New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 29, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
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New ~U—U- Braunfels
New Braunfels, TexasHrald-Ztituiw
SUNDAY January 29,1984 50 Cents
Volume 93—No. 21
66 Pages — 4 Sections
Dramatic testimony marks nurse trial
GEORGETOWN (AP) -Prosecutor Ron Sutton knows his case against Genene Jones is a circumstantial one, and he's trying to send Jurors home each day with fresh thoughts of the most mcnminating circumstances Three times last week during the murder trial a day ended with major, damaging testimony Ms. Jones, a nurse charged in a string of suspicious deaths and illnesses of infants in her care, is on trial here in the Sept 17,1982 death of 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan. The indictment says she died after an injection of a powerful muscle relaxant
last Monday, the jurors heard only one witness. Chelsea's still-grieving mother.
Petti McClellan wept softly early in her testimony By the end. she could hardl) speak.
It was a short day of testimony. giving jurors a long afternoon at home to think about the sobbing mother.
On Tuesday the testimony ended with a poison expert testifying that Chelsea's body showed traces of the drug Ms Jones allegedly injected "In my opinion, I detected, identified and measured succiny(choline present in a number of the samples." Dr Frednc Rieders said in the last answer jurors heard that day.
Sutton’s flair for big finishes resurfaced Thursday, when jurors went home after incriminating testimony from Dr Kathleen Holland, the defendant s tonner boas at the Kerrville clinic where Chelsea got the shots
Ms Holland ended a long day in a stuffy courtroom by telling jurors that Ms Junes suggested throwing out a bottle of succinylchohne that had unexplained holes in its top.
"Throw it out and tell them we lost it," was Ms Jones' suggestion, according to the doctor
in between the almost-daily dramatic finishes. Kerr County Distnct Attorney Sutton has weaved in other incriminating circumstances.
Here’s what the jury has heard from prosecution witnesses: Fifteen-month-old Chelsea went * limp like a rag doll" after nurse Jones gave her two shots that were supposed to carry immunizations The little girl was taken to a Kerrville hospital, where she seemed to improve. But on the way to a San Antonio hospital that day, she died The initial autopsy said Chelsea was a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome victim — a death without a known cause But soon after the death, investigators grew suspicious A test devised by a Swedish toxicologist showed Chelsea's tissues earned traces of succinylchohne. the muscle relaxant the nurse allegedly injected
Ms Holland said she was "confused" by Chelsea's death. She later checked around her office and found two needle-sized holes in the top of a vial of succinylchohne She said she had not used the drug in her office.
The doctor, who was under pressure from medical officials cunous about the death, confronted her nurse Ms. Jones, the doctor testified, had a plan. Ms Jones previously had told her boss that one bottle of the drug was missing When it turned up — wiih the unexplained holes — Ms Jones wanted to get nd of it.
"I don’t think we should explain it at all," Ms Holland recalled the nurse telling her "We thought we lost the vial Throw it out and tell them we lost it"
Defense lawyers, who have not hinted what their case will be or whether Ms Jones will testify, spent its time trying to plug reasonable doubt" into jurors nunds
See NU RSE, Page KA
Was a busy day
Local firefighters battle flames all day long
New Braunfels’ fire trucks didn’t gather any dust on Friday.
They spent more time in the field than they did in the stations, as firefighters responded to a parade of emergencies in different parts of the county.
The ll a m. fire at Texas Industries would have been enough excitement for one day, as far as some people were concerned. But the trucks were just on their way home from there, about M5 p.m., when they were diverted to Comal Iron Works, where a grass fire had spread to a heap of old tires.
The last unit checked in from the iron works at 3:10 p.m. The next call — another grass fire in the Watson Lane-Hunter Road area — came only minutes later. The department’s mini-pumper was still out at 4:37 p.m., when someone called to report smoke coming from a back yard at 959 Twin Oak.
"We haven’t even started deaning up the mess from this morning yet," commented shift captain John Williams Friday, watching what was
left of his central station crew wash and re-roll hoses
The fire at Texas Industries’ cement plant was the most serious, with five trucks reporting from New Braunfels and two from San Marcos. A fire department spokesman said it was started by diesel fuel leaking from a 1,600-gallon fuel tank, which was being hoisted by a crane. A man happened to be welding in the vicinity of the spill, and a spark ignited the fuel.
The only one injured was the welder, wig) reportedly suffered nunor burns.
One of the local trucks on the scene was the Civil Defense volunteer unit, and the volunteer firemen also turned out in force. At one time, it was reported that TXI’s coal bin was on fire, but Williams said the plant had a very effective, automatic extinguishing system inside that bin.
"lf there was any fire in there, it was taken care of," he said.
The grass fire in front of Comal Iron Works
See BUSY, Page KAMALDEF to fight NBISD over election
By DORIAN MARTIN Staff writer
Although New Braunfels LSD is still waiting for a Justice Department ruling on a new election system, the Mexican American l^egal Defense Fund plans to seek a preliminary injunction to stop it
NBISD trustees will call an election at the next board meeting iFeb. 71 for April 7, NBISD Superintendent Charles Brad-berry said
When contacted in San Antonio, MA1JJEF attorney Judith Saunders* Castro said the group would seek a preliminary injunction in federal district court to stop the elec tion
MALDEF has filed a lawsuit in federal court against NBISD because of a proposed election system of five singlemember districts and two at-large districts MAliJEF favors a seven singlemember district plan
The 5-2 system, which was approved by the NBISD trustees Oct. IS, is waiting for approval by the Justice Department before being implemented Until it is approved, the district will continue its system where all trustees are elected at-large by numbered places.
