New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 17, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
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Comp,Felder convicted of murder; jury mulls punishment
By DEBBIE TURNER Staff writer
Michael Ross Felder, 24, was found guilty of murder after more than three hours of deliberation by a Comal County jury Thursday.
The jury, which retired at IO a.m. Friday to determine Felder’s punishment, was still deliberating at presstime.
The possible range of punishment by law is five to 99 years in the Texas Department of Corrections, and a fine up to $10,000. If the
punishment is IO years or less, probation may be granted at the recommendation of the jury.
Felder was found guilty of murdering Clifton James Slate, a former Palestine resident, on or about May 19, 1981. The state’s key witness, George “looper” Wood, testified that Felder told him, ‘I shot Slate,’ and asked his help in getting rid of Slate’s car the following Memorial Day weekend.
Slate’s skeletal remains were found Nov. 21,1981, in a wooded area near a ranch off Bear Creek Road.
The property was, at one time, owned by the Felder family, but has since been sold.
Slate was reported missing to Palestine police on May 27, and was last seen in this area. A shotgun blast to the back of the head and back was ruled the cause of death by the Travis County chief medical examiner. Felder was subsequently indicted for the offense by a Comal County Grand Jury on Nov. 24.
Closing arguments Friday of the punishment phase which began around Thursday afternoon, were
spiced with emotion and tears from the defendant and his family.
Defense attorney John Chunn told the jury Friday that it had already issued the worst possible punishment with its guilty verdict. “That alone is the hardest, strongest, most devastating punishment you could give Mike Felder,” Chunn said.
“Mike is eligible for probation, which would mean he has the keys of the penitentiary hanging over his head at all times,” Chunn added.
District Attorney Bill Schroeder closed with these arguments: “Mr.
Chunn would have you think that we get a guilty verdict and cut it from there. It is time to set aside all this garbage about compassion to those who step outside the law.
“Mr. Chunn has asked you for compassion — compassion for whom?” Schroeder said. “What about the victim? Wasn’t he the one who was really destroyed?”
Schroeder concluded his punishment recommendation was 60 years in prison. He said, “That is the kind of sentence that will say we will not tolerate murder.”
In the initial stages of the punishment phase Thursday afternoon, Schroeder called a Brazos County prosecutor and two law-enforcement officers to the witness stand to begin the punishment phase. All three witnesses testified that Felder’s reputation as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen was “bad.” Chunn solicited testimony from F elder’s mother and father, a local builder, a Canyon Lake convenience store clerk, a school teacher, a
See TRIAL, Page 16
New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 91-No. 183
September 17, 1982 25 cents
Two killed on IH35
Photo by Frances Bridges
A wrecker prepares to haul off the truck in which Philip Palmer was killed
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
Two men died in one-car accidents in Comal County Thursday. The wrecks were separated in time by 12 hours, but they occurred within two miles of each other, north of New Braunfels on IM 35.
Harold Marshall Michelson of New Braunfels was pronounced dead a quarter mile north of Conrads Road at 10:55 p.m., after being thrown 48 feet from his rolling pickup. Eighteen-year-old Philip Palmer of San Antonio was killed at 9:50 a.m. five miles north of town, thrown 127 feet from his own vehicle.
A state highway trooper said Michelson, 31, was southbound on 35, driving in the inside lane and passing cars at a high rate of speed. His green Ford truck went off the road to the left, then turned back to the right, rolling across the two lanes of traffic and coining to rest in a ditch at right.
The trooper’s report said the truck rolled once at the center stripe, once at the right side of the road and once in the ditch. Michelson, of 886 N. Central, was pronounced dead at the scene by Howard Smith, Justice of the Peace precinct 4.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home
Palmer, victim of the other accident, was at the wheel of a Chevrolet pickup belonging to his employer, Karam landscaping. His two young passengers, Tedro Navejar and Anthony Lezana. were taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital and later relased
“They had some injuries,” a hospital spokeswoman said, “but it wasn’t anything that would keep them in the hospital.” The two young men, both San Antonio residents, were to seek follow-up medical treatment at home.
This truck was heading north on 35, away from New Braunfels. Palmer reportedly was driving on the grass median, passing cars in the inside lane of traffic. After approximately three miles of this, he lost control of the truck. It slid bav k onto the highway, theft off into tin' median again, where it rolled.
The driver was ejected, but his passengers remained in the truck. Palmer was taken to Doeppenschmidt after being pronounced dead by precinct I Peace Justice Harold Krueger. His body was later transferred to Oak Hills Moi tuarv
Comal County Fair rolls back prices to 1979 levels
Israelis crush leftist militia; Soviets claim embassy taken
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
It’s not often you hear of prices coining back down, but they have this year at the Comal County Fair.
And the community has itself to thank for that.
Next Wednesday, what is claimed to be the "largest county fair in Texas" will open its gates out at the Comal County Fairgrounds.
Directors of the county fair association have this year taken a step back in time by reducing admission prices and by holding the line on drink prices.
The price reduction is a result of the “tremendous effort of the volunteer workers at the fair — without whose help there would be no fair,” said Jim Wilson, fair association president.
“With the economy going up and in view of our competition with other events, we decided we’d rather go down (in prices) than up,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday.
“The main idea is to get people to come and to satisfy people — it s their fair and it has a lot to offer,” Wilson added.
Admission to the grounds this year will be $1.50 for adults, with children under age 12 getting in free. The rodeo will cost adults $3 and children $1.50. Box seats are $4.
