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Arrest warrant remains active for one-half of jailhouse meth duo
Wilson County NewsAugust 14, 2013 | 3,184 views | 6 comments
Officials have released the identity of two men accused of smuggling methamphetamine -- often referred to as “meth” -- into the Wilson County Jail. Both men were scheduled for arraignment Aug. 6 in Wilson County District Court.
Basilio Garcia, 29, who remains in custody at the jail, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before 218th District Court Judge Stella Saxon. He waived a formal reading of his indictment, which charges him with third-degree felony possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility and a state-jail felony charge of possession of methamphetamine. Saxon said because Garcia is a convicted felon, his third-degree felony charge is being enhanced to a second-degree felony, which means he faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Garcia’s alleged accomplice, 39-year-old Royce Houston Smith, was not present in court. He is the subject of an active arrest warrant charging him with possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility. Assistant District Attorney Audrey Louis of the 81st Judicial District confirmed that Garcia and Smith -- a reputed meth dealer -- were part of the jail’s trusty program. A recent Texas Rangers investigation concluded that the two were smuggling the illegal drug into the jail and that they used meth May 25 in a shop located on the grounds of the Wilson County Criminal Justice Center.
Another former jail trusty, 30-year-old Jordan Robert Lewis, had a pretrial hearing Aug. 6. He is charged with aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated kidnapping, escape, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in connection with his March 3, 2012, escape from the jail. Lewis is set to return to court for a docket call Aug. 21, with jury selection ahead of his trial set for Sept. 9.
Also among the defendants on the criminal court docket Aug. 6 were:
•Maria Elena Wildenstein, 49. The former La Vernia Junior High School principal is charged with misapplication by a fiduciary totaling more than $20,000 but less than $100,000. Court records indicate her next court appearance is a docket call Aug. 21, with jury selection ahead of her trial set for Sept. 9.
•Benjie Burke III, 24, of Gilmer, who is charged with intoxication manslaughter in the Jan. 21, 2012, death of his passenger, 30-year-old Justin Gregory Jones of Edmond, Okla., in a head-on crash on U.S. 181 north of Floresville. Burke is set to return to court Aug. 19 for a pretrial hearing, with a docket call set for Oct. 3. Jury selection ahead of his trial is scheduled for Oct. 7.
•Cameron Hoagland, 19, charged with theft of livestock from the elderly, did not appear for court. He is the subject of an open arrest warrant that was issued upon his July 12 indictment.
•Jordan Morris, 19, charged with theft of livestock from the elderly, was set for arraignment, but because his attorney was unable to attend, the arraignment was reset for Aug. 27.
•Patsy A. Wallace, who in 1997 was indicted on one count each of burglary of a habitation and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Jerry Ray “J.R.” Vaughan -- husband of Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan, who has been missing since 1996. Louis said court officials recently discovered that the case never was resolved, so it was placed on the docket. Wallace is set to return to court Aug. 21 for a docket call, with jury selection ahead of her trial set for Sept. 9.
•Kyle Jacob McKay, 19, who is charged with murder in the Nov. 13, 2012, shooting death of 23-year-old Dakotah Reynolds of San Antonio. He withdrew his request for a reduction of his $110,000 bond after becoming aware of the prosecution’s intention to seek a higher bond. He is set to return to court Aug. 21 for a docket call, with jury selection ahead of his trial set for Sept. 9.
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