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  • Brownwood man indicted for stealing money from employer

    Published On: May 26 2016 08:20:34 PM CDT   Updated On: May 27 2016 07:43:37 AM CDT
    BROWNWOOD, Texas -

    A Brownwood man is accused of stealing more than $127,000 from an oil business that he worked for.

    Brown County deputies arrested John Lykes, 43, on May 13. Court records state that he stole money during a four-year period from his employer at the time, M and F Gauge.

    The company’s vice president said the news hurt the business owners and the employees.

    “Everyone is really just disappointed,” said Brent Huxford, who also serves as general manager. “You put so much trust in people. You take care of them the best you can. You don’t expect them to go behind your back and hurt you like that.”

    Huxford said he first noticed money was missing in the summer of 2015. He looked over the company's quarterly statements and found records of checks made out to Lykes from 2011 to 2015.

    Lykes was fired in July. The company's insurance wouldn't cover the employee theft, and Huxford said the company had to absorb the losses as the price of oil declined.

    “Of course that was during the oil field recession as well. While it wasn’t a sole determining factor, I mean that definitely was something we could’ve used to invest,” Huxford said. “We went from about 36 [employees] to ... 19 now.”

    Brown County Deputy John Fincher was the lead investigator of the case. He said Lykes wrote checks to himself and a business he owned in Brownwood – Heart of Texas Martial Arts and Fitness.

    “I just followed the money trail, that’s what you do in these white collar crimes,” Fincher said. "I never had the chance to interview him about this. His lawyer denied me access.”

    Fincher presented his case to a grand jury and Lykes was indicted in April. He faces a 2nd degree felony aggregated theft charge, according to his indictment.

    KTXS reached out to Lykes for comment, but he did not respond.

  • Abilene police to host birthday party for murder victim's daughter

    Published On: May 26 2016 06:58:20 PM CDT   Updated On: May 27 2016 08:31:43 AM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    The Abilene Police Officers Association is teaming up with Primetime Entertainment to throw a birthday party for the daughter of a recent homicide victim.

    Eleven-year-old Nevaeh Rosales called police late Sunday night after police say her mother, Soña Olivia Trucks, was shot and killed by her boyfriend Manuel Talavera.

    When police arrived on the scene they found Nevaeh waiting with her mother. Officers learned later that night it was her 11th birthday.

    “For Nevaeh to go through what she went through, and then to find out it was her birthday it broke our hearts,” APOA President Adam Becker said.

    Wednesday, members of the association surprised Nevaeh at her grandmother’s house to tell her about their plan to throw her the party she wasn’t able to have. It’s taking place Saturday at Primetime.

    Nevaeh’s aunt, Danielle Rosales, told KTXS the kindness shown by law enforcement officers has been clear since the beginning.

    “They showed raw true emotion when they saw my niece,” Danielle said. “We can’t thank them enough for being who they are.”

    Employees at the Taylor County Jail also surprised Neveah with gifts.

    "They bought me a basket with bears, Sour Patch Kids and other stuff," Neveah said. 

    Becker said the association wants Neveah to have a few hours dedicated to herself, “to be a kid, to celebrate her day, to have some presents to open and have fun with her friends.”

    Danielle said the outpour of generosity has restored her faith in the city of Abilene.

    “Yes we’ve had crime, we’ve always had crime, but look at this, we’ve had people we don’t even know come together and be a strong community,” Danielle said.

    The association will be accepting gifts for Nevaeh from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Abilene/Taylor County Law Enforcement Center located at 450 Pecan Street.

  • City: Lake Brownwood closed, water level 2 feet over spillway

    Published On: May 27 2016 11:42:10 AM CDT   Updated On: May 27 2016 03:23:06 PM CDT
    BROWNWOOD, Texas -

    Lake Brownwood is now closed.

    That’s according to a city of Brownwood news release, which notes the current Lake Brownwood water level is slightly above 1426.65 feet, or more than two feet above the spillway.

    The decision to close Lake Brownwood comes after heavy rains.

    “The National Weather Service expects the lake to crest at 1429 feet or 4.5 feet over spillway by late Saturday or Sunday morning,” Brownwood City Manager Emily Crawford said in the release.

    “The Pecan Bayou will most likely rise to the same level as the last high water event in early May.  It is possible that Riverside Park, Ledniky Park and Fabis Park will be closed as waters rise.  Emergency services personnel are monitoring water levels.

    The National Weather Service advises there is another ¾ inch of rain projected between Sunday and Monday.

    “People are advised to stay away from high rushing water, especially onlookers at bridges,” Crawford said. “Do not drive around barricades.”

    As information is updated, it can been found on the city’s website at www.brownwoodtexas.gov, city of Brownwood and Brownwood/Brown County Emergency Management Facebook pages, and Code Red alerts.

  • Video of girl allegedly gang-raped shocks Brazilians

    Published On: May 27 2016 09:44:32 AM CDT   Updated On: May 27 2016 02:54:42 PM CDT
    Brazil furor over spying continues



    Brazilian police are searching for at least 30 people suspected in the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl and of posting graphic video and images of her on social media that have shocked the South American country.

