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Judge finds Tony Crayton guilty of murder

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After hearing two days of testimony in the trial of Tony Dewayne Crayton for the murder of his wife in October 2013, 8th District Judge Eddie Northcutt found Crayton guilty Wednesday morning. Crayton and his attorney, Martin Braddy, had asked that Northcutt, rather than a jury, hear the trial. In handing down his finding, Northcutt said he had to determine whether Tony Dewayne Crayton caused the death of Tyler Crayton and if he caused that death intentionally and knowingly. Testimony in the case pointed to a history of domestic problems between Crayton and his wife. On the day of her death, those problems escalated into violence. Forensic pathologist Dr. Emily Ogden of the Dallas Institute of Forensic Sciences testified that two of the wounds Jessica Tyler Crayton suffered would have each resulted in death, while a third would not have been fatal. 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, 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. In considering the totality of the evidence presented by both the defense and prosecution, Northcutt found Tony Crayton did knowingly brutally attack his wife, that he beat her, stabbed her and then knelt beside her body before deciding to get out of the home at 108 Morris Drive. The judge said he would be ordering a pre-sentencing investigation and would pronounce the sentence for Crayton later this month. Northcutt said he would set aside two days, Nov. 24 and 25, for the punishment phase of the trial. As the verdict was rendered, Crayton sat emotionless at the council table, while members of Tyler Crayton’s family wept. Defense attorney Braddy said he and his client appreciated the work of the court in methodically going through and analyzing all the evidence submitted during the trial. “We respect his verdict,” Braddy said. “We are going to proceed to determine what the proper punishment ought to be in this particular set of circumstances for this particular defendant.” The attorney said he anticipated he would ask for the sentence to be set by the court and would take all of the facts into consideration in setting that punishment. “We look forward to the opprtunity to present all of that to the court so that he might have everything he needs in order to make sure that justice is served in this particular case,” Braddy said. Tony Crayton now faces a punishment range of between five years and life in prison without parole.

More child sex assault charges for local man

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Sheriff's deputies served county jail inmate Samuel Moses Williams with more warrants alleging sexual assault of a child Monday in connection with an incident first discovered last week. Williams, 24, of Sulphur Springs was arrested by police for failure to register as a sex offender at his place of employment last Friday; he was also charged with two separate counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years of age. During an interview at the county jail following his arrest, Williams admitted to touching the breasts and genitals of the children. In a related incident last Friday, deputies arrested 23-year-old Danyelle Anneice Carter for tampering with a witness after she threatened young girls who were thought to be victims of sexual abuse by her husband. The additional charges involved the same children, according to sheriff's investigators. Bonds for Williams now total more than a half-million dollars.

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.


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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