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Court will be closed Friday

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Sulphur Springs Municipal Court will close Friday, Nov. 7, for computer updates and training. Individuals who have citations and payments due Nov. 7, will be able to pay those Monday, Nov. 10, according to SSMC Judge Phyllis Rogers.

Saddle Up for St. Jude departs Nov. 8, with Carson Bryant as trail boss; donated items still being accepted for auction

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In less than a week, the Two J Ranch in Como will be filled with horses, riders and wagons all “saddling up” to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Center. Saturday, Nov. 8, will mark the fifth year Jim and Jean Murray will be hosting the trail ride and lunch fundraiser on their property.

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Relay for Life campaign starting

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Hopkins County Relay For Life officially kicks off the 2015 fundraising campaign this week, with a committee meeting Monday night and the first team captain’s meeting of the year Thursday.

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Lighting It Up

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 As rain poured down in Sulphur Springs this morning, money was pouring in for the Lights of Life campaign. At the kick-off of its 19th annual campaign, the campaign announced five sponors had each donated $10,000. Executive Director of the Health Care Foundation Jackie Thornton opened the event by greeting a crowd of more than 40 people in the Hopkins County Memorial Hospital lobby. Thornton stood next to a large check with the names of sponsors that donated more than $10,000 to the campaign.

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Crayton trial continues with medical examiner testimony on cause of death

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 The first day of the murder trial of Tony Dewayne Crayton wrapped up with more than four hours of testimony from Sulphur Springs Police Det. Bo Fox, and Tuesday morning, testimony was heard from Dr. Emily Ogden of the Dallas Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Monday afternoon, Fox, the first police investigator on the scene of the October 2013 murder of Jessica Tyler Crayton at a residence in the 100 block of Morris Street, began his testimony. After testifying to details of his preliminary and secondary investigation of the crime scene, the investigator identified photographs and a video he made at the crime scene of both the house and the victim.

Fox also told the court his investigation revealed a history of domestic issues between Crayton and his wife. The detective also said interviews with Crayton indicated the stabbing death occurred following a verbal altercation between the couple. Fox said following the stabbing, Crayton ran from the residence to College Street to the Interstate 30 bridge and then to Jefferson Street, where he was given a ride to the downtown area. From there, Fox said Crayton ran to the League Street overpass and jumped onto Interstate 30.

Defense attorney Martin Braddy grilled the police investigator about the interview with Crayton and the different stories Crayton gave. Braddy asked about DNA results from an article of Crayton's clothing and Fox replied the DNA found was from both the defendant and the victim. Braddy then asked about a pair of jeans that investigators overlooked at the home and about DNA found on them. Fox testified that a third DNA from an unidentified person was found in the jeans and that no further thought was given to a possible third person.

The defense continued through the afternoon with questions about different parts of that interview, other possible suspects police may have had and some of the investigative procedures used. Eighth District Judge Eddie Nortcutt, who is hearing the case rather than having a jury trial at the request of Crayton, recessed court about 4:20 p.m. Monday and reconvened the trial at 10 a.m. Tuesday. In this morning's testimony, the forensic pathologist, Dr. Ogden, testified as to the wounds Jessica Tyler Crayton suffered. He said two of the knife wounds would have resulted in death while a third would not have resulted in death. In the two fatal wounds, one to the throat severed the jugular vein and one to the back of the neck severed the spinal cord.

The conclusion, Dr. Ogden said, was homicide due to sharp force injury to the neck and that the victim would not have been able to inflict the injuries to herself. Following testimony from the pathologist, the mother of the victim, Millie Townsend, was called to the stand just before noon. District Attorney Will Ramsay said he anticipated testimony continuing into Wednesday. Northcutt has said he would schedule a sentencing later this month, if Crayton is convicted.

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