New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 30, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
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Suspects plead guilty to murder
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Two San Antonio men, charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping, asked District Attorney Bill Schroeder if they could plead guilty to both charges two months ago, and bargain for life instead of posible death sentences. He said no.
After the federal courts refused to carry, out the execution of the “Candy Man" on Halloween, Schroeder changed his mind.
Today, in 207th District Court, Francis Irving Chandler and George Edwin Pittmann pleaded guilty to those charges, and were each assessed two life prison terms, to run consecutively, and not concurrently, by presiding Judge Robert Pfeuffer.
“I want people to understand the state didn’t take a dive on this one," Schroeder explained. “There are 141 persons on Death Row in Texas, and Chandler and Pittmann, if convicted, would have been
numbers 142 and 143. But there haven’t been any executions since 1964.”
The charges stemmed from a bizarre tri-county kidnapping, rape, and murder incident July 23 and 24, which claimed the life of Robert E. Williams, 58. The two men kidnapped Williams and his wife Josephine from their San Antonio home Friday, July 23.
Williams’ body was recovered at 1:40 a.m. Sunday, July 25, in a brushy area off Bear Creek Road in Comal County. He had been hanged by a rope strung across a support beam in a small shed near the
“Basically, it boils down to the federal courts don’t seem to want to execute anyone. When the execution of the ‘Candy Man’ I Ronald O'Bryan) was stayed, I said, ‘what the heck?’ No one was more deserving than that guy,” Schroeder said. “It’s fruitless to spend thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money, when justice won't be carried out.”
O’Bryan was convicted of murder for poisoning his son with Halloween candy in Houston in 1974. He had been sentenced to die this past Halloween, but his execution was stayed.
In the case of Pittmann and Chandler, Schroeder added, “We had two defendants, twice the cost. The Attorney General’s Office was involved, and capital murder involves the death penalty, which meant the trial could have resulted in a hung jury. That would mean more money, since it would have to be retried. I just didn’t see the need to spend taxpayers’ dollars if the courts won’t allow justice to be served.
“With this plea agreement, I’m trying to keep them in prison as long as I can,” the district attorney said. “The law says they have to serve 20 calendar years. They’ll get out at ages 62 (Chandler) and 59 (Pittmann). That should be old enough to keep them out of trouble.”
See MURDER, Page 15
Muenich suspect's trial scheduled December 13
A San Marcos man charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the auto-pedistrian death of Jimmy Muenich on April 19, could go to trial on Dec. 13.
Thomas Henry Young, indicted May 20 by a Comal County Grand Jury, is the No. I bond case on the Dec. 13 jury trial docket. A spokesperson for the district judge's office said there is one jail case above Young, and that case could go instead, since jail cases usually take priority over bond cases.
However, if Young does not go to trial on Dec. 13, the trial has been set
for Jan. IO, no ifs-ands-or-buts, the spokesperson added.
Muenich was one of Canyon High School's top distance runners. The high school junior was running in the 2100 block of the two-way access road along Interstate 35 the night of April 19, when he was struck from behind by a Jeep Wagoneer. The 17-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene by Peace Justice Harold Krueger, Pct. I.
Young, 55. was arrested minutes after the accident in the parking lot of a Sac’N’Pac store at U.S. 81 and Highway 46.A New JJ—LL BraunfelsHerald-Zeituno
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TUESDAY November 30, 1982 25 cants
New Braunfels, Texas Vol. 91-No. 232 16 Pages (USPS 377-880'
Reagan abandons earlier '83 tax cut
Stott photo bv Cmd* Hn tutrdsun
Nancy Meyer has found a novel way to walk her dog Spook. Instead of wearing out shoe leather, Nancy hops in her Volkswagen bus and holds Spook's leash
out the window. Oh, in case you're worried about speed, she cruises along at about 10 miles per hour, which seems to suit her Great Dane just fine.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Reagan, in the face of stiff congressional resistance, today abandoned any thought of asking Congress to move up the effective date of next year’s income tax cut from July to January.
