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Update: Zepeda Given Two Life Sentences for Assault and Burglary

ZepedaRobertConrad

Update: The same jury that convicted him of burglary of a habitation and assault with a deadly weapon on Wednesday, sentenced 28-yr-old Robert Zepeda to two life sentences that will run concurrently.

After hearing testimony in the punishment phase of the trial Thursday, the jury began deliberation at 2:20 p.m. Fifteen minutes later, at 2:35 p.m. the jury came back with its decision in the penalty phase of the trial, wrapping up four days of testimony.

Defense counsel John Lee Blagg called Zepeda’s brother, uncle, and sister to the stand. Assistant District Attorney Sam Moss and Christina Nelson cross examined the witnesses and Zepeda himself, who admitted that he’d spent most of his life behind bars after the age of twelve. He went from two stints in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) to being tried as an adult at age seventeen, and sent to prison at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) twice. Zepeda told Moss that he estimated he’d been in the “free world” about three years since he was a teenager. Moss and Zepeda had several heated exchanges and had to be called down twice by Judge Dan Beck.

Zepeda hung his head and slumped when Judge Beck read the sentence, then turned around and mumbled something to his victim that was unintelligible. An outburst caused the judge to have Zepeda removed from the courtroom as the jury was being discharged.

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New Brownwood Traffic Signal Becomes Operational Thursday

TxDotlogoA new traffic signal at the intersection of Commerce Street and Riverside Park Drive is set to become operational Thursday morning.

This traffic signal will add enhanced safety to one of Brownwood’s busiest intersections and help relieve congestion further up the road, at the intersection of Commerce and Main Street.

The signals will also feature a safety light that has not been seen in Brownwood yet. It will have a Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) signal to tell motorists they can make a left turn but must yield to oncoming traffic.

Signs will be posted near the signal to let motorists know what the signal means. The FYA signal has proven to be safer than a typical solid green light, which some motorists confuse with a protected left turn.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 7/23

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

Tuesday, July 22

*9:13 AM – Brownwood Police were dispatched to the 300 block of Bluffview Drive regarding theft.  According to the report, a vehicle at the residence had fuel removed from it.  The complainant advised that another vehicle had fuel stolen as well.

*4:24 AM – Brownwood Police were called to the 2200 block of Indian Creek regarding a loud party where a subject was reported to be “possibly ill or injured.”  According to the report, this call led to a report for making alcohol available to a minor.

*11:15 AM – Brownwood Police met with a complainant at the law enforcement center.  According to the report, a local business reported the theft of beer and a suspect was located.

*3:06 PM – Brownwood Police responded to the 1600 block of 4th Street regarding an accident.  According to the report, during this incident, a male subject backed into another vehicle and then fled the scene on foot.  During the investigation, the male was identified.

*4:11 PM – Brown County Sheriff’s Office met with a complainant regarding two missing family members.  According to the report, the male and female had not been seen since Sunday, July 20th and attempts at making contact with them have been unsuccessful.

*4:45 PM – Brownwood Police were called to the 1600 block of Lane Street regarding theft.  According to the report, fuel was stolen from a vehicle.  No suspects were known at the time of the report, police state.

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Update: Defendant Takes the Witness Stand in Assault Trial

ZepedaRobertConrad28-yr-old Robert Conrad Zepeda of Brownwood was on the witness stand Wednesday in his aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault, unlawful restraint, and criminal mischief trial in the 35th District court in Brownwood.  Zepeda is charged with an assault on Amanda Moscorro which took place January 26, 2014. Retired District Judge Dan Beck from La Grange is presiding over the case. Zepeda’s attorney, John Lee Blagg, questioned Zepeda on the details leading up to the alleged assault.   Zepeda referred to Moscorro as his “common-law wife,” admitting they were not legally married.  Zepeda said he intended to see his "wife" to try to win her back after they had separated about five months earlier.

Zepeda testified that he was at a party with Jose Galaviz who told Zepeda that the woman had Jeremy Ortega at her home at that moment.  Zepeda told the jury that there was "bad blood" between him and Ortega, and hearing that Ortega was at home with Zepeda’s wife infuriated him.  He went to Moscorro's house to confront Ortega, but had no intention of harming the woman.  Zepeda said he beat on the front door.  Nobody answered, but Zepeda said he heard "scrambling" noises in the house.  Zepeda said he thought Ortega was trying to run away, so he pulled an air conditioner out of the window to get in. Moscorro ran out of the house and headed to a neighbor’s house when Zapeda caught up to her and held her.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 7/22

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Tuesday, July 22, 2014:

Monday, July 21

*8:15 AM – Brownwood Police were called to the 1300 block of 8th Street regarding a burglary which had already occurred.  According to the report, the complainant stated that while he was sleeping, someone came into his residence and stole two flat screen televisions.  The complainant wished to pursue charges, the report states.

*11:45 PM – A Brownwood Police officer was on a call in the 7-11 convenience store parking lot, in the 3800 block of 4th Street, when  she noticed a vehicle traveling south on 4th Street at a high rate of speed that ran the red light at the 4th Street and Indian Creek intersection.  According to the report, a traffic stop was attempted; however the vehicle ran two stop signs and drove on the wrong side of the road before coming to a stop.  A traffic stop was then made which resulted in the arrest of 31-year-old Shannon Johnson of Brownwood for driving while intoxicated 3rd or more.

