New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 19, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
JBl New J-U-L Braunfels
New Braunfels, TexasHgpald-ZeitungVolume 93—No. 14 16 Pages
THURSDAY January 19,1984 25 Cents
General's death rule d a suicide
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A two-star Army Reserve general had committed suicide when he was found hanged at Fort Sam Houston, Bexar County Medical Examiner Vincent DiMaio ruled today.
Maj. Gen. Robert G. Ownby, 48, was found bound and hanged from a second-story stairwell Jan. ll.
A typewritten note pinned to his sweater said the general had been “sentenced and executed” for “crimes by the U.S. Army against the people of the world.” A handwritten note found on Ownby’s desk said he apparently had startled some intruders and was going to investigate. The notes initially led some to believe terrorism or murder was involved.
But Bexar County Medical Examiner Vincent DiMaio ruled
today it was a suicide.
“It’s not a murder. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind,” DiMaio said at a news conference. “...Re-enactment at the scene of a number of possible death scenarios show that the circumstances of the death were consistent with suicide.”
Ownby’s hands had been tied tightly behind his back with a military web belt, and a rope noose was looped around his neck. But there were no signs of violence at the scene and his body bore no marks or bruises.
The medical examiner said Ownby brought the typewritten note to the scene, “put the noose around his neck, slipped his hands through a looped belt and tightened it, lowered the rope over the railing, straddled the railing and just sort of slipped off.”
He said Ownby killed himself for financial reasons, but would not elaborate.
Asked what led him to suspect suicide, DiMaio said, “It’s the whole amalgamation of things — the phones were working, there was no evidence of forced entry — you can’t point to one thing.”
He said Ownby had access to the typewriter on which the note was written, which was located “behind locked doors.” He would say only that the typewriter was not in Ownby’s home or at reserve headquarters and that imperfections in the type convinced investigators it was the machine on which the note was written.
See GENERAL, Page 16
Willhelm extension upsets CISD group
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
It looks like Comal ISI) might be in for another storm over a two-year contract extension given to Supt. Edgar Willhelm Tuesday night.
“It’s not over ’til ifs over, and to me, ifs not over,” were the words of Concerned Taxpayers spokeswoman
Carter Casteel, who was disappointed, disillusioned and vocal Wednesday over the news.
“We wrote a letter to the board and Willhelm asking to inform the group when it came time to reconsider his contract,” she said, holding a copy of the letter in her hand. The letter was dated Jan. 2, but she never received any response.
The same people never responded to her first letter, dated Oct. ll, even though a paragraph warned the letter’s contents would be made public if a reply never came forth.
“It’s a different ballgame now," Casteel said. “The Advisory Committee asked us to sit back, cool off
See CISD, Page 16
Furnace blamed for fire
ByDYANNEFRY Staff writer
Fire Marshall Elroy Friesenhahn said it was carpet laid too close to a floor furnace that caused a Thursday morning house fire at 880 W. Coll.
The house was owned by local businessman Andy Divine, and some of his family members had reportedly just moved in. Friesenhahn said they discovered the fire shortly after arising this morning. First, they noticed the electricity was off. Then they opened the bedroom door, and were assailed by smoke. Firefighters were called in at 6:19 a. rn.
The fire started at the floor furnace vent. Friesenhahn said that carpet had been laid directly under the edges of the grid, and that it may have smouldered for hours before the fire went under the floor, came up through the water heater closet and spread into the attic.
Three firefighting units reported to the scene, and were relieved by the next shift at 7 a m. The trucks didn’t get back to the station until almost 8 30 Damage to the house was estimated between $7,000 to $10,000. but the residents escaped without injury.
Friesenhahn issued a general warning to everyone who has a floor furnace "to make sure there are no combustibles in the immediate vicinity.”
He said the carpet under this vent had been there for years, and might have caught fire at any time.
Slob photo bv John N Son to*
Elroy Friesenhahn inspects the fire damageGrand Jury indicts woman for shooting husband
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
A New Braunfels woman who allegedly shot her husband last Oc tober was among 22 individuals indicted by a Comal County Grand Jury Wednesday.
