New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 3, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No, 140 16 pages in I section June 3, 1999
IU RS DAY ^CrV*nS ^*oma* County since 1852
50 centsWife indicted for husband’s deathAdele Hartwig accused of capital murder
By Chris Crews
A Comal County grand jury Wednesday indicted a local woman on a charge of capital murder in the death of her husband earlier this month.
Adele Hartwig, 61, is accused of killing Harold Hartwig, 72, by setting on fire the log cabin they shared on Hueco Springs Loop in the early morning hours of May 4.
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If convicted, she could face the death penalty or life in prison. Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip could not be reached Wednesday evening for comment about whether he would seek the death HARTWIG penalty.
In the indictment, the grand jury accused Mrs. Hartwig of being “reckless about whether the burning ... would endanger the life of Harold Hartwig
by igniting a wall near the bedroom occupied by the victim, and the victim suffered death as a result of said fire ....”
Firefighters arrived on the scene about I a.m. Officials said Adele Hartwig was found about 200 yards from the burning house about 2 a.m., suspended from a tree by the neck. However, she still could touch the ground with her toes, witnesses said.
She was questioned twice by detectives in the days after the fire.
Detective Tommy Ward of the Comal County Sheriff^ Office said investigators
ruled out any third party involvement after their first interview with Mrs. Hartwig. Ward said he received an oral statement about her involvement during the second interview with Mrs. Hartwig.
The investigation concluded in less than one month with Ward's testimony before the grand jury Wednesday.
“We just wanted to take our time and get this thing done right,” Ward said.
Ronald Wood, son-in-law of Mr. Hartwig, said Wednesday the family was relieved by the indictment.
“We have a lot of relief. We’re happy
that they have seen fit to say she is responsible for what happened. We have a problem with how (Hartwig’s death) occurred,” Wood said.
Adele Hartwig had not been arrested as of Wednesday evening. Authorities were trying to find a judge to sign an arrest warrant for Mrs. Hartwig.
The Hartwigs had a record of calls for domestic violence to their home in the past three years. They were both in the county jail less than one week before the fatal fire on charges related to domestic violence.
Key code 76
WORD reevaluating cooler on river
Enforcement questions referred to committees
By Chris Crews
The Water Oriented Recreation District might rescind its approval of a popular beverage cooler used by tubers on the Guadalupe River.
The Water-wader, a round container made of polystyrene, returned to the river this year after an absence of many years. The Water-wader was a victim of the ban on polystyrene, commonly
known as styrofoam, imposed by WORD to keep the river free of debris.
The inventor of the device returned to the WORD board this year with a plan to cover the lid with plastic and make it less likely to come apart in the water. The WORD board approved the device despite the fact the base still was exposed styrofoam.
At a special WORD meeting this past week. Sheriff Bob Holder and Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip met with the board to discuss problems in enforcing existing polystyrene laws if the material was allowed on the river in another form.
The sheriff and district attorney said they had no qualms with the design or quality of the device; however, they expressed concerns about having to prosecute cases involving the material.
Deputies on river patrol on Memor-
Landa Station owners sue county, city
By Peri Stone Staff Writer
Owners of a local bar filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Comal County and the City of New Braunfels, alleging that county and city officials violated their civil rights during the 1998 hepatitis A outbreak.
Irene and Gary Smith, owners of Gary's Landau Station, and Derrick Tillman, a previous employee who was diagnosed with hepatitis A, filed the suit against former county judge Carter Casteel, Comal County, New Braunfels sanitation officer Joe Lara, the City of New Braunfels and Comal County Health Nurse Shel McWilliams.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division.
Assistant District Attorney Ellen Salyers said the county hadn't been served the suit yet and declined comment until they received a copy of the petition.
City attorney Floyd Akers could not be reached for comment.
According to the plaintiffs’ petition, Casteel conducted a press conference on Jan. 16, 1998, and released the name of Landa Station as employing a waiter with hepatitis A.
Because Tillman was the only waiter employed, he effectively was identified as the person with the disease, according to the petition.
The plaintiffs allege that releasing this information was a violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 81.046: “Reports, records and information furnished to a health authority ... are confidential ....”
As a result of the release of the information, the plaintiffs said Tillman suffered “embarrassment and humiliation and was held up to public ridicule.”
The Smiths and their restaurant suffered “irreparable economic harm as well as embarrassment, humiliation and public ridicule” and “severe mental anguish requiring medical treatment,” the suit alleges.
Irene Smith said they were forced to close their restaurant after the Jan 16, 1998, press conference, and business dropped from between $200 and $600 a day to $30 a day.
Since about April 1998. Landa Station has been operating only as a bar
“We take that day-to-day,” Mrs Smith said.
Lf. Ed Whitson of the Comal County Sheriff’s Office points out some of the dings on the Water-waders deputies confiscated from the river this past weekend.Who To Call
Interested pet owners could call Southern Animal Rescue Association at (830) 401-0280 and leave their names and addresses.
woundsGuadalupe County investigating animal cruelty case
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
SEGUIN - Employees at the Conover Veterinarian Hospital in Seguin informally christened her June Marie, but the name Lucky might be more appropriate.
The 3-month old Beagle mix female puppy is recuperating from four bullet wounds to her neck and chest area, inflicted by an unknown individual this past weekend.
“She got lucky,” Seguin veterinarian Ward Conover said.
“The act itself is one of the worst I’ve seen. The cruelty factor is this case is really bad.”
The cause of June Marie’s extensive wounds still remains under investigation by Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
Conover said, “All the bullets passed through her; that’s why she’s still with us. lf there had been anything inside her it would have hit her chest, and she probably would have died.”
One bullet hit the puppy’s jawbone, leaving only 50 percent intact and making it necessary for Conover to remove some of her teeth.
“The worst wound was in her jawbone. After she was shot once, she obviously yelped in pain and then a bullet went into her mouth, nicked her tongue, went through the jawbone and came out the side” he said.
“We went in and removed the bone fragments and some of her teeth that were broken and the roots. The jaw’s still intact, but there’s a big hole.”
Seguin veterinarian Ward Conover looks at the injured jaw of June Marie, a 3-month old puppy that apparently was shot four times this week. The animal is recovering, and many area residents have expressed interest in adopting her.
Another bullet, shot at the puppy’s neck, went underneath the skin and left an exit wound on her right front shoulder.
“It could have hit the jugular vein or the spine, but it didn’t,” Conover said.
Criminal investigator Ken Thick with the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office said the owners of the puppy, who were not identified, left Sunday for a vacation and could not be reached.
“The investigation will be ongoing until we contact them,” he said.
Deputy Ricky Ledbetter with the sheriff’s office said an initial report indicated several other puppies were killed when June Marie was critically
Cruelty to animals is a Class B misdemeanor with a penalty determined by judge. Thick said.
Conover said he did not recognize the name of the owners and was not
Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the animal cruelty case Involving June Marie, a Beagle mix puppy that was rescued from almost certain death earlier this week.
injured. However, it could not be substantiated.
“The story going around is that there were four puppies, and three are missing and one lived. But no bodies of the animals have been found,” he said.