    The perpetrators put up pictures and a video of the girl on Twitter, sparking a nationwide backlash. The incident occurred in a Rio de Janeiro slum over the weekend.

    At a press conference Friday, police said they had identified four people who were involved, including one man who appeared in the video, the girl's boyfriend and two people who were heard on the video.

    Police said they had not spoken yet to those identified and had not issued arrest warrants as the investigation continues. They are investigating not only rape allegations but also possible violations of Brazil's Internet laws.

    "The extreme violence we're dealing (with) has shocked everyone. It even shocked the police," said Fernando Veloso, the head of the civil police in Rio de Janeiro.

    Interim President Michel Temer condemned what happened and called for an emergency meeting of security chiefs from all of Brazil's states on Tuesday.

    "It is absurd that still in the 21st century we have to live with barbaric crimes like this," Temer said.

    'It was 30 against all of us!'

    Police said the girl testified she went to her boyfriend's house Saturday and woke up in another house Sunday "with 33 men armed with rifles and guns."

    Police said it was still unclear if there were "30 or 33 or 36" people involved.

    They said the case was initially being investigated as a cybercrime when the video emerged at the beginning of the week and only later did the girl come forward.

    A 38-second video of the girl, naked and unconscious, was circulated on social media.

    In the video, two male voices are heard bragging about "more than 30" people having sexual intercourse with her. They show close-ups of her sexual organs and use vulgar language while poking at her.

    One of the suspects also posted a selfie with the unconscious girl.

    "Beyond the rape, the broadcasting of these images makes the life of the person eternally humiliating," Daniela Gusmao of the Brazilian Lawyers Association told Globo television.

    Brazilians lashed out with anger on Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtags #estuprocoletivo or #gangrape and #estupronaotemjustificativa or "rape can't be justified."

    On Facebook, users are posting slogans such as "we need to talk about the culture of rape" and "It wasn't 30 against 1, it was 30 against all of us!"

    In one video on Facebook, a woman complains the media are ignoring the rape by "not one, not two, not 10 -- 30 men!"

    In another video on YouTube, a series of women address the camera, with one saying, "Rape is a form of torture. It's one more form of torture," and it ends with the image of a girl crying and shaking her finger.

    Others reacted in solidarity on Twitter, with @ClaraCryss writing, "being born a woman is living in the uncertainty if you are going to be the next victim of rape," and a user identified as nõviñhã noting, "Short clothes do not rape. Hours do not rape. Places do not rape. Drinks do not rape. Rapists rape."

  • Abilene newborn murder suspect free on bail

    Published On: May 26 2016 09:53:26 AM CDT   Updated On: May 27 2016 07:43:16 AM CDT
    Damian Scott Cate

    Damian Scott Cate

    ABILENE, Texas -

    (UPDATE)  Damian Scott Cate, the 22-year-old man accused of killing his newborn daughter in January, is out of jail.

    According to jail records, Cate posted bail Thursday afternoon after it was reduced from $300,000 to $100,000.

    Cate was indicted on charges of murder and tampering with evidence. A trial date has not been set at this time.

    Original Story

    A Taylor County judge agreed to reduce the bond of a man accused of killing his newborn baby.

    Damian Cate's bond will be reduced from $300,000 to $100,000. 

    The original bond on the murder charge was $250,000. It has been reduced to $50,000. A $50,000 bond for tampering with evidence remains the same.

    Three weeks ago, a grand jury indicted Cate and his girlfriend, Amber Craker, for the Jan. 18 murder of their infant.

    According to an autopsy, the infant was stabbed multiple times before it was tossed in the trash at the couple's south Abilene home.

    In April, Judge Thomas Wheeler ruled Craker incompetent to stand trial. She was ordered to a state mental health facility in Vernon. After spending up to 120 days at the facility, a judge will determine if she regained competency.

    Cate and Craker also face a charge of tampering with evidence with intent to impair a human corpse charge.

  • Teens hold prom in hospital for injured girl

    Published On: May 26 2016 02:48:13 AM CDT

    Cassie Schrader was surprised when her friends held a special prom at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

  • Tracking Thursday storm chances

    Published On: May 26 2016 08:27:20 AM CDT   Updated On: May 26 2016 08:33:21 AM CDT

    Isolated to scattered t'storms will be possible beginning as early as late afternoon and continuing through the night. Some could be strong to severe.

  • Mark Rowlett: Tracking Thursday night storms

    Published On: May 26 2016 05:42:54 PM CDT   Updated On: May 27 2016 07:24:51 AM CDT

    Quiet weather is expected to return Friday

  • Weather settles down temporarily for Friday

    Published On: May 27 2016 07:29:45 AM CDT

    The weather pattern takes a quiet turn for this Friday across all of West-Central Texas with the exception of a few of our eastern counties.

  • Mustangs making history in difficult playoff run

    Published On: May 24 2016 10:54:56 PM CDT