission concluded that Continental has a Revenue deficiency of $1,350,537 compared to the company t original request for $5.1 million which would have resulted in an increase of 44 percent higher rates state wide. Rates in Burnet for a one party residential line would have jumped from $9.25 to $13.35 and one party business rates would have increased from $18.50 to $29.35. However Puc ruled that the proposed rates As Well As the present rates charged by the company Ere Quot not just and reasonable nor Are they sufficient equitable and consistent in application to each class of a test your figures As adjusted by Puc indicate that Continental has an annual Revenue requirement of $33,150,249 with reve nude of $31,790,712 and the difference represents the additional Revenue required. The final order recommends a 7.98 percent fair rate of return with a 12.7 percent return on invested capital. Puc adopted the same size rates bands for Continental customers which were approved in the southwestern Bell rate Case based on the value of service concept in which value is defined As the number of Telephone numbers that can be reached without paying any charge above the Basic local monthly charge. A in the Puc staff s opinion the value of service for Burnet related to a lower rate band and consequently lower rates than we have been charged a a Tippit said. Continentals local service revenues were reduced by $187,898 with no More than 20 percent of residential and business customers paying higher rates while 80 percent will pay either the same or lower rates for Telephone service. Rates for one party residential customers in rate band two which includes Burnet Bertram Buchanan dam and Lake Victor will be $7.50 plus $2 instrument charge and one party business rates will be $19 with an instrument charge of $2.50. Although the rate Structure is the same As previously ordered in the Bell rate Case the relationship Between grades of service differ because Continental has an unusually High proportion 21 percent of four party customers who will share the Burden of the increase with the other classes of customers. A breakdown of the rate Structure for two. Four and multiparty and Rural tines is also available and customers will be Able to get information from the local Continental office in a few weeks. In the final order the commission reported that Continentals service a is poor system wide and does not meet the commissions minimum standards Puc ruled that unless service is substantially improved it May be necessary for the commission to investigate the use of funds by Continental Telephone corp. And to consider the withdrawal of Continentals certificates of convenience and necessity. Continental must Correct All service problems which can be eliminated through proper maintenance efforts and test the Call completion percentages for local extended area and direct distance dealing services and report the testing results to Puc a while i have had no experience with Rural areas or Bertram i can to complain about the Quality of service in the City of Burnet As compared to the service in other Small communities which Are served by smaller companies other than Bell a a Tippit said. The City manager added that the a people in the local office have been a big help to the City of unmet and i feel warmly toward them but on the other hand i done to want to pay higher Telephone rates than i have a Jim Arnold supervisor at the Burnet Continental office said in in an operations manager and while in in concerned with rates i am even More concerned with the High Quality of a Arnold said he will not object to the lowering of rates As Long As pucks ruling a does no to Cut into construction funds or programs that would help a the commission also ruled that All Telephone books printed after feb. 1 will have to include additional information in the Call guide concerning policies toward credit installation charges Del erred payment plans disco tin Nance of service types of rates available and methods by which complaints can be made to Tho company or to Puc. Continental must submit a revised Tariff pursuant to the final order within 20 Days and the Puc staff will have 30 Days to review the Tariff for compliance. New rates could be implemented at the first Billing period after new tariffs have been filed with the commission. Behind them and Lee Don got out and approached Barton. After some Brief words the two men struggled. Shelburn said Houston grabbed Barton around the shoulders with one Arm pulling a 22 Caliper pistol from his own Waist with hit other hand and shooting Barton Point Blank in the head. When Lee Don Houston took the stand he further explained the shooting. After he had shot Barton once and Barton broke free moving toward his own car Houston continued shooting he said firing five shots in All Barton fell mortally wounded in his driveway with three bullets in his head Shelburn testified that after the first shot was fired he got out of the car and from behind the open car door shouted Quot Stop and fired a shot with his pistol. Frankie Ray Houston came up behind Shelburn with a .22 Caliper Rifle pulled Down Shelburn gun Arm and said Quot done to shoot my Shelburn ceased firing with Barton bleeding on the ground Shelburn said. Lee Don threw his pistol in the driveway turned and gave himself up to the deputies Frankie Ray likewise handed Over his Rifle the deputies immediately called for assistance and an ambulance. As the neighbourhood gathered. Barton was carried into an ambulance and taken to Shep Perd Hospital emergency room. The physician on duty Jon Garwacki recognized Barton s critical condition and transferred him to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin. Barton died at 7 20 in the emergency room at Bracken Ridge. Or. Albert Lalonde pronounced Barton dead. No autopsy was ordered. The two suspects were arrested for assault with intent to murder and taken to the Burnet county sheriff s department where they were interrogated by Troy Porterfield a Texas Ranger from Llano. Porterfield a prosecution wit Ness at the trial said a obtained a statement from Lee Don. Wrote the statement and Lee Don signed it. The two Brothers were taken to Lampasas jail where they spent the night. The next afternoon each Man was released on $25,000 Bond. In his statement As written by Porterfield and which he signed Lee Don Houston said Quot Frankie and i Tad made up our own minds that we were going to shoot David because of All the trouble Between him and Euia under Cross examination by prosecuting attorney Lewis Crump Houston denied the Validity of hts statement Quot they Porterfield wrote it like they wanted to write it. I can t take pen and write it for them said Houston Quot you signed it did t you Quot said Crump Quot sure i signed it they told me to