McKinney Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Repeated Sexual Abuse of a Child

October 19, 2017

McKinney, Texas – Cruz Daniel Feliciano-Salinas, 24, of McKinney, was sentenced to Life in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.  “This courageous child ensured that this vile predator can never harm another child,” Willis added.

Feliciano-Salinas lived in the child’s family home and had ongoing access to the female child.  He sexually abused her over the course of a number of years until she turned 8 years old.  Feliciano-Salinas told her not to tell anyone.  Shortly after Feliciano-Salinas moved back to Mexico, the child told her mother that Feliciano-Salinas abused her.  Feliciano-Salinas was arrested upon reentry into the United States.

McKinney Police Department Detective Techia Davis investigated the case. Lisa Martinez of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County forensically interviewed the child, who described in detail the specific instances of sexual abuse by Feliciano-Salinas.

The jury returned a guilty verdict and Judge Carmen Rivera-Worley assessed punishment of Life in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child.

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

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Richardson Man Sentenced to 50 Years for Murdering His Girlfriend

September 25, 2017

McKinney, Texas – Jason Michael Lowe, 28, of Richardson, Texas received a 50 year prison sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

In December 2015, Jessie Bardwell, a 27-year-old woman, moved to Richardson, Texas from Mississippi to live with her boyfriend, Jason Lowe.  Bardwell’s parents became extremely concerned when she failed to call her mother on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016.  Bardwell’s parents contacted the Richardson Police Department and asked them to check on her welfare.

Richardson police officers made contact with Lowe at his apartment.  As they questioned Lowe, it became apparent that he was lying about Bardwell’s disappearance.  During their investigation, detectives discovered evidence in Lowe’s car and garage indicating Lowe was the last person to see Jessie Bardwell alive.  On May 19, 2016, Lowe led police and prosecutors to the location of Bardwell’s body in rural Farmersville, Texas.

The medical examiner determined her death was the result of homicidal violence.  Police traced evidence collected near Bardwell’s body back to Lowe, including a cargo mat found on top of Bardwell’s body that fit the trunk of Lowe’s vehicle. Richardson Detectives Chiron Hale and Eric Willadsen investigated the case.

Lowe claimed at trial that Bardwell’s death was accidental.  The jury, however, returned a guilty verdict. Judge Scott Becker sentenced Lowe to 50 years in prison.

Bardwell’s parents gave emotional victim impact statements describing their love for their daughter, their grief since her murder, and how Lowe isolated her from family and friends.

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Wes Wynne and Cynthia Walker prosecuted the case, aided by District Attorney Investigators Jon Hooper and Mike Smith, and Victims Assistance Coordinators Renee Thompson and Susanne Riggs.

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District Attorney Launches “Cut it Out” Initiative to Address Domestic Violence

September 14, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – On Monday, October 2, 2017, the Collin County District Attorney’s office will host a “Cut it Out” Luncheon to train hair stylists to notice signs of domestic violence and safely refer clients for help, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Salon professionals from all over Collin County will gather for the “Cut It Out” training and luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The Landing – Myers Park & Event Center, located in McKinney at 7117 County Road 166.  This presentation trains stylists how to (1) recognize the signs of domestic violence, and (2) safely and confidentially refer their clients to resources for help.  The luncheon and training is provided at no cost for all attendees.

“This program is specifically designed for stylists,” District Attorney Willis explained, “because they tend to have long term, supportive relationships with their clients.  Stylists are also uniquely positioned to notice signs of abuse – including bumps, bruises, and scratches – that others may not see.”

With proper training on how to recognize the signs of abuse and safely refer victims to help, salon professionals can become invaluable and influential community partners in the fight against domestic violence.

Joining us in support of this event are many community partners who assist victims of domestic violence: Emily’s Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, Inc., Stronger than Espresso, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, The Family Place, and The Turning Point/Rape Crisis Center.

In addition to the luncheon training, Collin County District Attorney prosecutors and investigators will also provide free “Cut it Out” training at local salons throughout October, which is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Those interested in attending the luncheon or scheduling a “Cut it Out” training, please contact Collin County District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Jenni Ball at jball@co.collin.tx.us.  For additional information regarding this program, please review the invitation to the event: Invitation to Cut it Out Luncheon.

