It was another crazy year for news nationwide and in the Big Country.
For the first time KTXS decided to count down the Top 5 stories from 2012. During recent weeks, staff members voted on what stories they found to be the most memorable. Those receiving the most attention on KTXS.com were also taken into account.
These five, in order, made the final cut:
5. An election runoff between Deputy Ricky Bishop and incumbent Sheriff Les Bruce came to a surprising end for many when Bishop captured the most votes and the sheriff's office.
Bishop stayed mostly quiet during the campaign, while Sheriff Bruce dealt with drug testing challenges by a third candidate – Art Casarez.
Following the election, Bishop said he was already making plans to better the sheriff’s department.
“Priority is training. And it's going to be the jail and security at the jail. That’s the No. 1 priority and then we'll move the training over into the sheriff's office,” Bishop said.
4. In April 2012, a tragic accident on FM 600 left two teenagers dead.
Eliseo Garza, the driver of the car, had a blood-alcohol level well above the legal limit. Five teenagers were riding in the car when Garza ran off the road.
Two girls – a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old – died from their injuries. Three others were badly injured. Garza is charged with intoxicated manslaughter and aggravated assault.
3. A triple shooting at the Peach House RV Park in Early left three people dead – and it all happened because of an argument about dogs.
Charles Conner shot and killed his two neighbors and their two dogs.
A sergeant responded to the scene and Conner began shooting at him. That’s when neighbor Vic Stacy grabbed his gun and said he did what was necessary.
“He said, ‘Are you going to shoot at him?’ I said, ‘I sure am when I get a good shot,’” Stacy said.
Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubs said Stacy’s quick thinking might have saved the sergeant’s life.
2. Zachary McDaniel, 12, was shot in the back of the head on North 9th Street in Abilene while his mother’s car fled the area.
Police said the shooting was a result of a drug deal gone wrong. The boy was merely riding along in the vehicle.
McDaniel was airlifted to Cooks Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Against all odds, McDaniel is now conscious, talking and receiving physical therapy.
1. Tiffany Klapheke, 22, was arrested and charged with three counts of injury to a child after her 22-month-old daughter Tamryn died.
The coroner said the child died from injuries consistent with severe neglect. Tamryn's two sisters, Taberlee and Tatum, were hospitalized and barely survived the supposed neglect.
Klapheke said she left the children alone because she was distressed after her airman husband was deployed and left her alone with their three children.
“I know people hate me and I don't understand, but it was not my intention. I just wanted a break for my own sanity, that's all. I didn't mean for it to go so far,” Klapheke said.
Another Dyess airman, Christopher Perez, allegedly lived with Klapheke while her husband was away. Perez faces military charges for failure to report child abuse or neglect, adultery, and child endangerment in the Klapheke case.