Lien Thi Carley of 1290 Mary Preiss was charged with attempted murder on Oct.3, but indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Wednesday. Her husband, Wesley Carley was treated and released from McKenna Memorial Hospital for a bullet wound to the right side of his abdomen following the incident.
A Sheriff’s Office report indicated an argument between tile two started in the couple’s living room. A deputy said the woman chased her husband around the house, firing four shots. Then he broke a window to escape,
she went outside and shot him as he crawled out the window.
Sheriffs LL Gilbert Villarreal said she fired two shots into the house while she was outside, but only one bullet hit the man.
Also indicted Wednesday was Julie Strid Thompson of 1254 Highway 81 East on forgery by possession and forgery by passing. Thompson was found guilty by a Comal County jury Dec. 2,1983, of forging her father-in-law’s signature on the back of an $80 check, cashed at H.E.B. on April 17.
She elected for the judge to decide her punishment after the guilty verdict, and 207th District Judge Robert Pfeuffer said he would set her punishment Dec. 21. He then postponed any decision by 90 days to allow Thompson to attend a drug rehabilitation center.
Thompson's indictment Wednesday involved a check written on Nov. 14 to K&B
liquor Store, signed by Millicent I .ane on a Guaranty State Bank account.
Another indictment Wednesday involved a Guaranty State Bank account, closed out just hours before a New Braunfels woman went on a $1,500 shopping spree on Oct. 27,1983 Sundra Pearson of 935 Interstate 35 West, No. 97, was indicted for theft over $750 and less than $10,000 by the Grand Jury.
Police Lt. Felix Roque said Pearson closed out her account and reported her checks missing. A store owner who called the bank to okay a check was told by the bank that the check might be a forgery, and police were alerted to Pearson’s physical description. She was later arrested for felony theft.
Six men were indicted Wednesday for Driving While Intoxicated — subsequent offense. They were Jimmy Allen Ray of Route I, Box 340, Bandera; Frank John Reese Jr., of
330 Kitty Hawk No. 1106, Universal City; Gregory Addison of 351 E. North; Gilberto Nanez Alejos of 267 N West End; Ray Gutierrez of 101 Crockett Court; and Gary Dane Faour of IIH Eagle Dr., No. 23, Denton.
Enhanced indictments were returned against Mario Gutierrez Martinez for bail jumping and burglary of a habitation with commission of aggravated assault. Gutierrez is currently in jail in Tucson. Ari/
The burglary of a non-habitation indictment against Robert Arzola of 1135 Ruiz San Antonio was also enhanced
Richard Lynn Underwood of 2518 Hillglenn, Dallas; Rafael Gutierrez Jr. of IIH Charco Blanco, Rio Grande; Sidney Eugene Miller of 908 I^essel, Jacksonville, Ark ; and Kenneth Alan Alexander of 940 Wood Road were each indicted for delivery of a controlled substance
and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver All four indictments involved a Nov. IO incident, with a Department of Public Safety narcotics officer listed as a witness
A New Braunfels man. indicted for an unrelated possession of cocaine charge, has nut been arrested yet. as well as a San Marcos man indicted twice for bail jumping.
Others indicted were Robert Thomas Worley of 123 Gaywell Dr., San Antonio, possession of a prohibited weapon; Edward Charles Hendershot of 564 Wards Corner Road, Ixiveland. Ohio, for credit card abuse; Mano Valadez of 460 Central, burglary of a habitation
Also, Thomas Howard Whitby Jr., of 34194 Ave P, Galveston, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; and George Ayala of 4014 Stathmore, San Antonio, burglary of a non-habitationKeeping Mother Nature happy
Developer handling trees with care on Holzapfel property
rn srThe trunk of this cedar tree is plenty big, as Bobbie Landrum demonstrates
Slob pttoto by Dvonnm Fry
Residents of Garden Ridge’s newest neighborhood will be walking in the tracks of a man who built his home of stones he dug up himself, squeezed juice from wild grapes and minded trees as though they were livestock. A rancher who lived in solitary self-sufficiency for 45 years, and left his estate to Boysville when he died in 1980 Dr. Eduard Holzapfel is a tough act to follow. But developer Ben Barranco figures there's more titan one way to cut a subdivision.