Reagan told reporters after meeting with Republican congressional leaders that “we re not going to make a push” for advancing the scheduled tax cut. Instead, he said, he will devote his efforts to resisting anticipated congressional efforts to delay or even cancel the IO percent tax rate cut The president said he also is concerned that moving up the tax cut to stimulate economic recovery would increase the already large federal budget deficit.
But to delay the cut past July, he said, would be directly opposed to what is needed to restore the economy.
Senate Republican leader Howard ll. Baker Jr., who met reporters with Reagan, said he had no serious doubts that the administration and its congressional allies w ill be able to preserve the July I date for the final step of the three-year tax reduction plan.
He said he had recommended "that we not attempt to advance it,” but Baker said Reagan had heard contrary' views from other members of the GOH congressional leadership.
Reagan, Baker and House Republican leader Robert H Michel faced reporters a day after Congress convened its post-election session amid concern over the nation s 10.4 percent unemployment rate and calls for legislation to create jobs Congressional leaders told Reagan days ago that the tax cut speed-up was not very popular in
Congress because of the potential deficit problem. Moreover, Democrats have urged that the July tax cut be scrapped altogether to help bring down the deficit, which Budget Director David Stockman reportedly is forecasting at $180 billion to $190 billion this year.Budget deficit may worsen
WASHINGTON > AH) Budget Director David Stockman’s latest forecast envisions a budget deficit for the current fiscal year of between $180 biMion and $190 billion, rising to more than $250 billion annually by the middle of the decade, sources say.
Those sources, who asked not to be quoted by name, said Stockman outlined the worsening deficit pie ure to President Reagan, who has yet to approve
a;., specific spending cr t. to reduce the red ink
But uh lev r Reagan calls for. and however Congress -ponds, officials concede the prospects for reducing the forecasted 1983 deficit appear slim.
That is because Congress has already adopted a budget for the fiscal year that includes spending levels for all federal programs There is virtually no talk in Congress of further spending cuts for the current fiscal year.
As a result, if Stockman’s numbers are correct, the government will be left with a deficit that is far higher than last year’s unprecedented $110.7 billion deficit and higher than any previous administratin forecast.
In addition, deficits Blat size are certain to raise fears in Congress and elsewhere of rising interest rates that could choke off a recovery.
Looking for land
County will need tract for jail site
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
Between now and the first of tin* year, Commissioners Court will be in the market for a piece of land
But just how big a piece of land — which will be used to construct a new county jail complex — is still undetermined.
"It’s still too early,” said Commissioner J I..
‘ Jumbo’’ Evans, who was appointed by his peers last week to serve as a liaison between the jail architects and Commissioners Court
"The site selection has not started.” he said in a telephone interview Monday. "It’d be a little premature to start looking at sites now when we don’t know how big a facility...or how much land we’re going to need "
Commissioners Court is forced to plan for a new jail due to an out-of-court settlement agreed upon in a federal lawsuit brought against the county by former jail inmate Robert Delgado.
This settlement, which has still not been approved
by the federal courts, requires that the county have a new county jail ready for occupancy no later than August, 1985.
At their last meeting with Austin architects from Holt-Fatter and Scott, commissioners began talking about locating sites for the new jail.
But until a few details have been ironed out between the court and Holt-Fatter and Scott — such as the architect’s fees and exactly what facilities will be included in the new jail complex — the court will not know how big a facility and consequently how much land is needed for the new jail.
Some of these details will be ironed out, however, Monday when representatives from the Austin firm meet with Commissioners Court.
It’s expected Monday that the court and architects will arrive at a “compensation package” — the architects’ fees, said Tim Darilek, Commissioners Court administrator. Currently the court is negotiating a contract w ith Holt-Fatter and Scott.
