Woman, 19, charged in assault that left teen with skull fracture

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Sept 20, 2007 - Police have charged a 19-year-old woman with aggravated assault in an incident that left a 15-year-old Sulphur Springs High School student with a fractured skull on Sept. 9.

Amber Charneé Ray of Sulphur Springs confessed late Tuesday to the offense, according to Sulphur Springs Police Det.-Sgt. Monty Tipps, resulting in a warrant being issued Wednesday on the second-degree aggravated assault charge. 

�She cooperated fully,� Tipps said. �It was agreed she would turn herself in once we got the warrant.�

According to information Tipps received, Meagan Berry, 15, got into a car with Ray’s boyfriend that day. The vehicle, which belonged to Ray, was stopped in the 100 block of Ardis Street. Ray saw her boyfriend and a teen-ager in the car and approached it. Ray began asking for the identity of the other girl and why she was in the car with her boyfriend.

An argument ensued, Tipps said, followed by "a mutual combat fight."

"As a result, the 15-year-old was knocked to the ground, causing a skull fracture to the temple area,” Tipps said.

After the fight was broken up, Berry was taken to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. She was later taken to a Tyler hospital. She has since been released.

Police  were notified of the assault between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sept. 9 and began collecting statements from people at the scene.

Tipps said the victim was taken to the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center and interviewed "as soon as we could without threatening her health,” Tipps said.

�She�s up walking and talking, but says she doesn�t really remember much," the detective said. "We received no outcry of anything else, no witness statements or any evidence that anything other than the aggravated assault occurred.�

Ray was booked into the county jail Wednesday but was released later in the day after securing the $20,000 bond set on the charge.

Berry’s mother, Laura Berry Jones, told the News-Telegram last week that a fund had been established in her daughter’s name at Community Bank should anyone wish to make donations to assist with her daughter’s medical expenses and the family’s travel costs associated with her medical care. The teen-ager is covered by health insurance, but it does not pay 100 percent of the medical care costs. Treatment is expected to continue for at least three months.

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