Grand jury returns murder, assault indictments
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Feb. 2, 2005 -- A Hopkins County Grand Jury handed up 17 felony indictments, including one for murder and eight for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, at the conclusion of its January session Thursday.

Justin Heath Gafford, 32, of Brashear, was named in a murder indictment in connection with the Nov. 1, 2004, stabbing death of his brother, 46-year-old Frankie Mike Gafford, also of Brashear.

Gafford has remained in the Hopkins County jail in lieu of $1 million bond since his arrest in his neighbor's pickup after a chase on Interstate 30 that began in Hopkins County and concluded in Titus County.

Heath was also indicted on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the theft of his neighbor's pickup.

Eight men were indicted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the brutal beating of 19-year-old Marcus Allen Wells Vaughn of Sulphur Springs.

The indictments accuse the eight men of luring Vaughn to a desolate section of County Road 3504, where he was beaten with what is believed to have been a baseball bat in November.

Named in the indictments are Juan Alvarez, 27, of Sulphur Springs; Damien Lynn Jolly, 22, of Cooper; Kerry Lee Jones, 22, of Cooper; Fermin Valles Jr., 20, of Sulphur Springs; Felipe Martinez Ortiz, 23, of Sulphur Springs; Juan Carlos Gonzales Garcia, 25, of Sulphur Springs; Mike Alve Ruiz, 21, of Winnsboro; and John Matthew Perez, 21, of Sulphur Springs.

In the attack, Vaughn sustained severe head injuries and was in a coma in a Tyler hospital for more than a week.

Other indictments returned by the grand jury included:

Detwonne Monshaye Alexander -- Delivery of a controlled substance

James Carrol Pritchett -- Aggravated sexual assault of a child

Jackie Vestal Gardner -- Theft of property

Charles Ray Potts -- Possession of a controlled substance

Larry Donnell Childs -- Delivery of a controlled substance

Larry Donnell Childs -- Delivery of a controlled substance

Larry Donnell Childs -- Delivery of a controlled substance

Note that when someone is indicted by a grand jury, they are only charged with a crime. It should not be considered as evidence of either guilt or innocence.

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