In the called election, two at-large places will be on the ballot Place I, which is held by Garland Uoyd, and Place 2, which is held by Margy Waldnp. Filing for these places will begin Feb 8, and will continue through the first part of March
The trustees had postponed calling an election because, Bradberry said, "We were waiting for something from the Justice Department."
The school district did hear the word on Jan 16; however, that message was that the department needed more time and more information. Therefore, 60 more days i until approximately March 17) have been granted "to get some final decision
from the Justice Department," Bradberry said
If the Justice Department had approved NBISD’s plan of the five single-member districts and two at-large districts, the school district would have changed to that plan for the April 7 election.
However, the district will continue with its present system, unless Justice Department approval comes within the next week Anything after that date would be impossible for us to gear up (fort," the superintendent said
There are no boundaries set up for the 5-2 plan," Bradberry said in explaining why a quick change would be difficult
Noting the "tenativeness of the situation," the superintendent said, "We’ve held off as long as we can
"As of today, the only plan we can legally implement is the one we’re operating under," he said
The nice, sunny weather will continue through Monday, with a high today in the mid-70s and a light front bringing temperatures down to the upper-60s on Monday. Tonight will be clear, and warmer than the past few nights, with temperatures in the lower-40s.
Imogene Freeman’s eight Persian show cats are neither alley roamers nor back-fence yowlers, and she isn’t about to give them up — no matter what City Hall says. Page SA
MKT train derails along Solms Road
Three escape serious injury
An 18-wheeler tangled with a Missouri-Kansas-Texas train Saturday morning, causing three engines and eight loaded cars to derail just south (rf the Solms Road crossing
Two railroad employees were slightly injured in the accident The truck driver was uninjured
The accident occurred shortly before 9 a m when Clifton McGanty, (hiving along Solms Road, started across the tracks without seeing the 34-car train approaching from the north, the Comal County Sheriff’s Department reported
The train was too close to stop The
lead engine hit McGanty’s truck, then derailed, taking the next IO cars with it. The locomotive ended on its side, with the truck pinned underneath
Railroad employees Donald Jacobs and Gerald Goertz were treated and released from McKenna Memorial Hospital.
Damage to railroad property has been unofficially estimated at $1 million
Diesel fuel was leaking from the derailed engines, but the other cars were loaded with gravel.
By 10 30 a m., contractors were on the scene with heavy equipment to clear the debris from the tracks.
Lubbock girl named Jr. Miss
Barbara May fourth runner-up
By DYANNEFRY Staff writer
A Lubbock girl walked off with the medal, the banner and a 12,600 scholarship at the end of the Texas Junior Miss contest, held Saturday in New Braunfels.
South Plains Junior Miss Sherri Moegle beat 33 other contestants for the state title, and will represent Texas this June at the American Junior Miss pageant in Mobile, Ala.
In addition to the main title, Sherri won the poise and appearance competition in Thursday's preliminaries.
She is the daughter of Bobby and Carolyn Moegle.
First runner-up was San Marcos Junior Miss Jill Barbour, who also won Friday night's performing arts competition with her rendition of Chopin's Waltz in E Major. I anda Jane Bums of Iockhart was second runner-up, followed by Tiffany Turner of Garland, and New Braunfels’ Barbara May in the fourth runner-up spot. Barbara took the poise and appearance award in Friday’s preliminaries. Her parents are Iou May of New Braunfels and Charles May of Dallas.
Second runner-up linda Bums had already stepped to center stage once Saturday night, to claim the runnerup award for scholastic excellence. First place in that sub-category went to Pflugerville’* Junior Miss, Dee lame Minchey
Tiffany Turner won the physical fitness award in Friday’s preliminaries. On Thursday night, that category was won by Kellie Ann Blair of Killeen. Thursday night’s performing arts award went to Hanna
Schaefer, representing the lamesa Tri-County area.
East Texas Junior Miss Sherry Lynn Johnson was a triple winner, taking the Kraft hostess award, the Revlon personal style award, and the coveted Spirit of Junior Miss, an award bestowed by the contestants themselves.
The Canyon High School stage band played the Olympic march, in keeping with the 1984 pageant theme, as the new Texas Junior Miss took her victory walk down the runway in the New Braunfels Civic Center Outgoing Junior Miss Ellen Cassell handed over the medal and banner against a backdrop of Greek column* and laurel wreaths.
Even before the judges made their decision, the Junior Miss Scholarship Committee had named Sherri the recipient of three scholarships: one each from Huntingdon College in Alabama, Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton and Wayland Baptist University in Plainview A* the 1984 Texas Junior Miss, she is eligible for more than tlOO.OOO in additional scholarships from different schools. But Sherri has expressed a preference for her hometown university, Texas Tech.
She also received a bouquet of roses from Elvira’s Flower l.and. a plaque from Star Awards, a special class ring and a diamcnd from Zale.s Jewelers
The Scholarship Conuiuttee also selected recipients for a number of other awards, to be given regardless of a girl’s place in the final competition.
Bethany Beever of Pearsall also got a scholarship from HunUngdon
Texas Junior Miss Sherri Moeqleaccepts her bonelet
See Miss. Page 16A New Braunfels' Barbara May stands with her parents
Eleven MKT cars derailed Saturday morning