Also Monday, the final form of the demographic
See JAIL, Page 15
Victim's death mystifies officials
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s findings indicate that Angie Marie Kowalik “just drowned, that’s all,” said Fred Stewart, Justice of the Peace for precinct 3.
“What caused her to drown is anybody’s guess,’’ added Stewart. He pronounced Kowalik dead Saturday afternoon, after her body was retrieved from Canyon l,ake.
The 18-year-oid Seguin resident was with a scuba diving class on the morning of Nov. 21 She went down, wearing full equipment, and failed to come back up. Stewart doesn’t know why.
He doesn’t have the written autopsy report yet, but he did get a phone call from the medical examiner.
“She didn’t have a heart attack; ti.ere was no indication of violence,” he said.
The body was found lying on the bottom of the lake, 85 feet under the surface. It wasn’t hung in brush or anything else, and the air-tank mouthpiece was still in place.
“She ran out of air,” Stewart said. "The instructor said she should have had 40 to 45 minutes of air in the tank. Of course, she’d been gone longer than that before they discovered her.”
Sheriff Waiter Fellers is holding Kowalik’s equipment for investigation, but he said he wasn’t sure who wanted to investigate it.
"It was just a freak accident, I’m pretty sure,” he said.
Comal County forecast calls for partly cloudy this afternoon, with southerly to southwesterly winds from 10-15 mph. Tonight and Wednesday, there will be considerable late night and early morning low cloudiness and fog; otherwise, partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight and Wednesday, with southerly winds at 5-10 mph tonight. Sunset will be at 5:32 p.m., and sunrise Wednesday will be at 7:08a.m.
More Playoff Fever
It’s Region IV championship time for the New Braunfels Unicorns, and tickets went on sale today for the Friday night game against South San West See Page 6
COMICS.............. 13 14
TV LISTINGS.......... 14
New parks director adjusts to role as a supervisor
By DYANNEFRY Staff writer
Court Thieleman has quite a hand with government grants. City Manager E N. Delashmutt said that, as much as anything else, prompted him to make Thieleman the new Director of Parks and Recreation "Most of the grants we’re involved in right now are in the parks program.” Delashmutt noted Just a few weeks ago, the city got final approval on a big one: $120,000 in state matching funds to improve Hinrnan Island Park In addition to that, “(Thieleman) has worked for me in various responsible positions since 1977 He’s been in the system for five years; he doesn’t have to unlearn anything,” the city manager said.
And he’s already had a trial run in the parks office. Formerly administrative assistant to Delashmutt, Thieleman has served as interim parks director since Don Simon s sudden resignation on Sept 24 “I’ve watched him for almost two months on the job, and he’s handled it well,” Delashmutt said Thieleman s new title became official Non 22.
Though he does know his way around the city government. Thieleman realizes he’s in new territory now.
“As assistant to the city manager, I got experience in general matters, handling complaints, meeting (city ) council requests. But I never had a
staff under me. I never had superintendents and maintenance people and laborers and gardeners. Now I do," he said In his three sub-departments (parks, pool-and-bathhouse and cemeteries), Thieleman has more than 50 people working under hun He has a department budget of $774,800, and that’s something new , too.
“I never had a budget that I could operate out of before,” lie said. “Oh,
I d handle money here and there: a certain amount for this project, and a certain amount for that.
“But with a budget Uke this, you can actually go out and affect the ground, so to speak You can have something built You can improve the land ”
He’s especially interested in landscaping improvements - maybe for personal reasons, since the master plan approved by the City Council was drawn by his wife. Kathy. But that was before Thieleman got directly involved in parks, so that may have nothing to do w ith it at all.
“Her contract (on retainer as City l,andscape-Horticultunst) is with the City Manager She meets with me occasionally, but more often with my superintendent,” he said As for the landscaping, “We have this master plan,” Thieleman said “There are a lot of different projects, and every one lias a price tag on it It’s kind of like a gift catalog, if you want to look at it that way .”
See PARKS, Page 15