Farmersville Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Repeated Sexual Abuse of Child

June 23, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Nahun Gutierrez, 22, of Farmersville was sentenced to 35 years in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

In 2015, Gutierrez had repeated sexual contact with an 8 year old child known to him.  In July 2016, the child told school classmates about the abuse; school personnel reported the child’s outcry to authorities. Lydia Connor with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County forensically interviewed the child, who disclosed details about the abuse.  Collin County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Chris Fontana collected items identified during the forensic interview and submitted them for DNA testing.  Those items were later confirmed to have biological evidence belonging to Gutierrez.

The jury returned guilty verdicts.  Judge Richard Davis presided over the trial and sentenced Gutierrez to 35 years in prison without the possibility for parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and 10 years in prison for a related charge of Indecency with a Child.

Assistant District Attorneys Sarah Preston and Geeta Singletary prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Kim Voigt-Eanes, as well as District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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Farmersville Man Sentenced to 40 Years for Sexual Assault of Intellectually Disabled Child

June 15, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Henry Fletcher, 81, of Farmersville, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Disabled Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis. “Special needs children are the most vulnerable members of our community and anyone that harms them will be vigorously prosecuted,” said Willis.

In June of 2015, the child went for a walk near her house in Farmersville.  Fletcher, who did not know the child, coaxed her into his car.  Fletcher took her to his house where he sexually assaulted her.  After the assault, Fletcher dropped the child off a few blocks from her house.  She ran home and immediately told her parents.  A sexual assault exam yielded biological material that was later compared to Fletcher’s DNA.  DNA analysis confirmed Fletcher as the perpetrator.  At the time of the offense, the intellectually disabled child was 14 years old.  Fletcher was 79 years old.

Farmersville Police Department Officer William Redding responded first to the scene and Collin County Sheriff’s Office, Child Abuse Task Force Investigator Danny Stasik investigated the case.

Judge Barnett Walker found Fletcher guilty of the offense of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Disabled Child and assessed punishment at 40 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorneys Ashley Keil and Geeta Singletary prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Stephanie Strickland.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

June 14, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – DWI drivers need to be on notice that this weekend will be a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Those showing signs of driving while intoxicated will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample.  If they refuse, officers will seek a warrant from a judge. On-call judges stand ready to determine probable cause for a warrant.  The driver’s blood will be drawn if the judge finds there is sufficient evidence of DWI.

The mission of the Collin County District Attorney’s office is to pursue justice and protect the community.  It works with law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of DWI offenses through the combination of effective prosecution and public awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

The officers do not draw the blood. Rather, health care professionals are stationed at certain local jails for this purpose.  The aim of this program is to keep citizens and roadways safe by preventing DWI activity.  But those who disregard the rights of others should be aware that June 16-18 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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Plano Man Sentenced to 41 Years without Parole for Sexual Assault of a Child

June 9, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Daniel Ortega, 22, of Plano, was sentenced to 41 years in prison without parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Ortega was well acquainted with the family and had ongoing access to the child. He sexually abused the victim multiple times weekly over a three year period, beginning when the child was nine. After the child moved away, the child told her mother about Ortega’s abuse.

Plano Police Department Detective Kristina McClain investigated the case, assisted by Jeff Davis County Sheriff Deputy Jerry Walker. Big Bend Advocacy Center’s Shana Sullivan forensically interviewed the child, who out-cried in detail about the abuse.

The jury returned a guilty verdict, after which the parties agreed upon the punishment of 41 years in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and 20 years in prison for a related charge on which the jury also found Ortega guilty, Indecency with a Child.

Assistant District Attorneys Geeta Singletary and Ashley Keil prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Kim Eanes and District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs. Judge Barnett Walker presided over the trial and assessed the agreed sentence.

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Arizona Man Receives Life In Prison For Murder of Plano Roommate

June 1, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – David Ruiz, 37, of Arizona City, Arizona, received life in prison for Murder, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Ruiz met the 25 year-old male victim in May of 2008, at a lab study in Austin, Texas.  The victim offered to let Ruiz stay at an apartment with him and a friend in Plano, Texas after learning Ruiz had nowhere to stay.

