New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 27, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Attorney: Neal will plead guilty to murder
By Ron Maloney
The former Canyon Lake resident charged with murder and arson for allegedly killing his mother late in 2000 and then burning down her home is expected to plead guilty to the killing.
Daniel Patrick Neal, 36, waived his right to a jury trial Thursday morning before 22nd Judicial District Judge Charles Ramsay.
The move clears the way for Neal to plead guilty to a charge of murder Tuesday in a plea agreement now being negotiated between his attor
ney, Joseph Garcia III, and District Attorney Dib Waldrip.
Neal allegedly shot his mother, Barbara Casey, 61, twice before setting fire to her Canyon Lake Drive home on Dec. 26,2000. Canyon Lake Fire/EMS firefighters found Casey’s body in the bathtub.
Neal, who also went by the name of Daniel Casey, disappeared after the shooting. Comal County Sheriff’s Detective Tommy Ward initiated a nationwide manhunt for Neal.
He was apprehended a week later at the Canadian border in Bellingham, Wash., after customs officials
on the Canadian side found a bullet in his vehicle and turned him back toward the American side.
Since his arrest, a trial on murder and arson charges has been repeatedly delayed because Neal, who has
See MURDER Page 2
The Smithson Valley softball team saw its season end with a 1-0 loss to SA O'Connor in the regional finals. Page 5
Baylor named principal at Canyon Intermediate
By Leigh Jones
By Melissa Johnson
SAN MARCOS — After 13 years of homework, books and teachers’ dirty looks, the New Braunfels High School Class of 2005 closed their lockers for good Thursday night when approximately 4 i 5 students graduated in front of a packed house at Stra-han Coliseum.
As friends and family members roared, pairs of students flied into the coliseum dressed in royal blue gowns with matching mortarboards.
The ceremony was a light-hearted affair, with neither students nor audience members taking themselves too seriously. Midway through student Sean Hill’s farewell address, the graduating class began tossing inflatable beach balls back and forth between the aisles.
Hill’s speech was momentarily interrupted by the cheers of the students and crowd and the following “boos,” offered when school officials confiscated the toys.
The reading of the graduates was punctuated with wolf whistles, plastic clappers and blaring air horns.
Superintendent Ron Reaves did sober up the crowd briefly when he offered his advice and congratulations to new graduates.
“Whatever course your future takes, I hope your time in Unicorn country has prepared you for the challenges you will face,” Reaves said.
Readers voice their opinions on rural schools and problems with the Social Security system. Page 4
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 163 14 pages, 1 sections
40% chance of rain
A TIME TO CELEBRATE
NBHS seniors graduate in front of
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
Amanda Jourden flashes thumbs up to the crowd as she walks across the stage to receive her diploma at graduation ceremonies Tor New Braunfels High School at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos Thursday night. Below, Miguel Aguirre IV, left, Hannah Albrecht and Jose Alvarez Jr. sing the New Braunfels High School Alma Mater for the last time as seniors at the end of commencement exercises.
Graduate Stacy Ester seemed eager to explore what the world has in store for her. Planning to study digital graphics at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, Ester was relieved to be able to move forward with her life plans.
“It’s like a big weight has been lifted,” she said.
Ester planned to celebrate her graduation by attending Project Graduation, an annual event offering students a drug and alcohol-free way to commemorate their success.
Parent Margo Havekost had mixed feelings about her son, Jay’s, high school commencement. Jay
Comal Independent School District trustees unanimously selected Dani Baylor as Canyon Intermediate School’s new principal Thursday.
Baylor replaces Sarah Towler who is moving to Washington with her family. Dani Baylor
“I’m really excited about getting started,” Baylor said. “I’m looking forward to working with this age group."
During her 16 year education career, the Texas A&M graduate has worked with all age levels. Her most recent position, as principal in New Caney ISD, was at the middle school level.
Baylor also has served as principal in the Dime Box and Van Vleck school districts after working as a teacher, director of alternative programs and instructional technology coordinator.
Canyon Intermediate is a fourth- through sixth-grade campus with roughly 560 students.
Baylor, who recently moved to the hill country area from Houston, will start
See CANYON Page 3
See GRADUATION Page 2
Tourists flock to the Guadalupe and Comal rivers for fun in the sun.MJUUIJllJlJllJUi
TOUR OF FAITH
■ For more than a year, the Herald-Zeitung has profiled local churches in our weekly Tour of Faith series. During that time, we have contacted every church listed in the telephone directory and others brought to our attention through our readers.
■ lf your church was not included and would like to be considered, please contact reporter Leigh Jones at 625-9144 ext. 225 or by e mail at [email protected]
Rain or shine, tourists expected to flock into New Braunfels
By Leigh Jones
The tubes are inflated, the trash cans are out, the portable restrooms are in place—New Braunfels is ready for the Memorial Day tourist invasion.
Between Canyon Lake and the city limits, thousands of people will converge on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, renting tubes, rafts and anything else that will keep them afloat for several hours.
“We’re expecting a lot of people," said Nathan Pence, city parks department river manager. “We’ve been gearing up since late April, and we are absolutely, totally ready.”
It has taken Pence and his staff almost a month to prepare for the rush, and despite
the showery forecast, they are expecting a good crowd.
“We do anticipate people will show up, no matter what the weather does,” he said.
The Guadalupe River level will be perfect for tubing — 300 cubic feet per second.
Greater Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek said he could not estimate exactly how many people would be coming to town, but based on advanced reser-vations, he expected the hotels to be IOO percent full by today.
People who don’t want a roof over their heads are making a beeline for area campgrounds.
Zero Rivers, owner of Camp Huaco and Rockin’ R River
Rides, said Memorial Day weekend traditionally provided the biggest camping crowd of the year.
“Cabin fever sets in over die winter and it seems like people just want to spend the first vacation of the summer out of doors,” he said. “We’re all booked up. Everything that can be reserved has been.’’ Rivers, who has been keeping an eye on the weather, is not concerned about rain.
“Last Memorial Day, it rained, and we had an excellent weekend,” he said. “I think we’ll probably get a shower just about the time everyone is ready to come in for the night, which will be perfect."
See TOURISM Page 3
A kayaker negotiates the rapids along the Guadalupe RiverTuesday afternoon.