Sulphur Springs police detectives have identified a suspect in last week's armed robbery of Massey's Shell station and convenience store. Investigator Bo Fox said a warrant has been issued for a Yantis-area man in the case. “We have been viewing lots of surveillance video from Massey's and talking to witnesses and we have been able to identify a suspect in the case,” Fox said. “His name is William Lee Honea, 33, and is from the Yantis area. Now, we're just seeking information from anybody who might have been in contact with him or might see him out and about somewhere.” Honea should be considered armed and dangerous, the investigator said. “Honea has multiple other warrants from multiple jurisdictions and some of those warrants indicate violent tendencies,” Fox said. “We do consider him armed and dangerous, given the nature of his offense.” In the robbery, a man reportedly entered the store, pointed a gun at the clerk and fled in a silver pickup. The robber was described as a male, about 6 feet tall, with a mustache and of medium build and, at the time of the robbery, was wearing a black mask, black hoodie, blue jeans and brown boots. The man reportedly pointed a dark-colored, semi-automatic handgun at the clerk and told him to open the cash register or he'd shoot. He grabbed the clerk and pushed him toward the register. Fox emphasized that the suspect, Honea, is considered armed and dangerous and asked anybody with information as to the location of William Lee Honea to call Sulphur Springs Police Department, 903-885-7602, or call the nearest law enforcement agency.
The priority deadline to turn in a Blue Santa application to apply for assistance with toys for Hopkins County families is the close of business at CANHelp Nov. 26. Applicants should bring the original Social Security card for each child and photo ID for the parent/guardian applying for help. Proof of Hopkins County residency, such as a utility bill, will be required if correct address is not on the parent/guardian’s photo ID.
Eighth District Court Judge Eddie Northcutt sentenced Tony Dewayne Crayton, convicted earlier this month in the stabbing death of his wife, to serve 50 years in prison Monday. In a trial before the court rather than before a jury, Northcutt found Crayton caused the death of Jessica Tyler Crayton and he caused that death intentionally and knowingly. The punishment phase of the trial began Monday after a two-week pre-sentencing investigation. District Attorney Will Ramsay called Millie Townsend, the mother of the murder victim, and the victim's sister to the witness stand to “give the judge a view of what this loss has meant to them” from the perspective of a mother and sister. “They testified as you would expect them to. They painted a picture of a troubled man who had been in and out of their lives for the past seven years or so,” Ramsay said. “Millie Townsend testified that [Crayton] had the potential for good inside of him.” The sister, Laura Townsend, testified on Crayton's behalf and told about Crayton's mother, who is in prison for killing two men. Crayton's mother killed both his father and stepfather. “This painted a dreary picture of Crayton's upbringing,” the district attorney said. “Upon cross-examination, she agreed with me that Crayton had choices to make along the way and he made the wrong ones.” The entire sentencing hearing took only about two hours before the case was recessed in order for Northcutt to consider a sentence for Crayton. Just before noon, the judge announced the 50-year sentence. Crayton will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least half of the sentence. After the sentencing, Millie Townsend stood before Crayton and told him that she loved him and forgave him, then walked to Crayton and embraced him for a short time with Crayton sobbing in her arms. "Millie's behavior throughout this whole trial has been a visible reminder that forgiveness is not mutually exclusive with wanting someone held accountable for their actions,” Ramsay said. “She truly has hated the sin while loving the sinner." Prior to the murder of his wife, Tony Crayton only had two drunk driving convictions in his past — not a long list of violent offenses as might be expected to see in a murder case, the district attorney said. Ramsay also said almost all witnesses said the murder was outside the character of Crayton. "I believe that justice was done. It has been an honor to help the Townsends walk through this very difficult process. I wish I could have known Tyler. She had a gift of showing people love on a daily basis,” Ramsay said. “Her life is a great example and reminder to us during this season of Thanksgiving."