Racing admission prices are the same as for the rodeo. Parking will be $1.50 per car,
and beer, soda water and wine coolers will be 75 cents, 60 cents and $1, respectively. Admission to the dances will be $3 per person.
Few changes are planned in this year’s fair, which will run from Sept. 22 to Sept. 26. “It’s just about the same,” Wilson mentioned.
Nightly dancing will be offered in the Comal Corral. Horse-racing is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and the rodeo will be held at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Livestock, homemaking, floral, agricultural and arts and crafts exhibits will be open daily on the fair grounds. Thirteen civic organizations plan to sell a variety of foods and beverages on the grounds also.
The traditional pet and fair parade is set for 9 a.rn. Friday (Sept. 24) in downtown New Braunfels.
In addition, the annual fair queen’s contest will be held Sunday (Sept. 19) at New Braunfels High School at 7:30 p.m.
Wilson credited Robert Van Horn, Frank Suhr and Gene Chollett, all directors of the fair association, for their efforts in increasing community involvement.
However, more community involvement is still needed. Anyone wishing to volunteer their time should call Van Horn, Suhr or Chollett, at 625-8807, 625-6330 or 625-6459, respectively.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — Israeli tanks today crushed the last major lebanese militia resistance to their occupation of west Beirut in defiance of U.S. demands to withdraw, and Russian diplomats said Israeli troops had occupied the Stmei Embassy in the lebanese capital.
But the Israeli army command in Tel Aviv said, “We deny officially that we took over the Soviet Embassy in Beirut.”
Three Israeli armored personnel carriers were posted outside the high-walled embassy compound, but the soldiers would not talk to reporters.
A group of Soviet diplomats came to a back door at the embassy and one, speaking broken English, told Western reporters: “They (Israelis) occupied the buildings of our school, consulate and living quarters, and they are taking everything in this buildings.”
He claimed the Israelis entered the grounds with a tank, damaging the gate and three cars. It was unclear w hen the incident occurred, and there was no apparent damage to two of the embassy’s gates.
“Now they are sitting at the room of the consul with machine guns, and what can we do,” he said, grinning. “We objected, but they didn’t do anything.”
He said the ambassador was in the embassy building, and Moscow had been informed.
Among the key positions taken by Israeli forces Thursday was the area around the Soviet complex in the Corniche Mazraa shopping district and in the high-rise building of Moscow’s Narodny Bank in Hamra street.
Earlier there was speculation that several leftist militia leaders had taken refuge in the Soviet compound before the Israelis firmed their grip on the central shopping thoroughfare.
However, NBG news reported a film crew went to the scene but saw no unusual activity.
Beirut newspapers said Israeli forces seized the Iranian Embassy building at the seaside Jnah neighborhood on Thursday, ripping down portraits of Iran’s revolutionary patriarch Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
War correspondents reported today that Israeli tanks and troops flushed out diehard members of the Mourabitoun militia after a three-hour barrage, then searched house-to-house for weapons and blared warnings in Arabic to hiding gunmen to surrender their weapons.
The Mourabitoun, I„ebanon’s most powerful armed leftist Moslem group, fought alongside
Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas dunnu Israel’s 14-week-old invasion of Lebanon.
State radio said shells aimed at the Mourabitoun headquarters ignited several fires nearby in the Abu Shaker neighborhood on the edge of Corniche Mazraa. Correspondents reported the fall of Abu Shaker eliminated the last serious resistance to Israel’s two-day-old sweep into west Beirut
The Mourabitoun's Voice of Arab Lebanon radio station was off the air, and telephone calls to the leftists’ command post went unanswered.
The state radio said the Israelis moved an additional 150 tanks into west Beirut overnight as high-flying Israeli jets dropped flares that lit up the sky over the occupied Moslem half of the Lebanese capital.
By nightfall Thursday, the Israelis commanded most of west Beirut, but witnesses said fighting continued in the Moslem neighborhoods of Barbu-and Tank Jedidah. The combatants clashed in darkness because of an unexplained power failure.
Both neighborhoods are strongholds of the Mourabitoun. I Lebanon’s largest leftist militia w hich was allied with the Palestine Liberation Organization in opposing the 14-week-old Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Philippines leader to face human rightsquestions
WASHINGTON (AP) — After receiving an effusive welcome from President Reagan, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos is going to Capitol Hill where he faces both praise and criticism of his human rights record.
“I think they have made great progress,” Reagan said Thursday when asked about the Philippines’ human rights performance.
That sentiment is not universally shared in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which invited Marcos for a late morning meeting today after his appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Marcos, who spent several hours with Reagan on Thursday, is here on a five-day state visit.
Three Democratic members of the Senate committee — Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, Alan Cranston and California and Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts — sent Reagan a letter on Monday saying it was a mistake for the president to have
The letter said Marcos’ visit will be misinterpreted as a sign that the United States condones “continuing violations of basic human rights” in the Philippines.
However, most members of both committees appear to share the administration’s position that human rights trends in the Philippines are favorable and that continued U.S.-Filipino friendship serves vital American interests.
One reflection of this sentiment is that U.S. military and economic aid to the Philippines, amounting to more than $100 million annually, has not come under serious congressional challenge on human rights grounds.
As examples of progress on human rights, the administration has cited the lifting of press censorship and an end to a ban on strikes. Human
See MARCOS, Page 16
It will be partly cloudy today, tonight and Saturday, with a 20 percent chance of thundershowers. Winds will be from an easterly
direction near IO mph today, and light and
variable tonight. Sunset will be at 7:34 p.m., and
sunrise Saturday will be at 7:17 a.m.
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