He planned his new community, Forest Waters, around the natural features of Holzapfel’s old ranch.
“(Holzapfel) had started to harvest the timber, and he had also pretty well defined die swamp area,” said Barranco. The “swamp,” created by the intermittent trickle of Brown’s Springs, is being turned into two small lakes. Streets were laid, when possible, in areas that Holzapfel had already cleared. And when Barranco can’t find some way around a nice tree, he just moves it.
His company moved 29 trees last February, with
Scientist on Jones jury
GEORGETOWN (AP) — Eleven parents and a microbiologist who spent five years testing intravenous solutions will decide whether Genene Jones is an innocent defendant or a nurse who used her skills to kill a baby.
Chelsea McClellan, a 15-month-old Kerrville girl, died in September 1982 during a frantic ambulance ride. Prosecutors say Ms. Jones, 33, killed the girl with a powerful muscle relaxant.
Testimony was to begin today, and the Infant’s grandmother and greatgrandmother planned to be in the cour
troom. Robin Alexander of Tow, the girl’s grandmother, said, “I’ve always felt like I had to be here. I’m no good sitting in the house waiting.”
Hester Turner of Longview, a 72-year-old great-grandmother of four, predicted the trial would be an emotional rollercoaster for her.
“Ifs like a wound that you keep opening and pouring salt in,” she said of the death of her great-granddaughter.
The seven-woman, five-man jury was sworn in Wednesday at the end of three days of jury selection. All have children,
the help of Henry Ramirez I-andscaping Service of San Antonio. The biggest one had a trunk diameter of 18 inches, and many were between 40 and 50 feet tall.
“We balled up and moved trees that everyone said we couldn’t move,” the developer said “We said, we’ll go ahead and give it a shot, and if it doesn't work — we tried.”
Some trees were moved to less wooded lots. Others were re-planted rn the street medians, or around the shores of the planned lakes. As of this date, “We haven't lost a one,” Barranco said
l.ast week, Ranurez moved 15 more good-sized oaks to make room for the subdivision’s back entrance, which will connect Forest Waters Circle with Bat Cave Road. “We have delayed doing it until this time of year,” said Bobbie laindrum, who works in the Forest Waters field office. Winter is the best time to move trees Barranco said this year’s extracold temperatures make it that much easier, because the oaks are about as dormant as they’re
except for the microbiolgist.
The case could hinge on the testimony of a Swedish scientist who developed a test he said can detect the drug Ms Jones allegedly injected into the McClellan child. Througout the jury selection, attorneys on both sides asked potential jurors about their knowledge of science, and whether they had relatives in medicine.
State District Judge John Carter asked reporters not to use jurors’ names. He said, “We are not a big city” and iden-
See JONES, Page lf
going to get
The landscape company dug a deep trench around each tree, then used heavy equipment to heave it out of the ground The burlap-wrapped root balls measured six feet across or more
These are trees that Dr, Holzapfel spent years babying and growing,” said landrum But they'd look Uke sapUngs next to some of the trees that Barranco didn’t move.
An ancient cedar, trunk weathered aUnost to white, doiiunales one section of the forest with all the gnarled dignity of a giant sequoia Its trunk diameter of two feet, nine inches makes it one of the biggest things around here In fact, l-andrum said Holzapfel had applied to have it listed in the Texas Big Tree registry
“This was one of his very favorite trees,” sh* said Barranco platted the subdivision so that the giant evergreen sits near the back corner of one lot.
See TREKS, Page Ii
Increasing cloudiness this afternoon, with a high in the upper-30s and winds from the northeast near IO mph. Tonight will be cloudy with a 30 percent chance of freezing drizzle or sleet, and winds continuing from the northeast. Friday will be cloudy, windy and coker, with a high near 30 and a 50 percent chance of sleet or snow.Funny Man
Washington's John Riggins appeared at a pre-Super Bowl press conference Wednesday in a paratrooper’s outfit and jumped right in the middle of things Sports, Pape 8.
COMICS ............... 16
DEATHS .............. 3
TV LISTINGS.................... 16