On May 31, 2008, Plano Police responded to a 911 call regarding a domestic disturbance.  Witnesses in the apartment next door reported they heard arguing, saw the victim’s body thrown against the window, watched him fall to the ground and observed a pool of blood form at his feet.  Ruiz then went back onto the balcony and made statements about killing the victim.  When the neighbors went to check on the victim, they saw Ruiz run out of the apartment with a knife.  While the victim’s friend tried to stop the bleeding, the neighbors attempted to catch Ruiz but ultimately lost him behind some nearby businesses.  The victim was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead before doctors could operate.  An autopsy revealed that the victim died from multiple stab wounds.

Ruiz remained on the run for almost 8 years until he was arrested crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona in January of 2016.  Judge Scott Becker convicted Ruiz of the Murder.

During punishment, the State offered evidence of Ruiz’s prior convictions for other violent crimes as well as evidence of warrants for aggravated assault that were pending in Arizona at the time of the Plano, Texas murder.  Judge Becker sentenced Ruiz to life in prison.

The case was investigated by the Plano Police Department and lead Detective Beth Spillman.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Ashley Briggs and Cynthia Walker.  They were aided by District Attorney Investigators Jared Clark and J.D. Spielman.

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Arizona Man Receives Life In Prison For Murder of Plano Roommate

June 1, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – David Ruiz, 37, of Arizona City, Arizona, received life in prison for Murder, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Ruiz met the 25 year-old male victim in May of 2008, at a lab study in Austin, Texas.  The victim offered to let Ruiz stay at an apartment with him and a friend in Plano, Texas after learning Ruiz had nowhere to stay.

On May 31, 2008, Plano Police responded to a 911 call regarding a domestic disturbance.  Witnesses in the apartment next door reported they heard arguing, saw the victim’s body thrown against the window, watched him fall to the ground and observed a pool of blood form at his feet. Ruiz then went back onto the balcony and made statements about killing the victim.  When the neighbors went to check on the victim, they saw Ruiz run out of the apartment with a knife.  While the victim’s friend tried to stop the bleeding, the neighbors attempted to catch Ruiz but ultimately lost him behind some nearby businesses.   The victim was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead before doctors could operate.  An autopsy revealed that the victim died from multiple stab wounds.

Ruiz remained on the run for almost 8 years until he was arrested crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona in January of 2016.  Judge Scott Becker convicted Ruiz of the Murder.

During punishment, the State offered evidence of Ruiz’s prior convictions for other violent crimes as well as evidence of warrants for aggravated assault that were pending in Arizona at the time of the Plano, Texas murder.  Judge Becker sentenced Ruiz to life in prison.

The case was investigated by the Plano Police Department and lead Detective Beth Spillman. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Ashley Briggs and Cynthia Walker. They were aided by District Attorney Investigators Jared Clark and J.D. Spielman.  Judge Scott Becker presided over the case.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

May 16, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – DWI drivers need to be on notice that this weekend will be a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Those showing signs of driving while intoxicated will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample.  If they refuse, officers will seek a warrant from a judge.  On-call judges stand ready to determine probable cause for a warrant.  The driver’s blood will be drawn if the judge finds there is sufficient evidence of DWI.

The mission of the Collin County District Attorney’s office is to pursue justice and protect the community.  It works with law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of DWI offenses through the combination of effective prosecution and public awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

The officers do not draw the blood.  Rather, health care professionals are stationed at certain local jails for this purpose.  The aim of this program is to keep citizens and roadways safe by preventing DWI activity.  But those who disregard the rights of others should be aware that May 19-21 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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Garland Man Guilty of Murder in Alleged Murder/Suicide, Gets Life in Prison

May 11, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Kenneth Amyx, 46, of Garland, was found guilty of Murder and sentenced to life in prison, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

On May 29, 2016, a female victim known to Amyx was found dead in her apartment in Plano, Texas.  Plano Police received multiple welfare concern calls after photos showing the victim bleeding on her floor were sent to family members and posted to Facebook.  Upon making entry into the apartment, Plano officers found Amyx lying on top of the victim in the master bedroom.  She died at the scene from multiple lacerations to her body. Amyx was treated for superficial wounds.  During an interview, Amyx confessed to causing the victim’s fatal injuries and posting the photos on Facebook as part of a claimed suicide pact.

