Beating victim found covered in blood on county road
Assaulted man to have reconstructive surgery; one arrested
By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor
June 24, 2008 - Sheriff's investigators Monday arrested one of two men thought to have been involved in the assault of a Cooper man, 24, who was found covered in blood and wandering down County Road 2329 early Monday.
James A. Buchanan of Cooper remained in the county jail today, where he was arraigned by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup, who set bond on the felony charge at $50,000.
A rural resident had contacted the sheriff's office around 3:30 a.m. Monday reporting that his wife, while driving to work, saw a man who had "blood all over him" along the county road.
Deputies found Kenneth Tracy-Lee Bell, 24, covered in blood from injuries to the side of his face and head. The man's arms were also bleeding, and he had a gash across his stomach. He didn't know who he was, where he was or how he got there. He was taken to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, then later flown to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.
Hopkins County Chief Sheriff's Investigator Toney Hurley and Investigators Jace Anglin and Lewis Tatum were called in to investigate. Hurley went to the hospital but was unable to learn anything further from Cooper, who still had no recollection of how he got from Cooper to Como.
After talking with a number of people, Hurley said investigators received information that Bell left the city of Cooper with Buchanan and another man and went to Como. Hurley said the three men are all from Cooper and know each other.
Buchanan was arrested shortly after noon Monday at his Cooper residence, and brought to Hopkins County jail on the aggravated assault charge.
"We're not sure of the motive," Hurley said. "We're waiting on the victim to regain his memory. As time goes on, we hope he'll remember more and be able to tell us what happened."
The victim, Kenneth Tracy-Lee Bell, is to undergo facial reconstructive surgery Wednesday at ETMC-Tyler.
Delta County sheriff's officers and Texas Ranger John Vance have also been working the case.