Plano Man Sentenced to 50 Years for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

September 13, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Steven Troy Tillery, 50, of Plano, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.  “This child’s courage in speaking out ensured that this perpetrator is locked up, behind bars, never to violate another child again,” added Willis.

Tillery sexually abused a child related to him at least 3 times in her sleep when she was 12 – 13 years old. Tillery also sent the child text messages describing the acts of abuse and asked the child to allow him to continue with the abuse in exchange for gifts.  The child told her mother about the text messages and her mother then contacted law enforcement.

McKinney Police Department Detective Adrian Guzman and Sergeant Damian Guerrero investigated the case.  The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County’s Janetta Michaels forensically interviewed the child, who disclosed details of the abuse.

The jury returned a guilty verdict and Justice Kerry P. Fitzgerald assessed punishment at 50 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.

Assistant District Attorneys Geeta Singletary and Bobby Huber prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Kim Voigt-Eanes and Victims Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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McKinney Man Sentenced to Life without Parole After Pleading Guilty to Capital Murder of His Wife and Her Twin Sister

August 16, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Kelley Eugene Bigham, 52, of McKinney, Texas was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to Capital Murder of his wife and her twin sister, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

On June 20, 2016, Bigham, who was estranged from his wife, Karen Bigham, returned to the marital residence on High Pointe Drive in McKinney to retrieve some of his belongings.  Also at the residence were the Bigham’s adult daughter and Karen Bigham’s twin sister, Kathy Boobar.  Bigham displayed a handgun and then told his daughter to leave.  Immediately upon leaving the residence, Bigham’s daughter heard her mother yell “call 911,” and then heard two gun shots.

Bigham fled the scene and drove to Rains County where his family lived.  Bigham was arrested at his father’s house by the Rains County Sheriff’s Department with the assistance of the East Tawakoni Police Department and the Texas Rangers.

Several family members were present for the plea and gave emotional victim impact statements. They spoke of the love and friendship Karen, a hairstylist, and Kathy, a bank president, shared as well as how their tragic murders affected their community.  Approximately 2000 people attended the twin sisters’ visitation and funeral services.  District Judge Benjamin Smith accepted Bigham’s guilty plea and assessed the automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

Assistant Criminal District Attorney Lisa Milasky King prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Kenny Newton and District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.  McKinney Police Detective Craig Owens investigated the case, with assistance from McKinney Police Sergeant Russel May and Texas Ranger Reuben Mankin.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

August 15, 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 August 18-20 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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Allen Man Sentenced to 40 Years for Sexually Abusing Child

July 19, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – James Schafer, 35, of Allen, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Schafer sexually abused a child related to him for several years beginning when she was 6 years old. Local law enforcement first became aware of the abuse in 2016 when Schafer told family members in Michigan about what he had done to the child. Michigan State Police were contacted and the case was referred to Allen Police Department once it was determined that the multiple instances of sexual assault occurred in Texas.

Lisa Martinez with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County forensically interviewed the child, who disclosed details about the abuse.  Allen Police Department Detective Michelle Peel investigated the case.

Schafer pled guilty to the offense and Judge James Fry assessed the agreed punishment at 40 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley Keil prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Greg Bowers.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

July 19, 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 July 21-23 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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McKinney Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison After Pleading Guilty to Sexual Assault of a Child

July 7, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Brandon McPhearson, 20, of McKinney was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

McPhearson lived with a relative in McKinney during a time that two children unrelated to him were frequently at the residence.  The first child disclosed the abuse during a forensic interview on an unrelated matter at Alliance for Children in Arlington.  Based on her disclosure, a forensic interview was set up for the second child who also disclosed abuse by McPhearson.  Once it was determined the offenses happened in McKinney, McKinney Police Detective Chris Kennedy was assigned to the case and conducted an investigation.

McPhearson entered an agreed plea of guilty in exchange for a 30 year sentence.  Both victims and their family were present for the plea.  The victims’ mother gave a victim impact statement and also read a statement written by one of the victims.  Judge James Fry presided over the case.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Preston prosecuted the cases, 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 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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