*Brown County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of fraud.  According to the report, a victim from Springfield, Illinois advised that an unknown person had used her debit card to purchase a gift card in the amount of $115.87.

*Early Police arrested 41-year-old Damonn Steven French of Early on a warrant related to assault family violence.

*Brown County sheriff’s Office arrested 31-year-old Brandon Jamall Payne on a warrant related to engage in organized criminal activity.

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Testimony Continues in Zepeda Trial

ZepedaRobertConradTestimony continues today in Brown County’s 35th District court for 28-year-old Robert Conrad Zepeda of Brownwood.

Zepeda is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault, unlawful restraint, and criminal mischief.  He is also held on a parole violation warrant after an alleged assault on Amanda Moscorro on January 26, 2014.

Visiting Judge Dan Beck from La Grange is hearing the case. Zepeda is represented by Brownwood attorney John Lee Blagg.

After the reading of the indictment, Judge Beck asked Zepeda for his plea.   Zepeda stood up, turned around to face his family, and was visibly emotional.  He never answered the judge, who asked him a total of four times for his plea.  Judge Beck finally verbally ordered a “not guilty” plea, saying that if the defendant doesn’t respond, the state must automatically assume it is a not guilty plea.

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BFD Fire & Rescue Reports 7/22

BFDlogoSmallReports released for the weeks of July 7-20, 2014 from the Brownwood Fire Department include 52 medical emergencies, 12 fire calls, 8 motor vehicle accidents, 2 swift water rescues and 2 hazardous materials call.

Reports of interest include:

Monday, July 7

*1:25 PM – BFD was dispatched to a fire call in on County Road 237 where firefighters arrived on the scene of a small grass fire with Winchell and Brookesmith Volunteer Fire Departments.  The VFDs had the fire knocked down and fire crews began mopping up.

*9:08 PM – BFD was called to a fire in the 1300 block of Austin Avenue.  Firefighters arrived on scene regarding the smell of burned rubber in the area.  Fire Crews were unable to locate any smell.

Tuesday, July 8

*4:27 AM – BFD responded to a fire call in the 3000 block of 1st Street regarding a smoke detector activation.  Firefighters arrived on scene to find nothing showing.  Fire Crews investigated and found the drain line from the air conditioning of the residence was clogged and water was dripping on to the AC wiring. The occupants were advised to call an AC technician.

*11:51 AM – BFD was dispatched to a two-vehicle accident with no injuries at Austin Avenue and Main Street.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 7/21

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Monday, July 21, 2014.

Wednesday, July 16

*11:19 AM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy was called to the Budget Inn, located in the 500 block of E. Commerce, regarding theft.  According to the report, the complainant stated that her mother had stolen her medication.

*11:20 AM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy received a report of theft.  According to the report, the complainant reported, via phone call, that a known suspect had stolen tools out of his truck overnight.

*2:02 PM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy met with two complainants who reported both of their homes had been broken into by a known suspect and that they wished to pursue criminal charges.

Thursday, July 17

*8:35 AM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy met with a complainant at the law enforcement center who stated that he had been threatened, via phone, by a known suspect.  According to the report, the deputy listened to a voicemail and viewed a text message which had been sent by the named suspect.  A report was made to document the threats, the report states.

*2:00 PM – Brown County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the theft of a license plate from a boat trailer which had been parked in the 100 block of David Street at Lake Brownwood.  The license plate information was taken and a report was made, according to the deputy.

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Update: Arrests Continue in Operation Tangled Web

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Anna Coffey

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Irene Gomez Walls

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Bridget King

Monday Update: According to officials at Brown County Sheriff’s Office, more arrests have been made in Operation Tangled Web.  On Friday, there were 45 defendants named in 49 cases.  As of 9 a.m. Monday, there were only 9 defendants at large in 9 cases.

Newly made arrests include 28-year-old Anna Jeanette Coffey of Brownwood for engaging in organized criminal activity; 48-year-old Irene Gomez Walls of Bangs on the charge of delivery of a controlled substance in a drug free zone; and Bridget King on the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Those still at large include Kenneth Baker, Justin Barnhill, Chaplin Delarosa, Charles Dickey, Shanna Hughitt, Courtney Sallie, Kevin Sliger and Katrina Leann White.

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21st Cavalry Brigade Makes Historic Final Flight from Brownwood

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Officers of the 21st Cavalry Brigade, air combat unit, made their final flight from Brownwood Regional Airport on Monday in a ceremony which represented the end of a 27 year relationship with the City of Brownwood.

As a result of troop draw downs, from 540,000 to 420,000, the U.S. Army is doing away with several units such as the 21st Cavalry, according to Colonel John C. White, Commander of the 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat).  Included in the draw down are 2 of the 13 aviation brigades.

Colonel White and 11 officers and a civilian aviation trainer of the 21st Cavalry came to make their final flight from Brownwood.

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