But the evidence did not support Amyx’s claim that the victim had agreed to a suicide pact. Judge Scott Becker found Amyx guilty of murder. During punishment, the judge heard that Amyx was wanted in Rockwall County for continuous sexual abuse of a female child relative at the time of the murder.  Amyx testified that he did not regret killing the victim and also admitted to multiple acts of sexual abuse of the child.  The judge assessed a life sentence.

The case was investigated by Plano Police Department, including Detectives Paul Martinez, Jonathan Hay, and Aaron Benzick.  Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Doug Millican and Calli Bailey prosecuted the case, aided by DA Investigator Laurie Gibbs.

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45 Years without Parole for Child Sex Offender

May 8, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Hilario Santiago, 46, of McKinney, was sentenced to 45 years in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Jury trial testimony showed that Santiago lived in the child’s home as a family roommate and had ongoing access to the child.  He sexually abused the victim for many years, beginning when the child was 6 years of age.  Santiago would pull the child into his bedroom, instruct her to pull down her pants, and abuse the child. After each incident of abuse, Santiago would threaten to kill the child’s loved ones if she told anyone about what happened.  The child eventually told her parents that Santiago had “tried” to touch her and her parents kicked Santiago out of the house.  Over a year later, the child told her brother and her aunt that Santiago had done “bad things” to her and the child’s parents called the police.

McKinney Police Department Officer Bruno Sequeira was the first responder and Detective Jennifer Grounds investigated the case.  The victim was forensically interviewed by Eli Molina with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County. During the forensic interview, the child gave a detailed account of the abuse.

The jury returned a guilty verdict and Judge Richard Davis assessed punishment at 45 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Geeta Singletary and Ashley Keil prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Kim Eanes and Stephanie Strickland and District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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Serial Rapist Nets Life Sentence for 2003 Plano Cold Case

May 5, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Jody Alan Howland, 53, of Mount Clemens, Michigan, was sentenced to life in prison by a jury for the sexual assault of a Plano woman, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis. “Sexual predators should never get away with their crimes, and this case proves law enforcement never forgets.”

During the early morning hours of December 12, 2003, an unknown man attacked and sexually assaulted a Plano woman in her apartment after she returned from taking trash to the apartment dumpster.  The woman called 911 and reported the assault.  Plano Police responded and transported the woman to a local hospital, where a sexual assault nurse examiner collected evidence for a sexual assault kit. Police then submitted the sexual assault kit to the Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory for DNA testing.  The forensic scientists detected and developed a DNA profile for a male suspect. However, when the profile was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), no suspect emerged.  Plano detectives continued to develop leads to solve the case.

In 2015, Howland was convicted of a drug offense in the State of Michigan.  Though he received probation for the offense, he was required by Michigan law to submit a DNA sample.  When the sample was entered into CODIS, Howland’s profile matched the unknown DNA profile for this offense as well as two other sexual assaults, one that occurred in Dallas, Texas, in 2004 and the other in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2001.  After confirming the CODIS hit by comparing Howland’s actual DNA to the unknown DNA profile for the Plano sexual assault, detectives also determined that Howland lived in Wylie, Texas during 2003.  His address was only five miles away from the victim’s apartment where the Plano sexual assault occurred.

A Collin County jury returned a guilty verdict on two counts of sexual assault.  During sentencing, the jury learned that Howland had several prior felony convictions, which enhanced the punishment range to 25-99 years or life for each count. The jury assessed a life sentence for each count. District Judge Scott Becker presided over the trial.

The case was investigated by Plano Police Detectives Beth Chaney and Brian Pfahning.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Cynthia Walker and Bobby Huber.  They were aided by District Attorney Investigator Jared Clark.

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