sign. I signed it i was trying to cooperate things go smoother if you cooperate Quot Quot you had an agreement ahead of time about How it the death was supposed to said Crump. A no we did to a said hous ton. According to Lee Don hous ton the shooting resulted from trouble that had built up Between Barton and his wife Fula Jean Barton Houston s sister Over some five years of common Law marriage. The Barton s had separated and were in the prness of obtaining a common Law divorce. Eula Jean had received custody of their daughter five year old aretha Barton and had obtained a restraining order on Barton preventing him from coming near either his wife or the child. Barton his wife testified had a violent nature. He kept firearms around the House and had on one occasion shot her Quot in the upper thigh Quot with a 38 Ca ii bet pistol. She also testified that she had once shot him in the leg with a 12-gauge he was threatening me and would t leave the House Quot Eula Jean said. Crump reminded her several times of the fact that she and Barton had separated numerous times but always kept getting Back together. Quot he always kept coming Back Quot she said Quot there was no Way to keep him the latest trouble Between the couple happened the night m Barton s death at a game in Burnet stadium Eula Jean had gone out of town and left her daughter aretha in cart of her older sister thirteen year old Norma Jean Mosea. Moree had taken the girl to a see Page a3 sheriff appoints new county Deputy Burnet Burnet county sheriff Wallace Riddell ended the search last week for a Deputy to fill the vacancy in the Silver Creek area when he hired Bob Kennedy of Silver Creek Kennedy is a resident and Homeowner in Silver Creek and he and his wife Peggy have three children. The new Deputy is not certified but can be. Sheriff Marble Falls resident commits suicide Marble Falls funeral services were held at 3 . Monday at Clements funeral Home in Marble Falls for 62-year old Cia Ranee Brazier of Marble Falls Braziel was found along with a .22 Caliper pistol in the front seat of his 1975 four door Buick automobile saturday afternoon by official from the Travis county sheriffs department. Jim Collier of the Travis county office said that they Wert notified about 12 06 saturday that the Buick Sedan parked on the Side of Texas Hwy. 71 West three Miles East of the or 3238 intersection lust 17 Miles Northwest of Austin was a possible traffic Hazard. Attar investigating the deputies found the victim lying on the front Anat of the car with his feet protruding through the open door Braziel had been shot once in the Chest and Collier said. A the wound was clearly Seif Mai cited a a he apparently was not completely gone when the deputies Collier added a doctor stopped at the scene and checked him and thought momentarily that there was some life left but he was expired a a Collier also said that Braziel showed indications of a previous medical problem and that ill health might have been a motive in the shooting a suicide note was not found. Braziel was a retired employee of the lower Colorado River authority and he and his wife lived in a Lakeside Mobile Home in Marble Falls survivors include hts wite Alvena Braziel of Marble fails two daughters Sandra Trussell of Marble Falls and Linda e True of Jonesville la Mother Essie Braziel of Dallas father William Braziel of Goldwaite. One brother Bob Braziel of Austin one sister Margaret Pumphrey of Dallas and three grandchildren trustees accept bid order election by Marty Primeau Burnet a trustees of the Burnet school Boa a accepted a $4,500 construction bid for in pavements to the High school running track and ordered the 1977 school Board election at their regular meeting tuesday night. Following their executive session the Board also voted to renew superintendent Robert Wilkin s three year contract and extend it one year with trustee Sally Williams voting against the motion and hired Jerrylyn Baker As a speech therapist and Laurie Walker As a kindergarten teacher. The Board set april 2 As the Date of the school Board election at which time the terms of Gene Taylor and mrs Williams will expire. Wilkin received permission from the Board to appoint the following persons to serve As election judges Absentee mrs. Bonnie Fawcett and mrs. Mary Grant Burnet mrs. Fannie Phillip Bertram Sam Hamilton Briggs mrs j m Caskey Lake Victor mrs. Thelma Vowel Buchanan dam Conrad Arnold Cassie. Preston Hickson and East Lake Buchanan Leo Eveleth i to bids were opened for construction of inside and outside curbs on the High school running track As Well As a High jump take off. Pole vault runway and Broad jump runway with Caj construction submitting s Low old of $4,570.74. Hat construction entered a bid of $7,625 40 Wilkin said that even when the new stadium is bum the school District wit need two running tracks to accommodate students in the High school and the inter mediate school a this is a Good investment for the future a a Wilkin said and trustee Taylor added that the Board a a won to Gat a better Deal than this a Resolution was approved to allow the Board to borrow funds from the first state Bank of Burnet to a provide for prompt payment of teacher a salaries and to meet other current operating costs of maintaining the school and payment of Bonds and interest a Wilkin explained that because the schools closed Early in december for the holidays before state funds could Gat to the District a $90,000 Short term loan had to be obtained to pay the teacher s salaries a signed Resolution approving the loan la required by the stat to a kept on fit in the Riddell said under the Grandfather clause. All he Wilt have to do is Send in his papers Quot Kennedy worked for the a haul company for several years and served is the assistant chief of police in Marlin for four and a half years. He began working for Burnet county last week and will Over the territory of Silver Creek Council Creek Cassie and inks state Park. The sheriff announced earlier this month that he had hired a former Burnet county Deputy George Humphrey of Houston to fill the position that was opened when Deputy Jim Parker left the department dec 30. Humphrey however did not take the Job and remains in Houston where he is employed St a dispatcher for a trucking company. Library bids deadline extended Burnet the Burnet county commissioners met at 9 tuesday Jan 17, at the county courthouse for a special called session with the Library Board. A motion to extend the time for receiving bids for new Library furnishings and fixtures until i p in. Feb i carried Una Mously bids will be opened at 2 fab. 2 and the contract will be awarded at 9 feb 7 the commissioners also accepted the Bond of the newly appointed precinct 2 commit Stoner Hardy Willis
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