2014-2015 Lights of Life Gala Chairs Leesa and Brian Toliver (at right) Thursday at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital announced (left) Wayne and Wanda Galyean as this year’s campaign honorees. Staff Photo by Jon Lance
A former Sulphur Springs High School police officer arrested in January on a sex charge pleaded guilty in district court Thursday to a second-degree felony charge of reckless bodily injury to a child, elderly or disabled person. William Nathan Gaddis, 30, of Sulphur Springs was arrested by Texas Ranger John Vance Jan. 3 on two counts of indecency with a child who was less than 17 years old by sexual contact, was arraigned shortly after being booked into Hopkins County jail, then released after his attorney secured the $25,000 bond set per charge. In a plea agreement, Gaddis plead guilty to one count of injury to a child in mid-November, for which he was sentenced to serve seven years deferred adjudication and must serve 90 days in a county jail. According to defense attorney Larry Blount , Gaddis had the choice of going to trial or entering a plea before the court. Gaddis was booked Thursday into Hopkins County jail, but was soon transferred to Delta County jail, where he will serve the 90-day jail sentence. Safety concerns were raised because Gaddis had previously been employed by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office as a jailer, thus he will be serving the 90 days in the Delta County facility. At the time of his arrest in January, Gaddis was employed as a police officer with Sulphur Springs Independent School District Police Department and a reserve officer with Sulphur Springs Police Department. Gaddis had been serving as a part-time security officer at the district since October and was officially hired full-time as an SSISD police officer at the Dec. 9 school board meeting. He previously worked as a corrections officer at Hopkins County jail. While serving there, he earned his basic peace officer certification in November 2011. He had also served recently as a reserve officer with Sulphur Springs Police Department, an association that ended with his arrest earlier this month. SSISD, following Gaddis’ arrest in January, issued a written statement acknowledging that while the allegation was not school-related appropriate measures have been taken, in accordance with district and legal policies; he was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. Gaddis submitted his resignation, which the SSISD school board accepted at the April 14 meeting. About 50 members of the community showed up at the Jan. 14 SSISD Board of Trustees meeting to show support for Gaddis. Three people, including his father Donnie Gaddis, who is also an SSISD officer and works part-time at SSPD, spoke at that meeting, urging trustees to consider not firing officer William Nathan Gaddis, but to consider his character and other circumstances regarding the investigation. The two other men expressed disbelief that Gaddis was guilty of the charges raised against him. The school board, as is district policy, listened to the comments voiced in public forum, but did not respond to them. While the matter was expected to be discussed by the board during the executive session late Monday night, school trustees as expected took no action related to Gaddis’ employment. “His status has not changed and won’t until the investigation is completed,” SSISD Assistant Superintendent Randy Reed said the morning after the January SSISD board meeting. “It is out of our hands at this point — it’ll be through the district attorney’s office. His status is the same. We will deal with whatever comes once the investigation is complete. The next step will be with the judicial system.”
Home delivered meals are available to rural Hopkins County residents age 60 or older. These meals are funded through the Ark-Tex Area Agency on Aging and are administered by Lamar County Meals on Wheels.