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Plano woman dies in motorcycle crash

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A Plano woman was killed and her husband injured just after 4 p.m. Thursday near the 112 milemarker on westbound Interstate 30.
    Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup identified the woman as Ianeta Maria Crafton, 44, of Plano. She was a passenger on the motorcycle driven by her husband, Gerald Walter Crafton, 50, also of Plano.
    Glossup said the rear tire on the Harley-Davidson motorcycle blew out causing the motorcycle to go out of control.
    “A truck driver said they had passed a truck and had a blowout on the rear tire,” Glossup said. “The driver lost control of the motorcycle. He rode the motorcycle down but it threw the woman off. She just went tumbling on the pavement.”
    The judge said although it was raining and the pavement was wet, the conditions played no role in the fatal accident. They were part of a motorcycle group; all members of the group appeared to be experienced riders and were dressed for riding.
    “She was wearing a helmet,” the judge said. “He rode that motorcycle on down but, of course, when it went down, she just went rolling.”
    Gerald Crafton was transported to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, where he was said to be in stable condition Friday morning.
    Westbound traffic on the interstate came to a halt after state troopers closed the accident scene; vehicles were backed up to the Brashear area.
    Judge Glossup said the traffic was a “mess” and that a number of people had attempted to drive across the median to the frontage road and became stuck in the ditch, causing further problems in the area.
    Funeral services for Ianeta Maria Crafton are pending with Allen Family Funeral Options in Dallas.

Fatality motor cycle wreck on I-30

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Initial reports from the scene report a fatality in a motor cycle crash at the 110 mile marker on westbound Interstate 30 that occurred aboout 4 p.m.

West bound lanes were reported closed and traffic was being dirveted to frontage road at 499 exit.


Child sex offender gets sentenced to 27 years in prison

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10 years
added for
bail jumping

    Eighth District Judge Eddie Northcutt sentenced 23-year-old Stephen Waters to 27 years in prison Wednesday after he entered a plea of guilty to a charge of continuous sexual abuse of 7-year-old girl.
    Waters had been accused of committing the offense over a period of months while being trusted to babysit a friend's two young daughters.
    According to District Attorney Will Ramsay, Waters had been out on bond pending trial and, in April, had pled guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault of a child and agreed to a 30-year prison sentence. Under terms of the agreement, Waters would have been eligible for parole after 15 years.
    After the guilty plea was accepted, Waters continued to be on bond for a 30-day period while awaiting sentencing in May.
    Ramsay said the 23-year-old gave numerous “bogus excuses” to the court and failed to appear for sentencing. When Waters failed to appear, it became apparent he was running from the law in an attempt to avoid being sent to prison.
    The man was arrested in late May by the U.S. Marshal's Service at a motel in Abilene, near his hometown of Stamford, about 45 miles away.
    The federal officers were searching for another wanted person when they encountered Stephen Waters.
    "I was so thankful and relieved when I received the phone call from the marshal stating that he had Waters in custody,” the district attorney said. “We were able to let the victim's family know that he would be brought back to Hopkins County to answer for what he had done.  Obviously, we requested that Judge Northcutt reject the prior plea agreement and allow us to try the case. The judge obliged. We also filed a bail jumping case on Mr. Waters, which was a separate third-degree felony."
    Waters was then re-indicted on the original charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, an offense that has a punishment range of 25 years to life with no parole, and a jury trial was set for the first week in August.
    Earlier this week, Ramsay said his office was contacted by William Howard McDowell, the attorney representing Waters, with another possible plea agreement, which the district attorney felt the victim and her family would accept.
    “We all decided that the agreement of 27 years on a continuous charge was acceptable,” Ramsay said. “On this type of case, 27 years means 27 calendar years with no parole. The defendant will spend more time in prison than he has been alive. Now, this little girl would not have to testify."
    With the plea set for Wednesday afternoon, Ramsay said the defense attorney notified him that there was “no deal,” that Waters had backed out of the plea agreement.
    When the case was called Wednesday afternoon, the district attorney had some words for Waters.
    "I was able to explain to him at the bench that this would be the last day I would ever consider the possibility of any agreement,” Ramsay said. “He had yanked this family around for long enough."
    Waters then decided to honor the plea agreement that had been discussed and was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison on the sexual assault charge and 10 years on a bail jumping charge.
    "I believe that we are able to obtain plea agreements of this magnitude due to the hard work and the verdicts received in Hopkins County over the past year and a half,” Ramsay said. “The fact that juries hand down strong sentences on child abusers allows us to resolve cases appropriately in this manner without subjecting the child to a trial."
    After sentencing had been pronounced by Northcutt, the mother of the victim took the stand to deliver a victim impact statement and told Waters how he had changed their lives forever.
    She told Waters that he had been trusted with the most important things in their lives and he had done the worst.
    The child's mother then read a note written by the 7-year-old victim: “You hurt me. But, you did not break me."
    Waters will be held in Hopkins County jail until he can be transported to the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Summer Rain

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Lana Mabe uses her umbrella after a grocery store run during a flash flood watch that is currently in effect for Hopkins County. Today’s forecast includes showers and thunderstorms continuing through mid-afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70 degree range. For the rest of the weekly forecast see page 2. Staff Photo Jon Lance

CPCISD upgrades security system and technology, career program

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Como-Pickton Consolidated Independent School District is upgrading security systems, compiled its first evaluation report for non-core classes and gave an English as second language report. Trustees also approved some upgrades of the career and technology education program during their July board meeting.

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