“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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Dallas Man Sentenced to 80 Years for Collin County Cold Case Murder

April 24, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – Temmie Cooley, 51, of Dallas, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 80 years for Murder, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.  “While this verdict doesn’t bring their loved one back, justice has finally been served after 27 years,” added Willis.

On November 25, 1989, the body of the female victim was found dumped in a ditch along County Road 140 in Plano, Texas.  She was found nude from the waist down, partially covered with a red sweater.  The cause of death was determined to be ligature strangulation.  Plano Police Department investigated the case in 1989 and interviewed several family members, friends, and co-workers of the victim, including Cooley.  Cooley and the victim worked together at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.  Through witness interviews, Plano Police Detective Tom Gramm learned that the victim and Cooley may have been involved in a romantic relationship.  Cooley denied this at the time and no arrest was made in 1989.  The case was re-opened in 2003, but still no arrest was made until 2014, when detectives obtained a DNA sample from Cooley which matched sperm collected in a sexual assault kit from the victim back in 1989.  Over the course of 25 years, Cooley was interviewed several times.  In each of his interviews, he denied any kind of sexual relationship with the victim until confronted with the DNA match.  Cooley ultimately admitted to the sexual relationship, but provided inconsistent statements as to his whereabouts the night of the murder and the last time he saw her.  Cooley never confessed to the murder, but he also never denied killing the victim over the 25-year investigation.

The jury heard facts regarding a subsequent murder committed by Cooley.  In 2001, Cooley confessed to strangling a Kaufman County woman with a purse strap.  Cooley had been having an affair with the woman at the time of the murder.  There were several similarities between the 2001 murder and the murder of the victim.  Judge Andrea Thompson presided over the case and assessed the sentence.

The case was investigated by Plano Police Department, including Detectives Tom Gramm in 1989, Billy Meeks in 2003, and Beth Spillman in 2014.  Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Wes Wynne and Calli Bailey prosecuted the case, aided by DA Investigator Mike Smith.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

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

Frisco Rapist Sentenced to 40 Years

April 3, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Adam Milligan, 37, of Frisco was sentenced by a jury to 40 years in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.  “What this man did was absolutely horrific.  But this victim’s courage and the jury’s verdict ensure he won’t terrorize any more women” added Willis.

Frisco police responded to the victim’s residence shortly after 3:00 am on August 8, 2015.  Milligan, who knew the victim, entered the victim’s home hours earlier when she was not home and without her consent. Once she returned home, Milligan restrained her hands and feet and then sexually assaulted her for over an hour. The assault ended when Milligan placed a pillow over her face and attempted to suffocate and strangle the victim with his hands.  The victim told police that Milligan had turned on a video camera during the assault.  Police were later able to locate and preserve the recording for trial.

Frisco Detective Daniel Bardwell led a strong investigation, during which time and afterwards Frisco Victim Advocate Haleh Cochran provided support to the victim.  Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Sexual Assault Response Team Program Manager for The Turning Point Rape Crisis Center, Robyn Bowles, testified about the Sexual Assault Nurse Examination she completed just hours after the assault.  Judge Angela Tucker presided over the case.

The jury heard evidence during the punishment phase of trial of prior bad acts which had not resulted in convictions, including another sexual assault and attempted sexual assaults of two other women.

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Kim Laseter and Holly Griffin, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Robin Laughon, Jon Hooper, and Kim Voigt-Eanes.  District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Jenni Ball and Collin County District Attorney Therapy Dog, Winston, provided support for the victim during the trial.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

March 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 March 17 – 20 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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Former Children’s Medical Center of Plano Phlebotomist Sentenced to 19 years for Inappropriately Touching Female Teenage Patients

March 1, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Mohammad Ali, 46, of Plano was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of indecency with a child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.  “This perpetrator preyed upon young teenaged girls who trusted him to do his job right.  In the end, it was the courage of these very girls that helped us catch him and hold him accountable.  He won’t be preying on any more children.”

Ali was employed as a phlebotomist at Children’s Medical Center of Plano.  The initial victim came forward in December 2015 after Ali inappropriately touched her over her clothing while she was having her blood drawn by Ali in the laboratory.  After the first report, five additional victims reported offenses that occurred between August and December of 2015.  Each victim reported similar inappropriate touching by Ali over their clothes during blood draws.  The victims were between 12 and 15 years of age at the time of the incidents. Plano Police Detective Chris Jones investigated each case.

Ali pled guilty in exchange for the 19 year sentence on Friday.  The maximum sentence for this second degree felony is 20 years.  Some of the victims and their families were present for the plea.  The victims who were present for the plea gave statements about how Ali’s abuse impacted them.  Judge Richard Davis presided over the case and sentenced Ali.

Ali began working at the CMC lab in March of 2015.  Ali was initially placed on administrative leave from the hospital but was ultimately terminated prior to being arrested for three counts of indecency with a child in January of 2016.  Children’s Medical Center cooperated with the Plano Police Department throughout the criminal investigation.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Preston prosecuted the cases, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Ryan Harvey and Greg Bowers, as well as District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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Princeton Man Sentenced to 35 Years Without Parole for Repeated Sexual Assault of a Child

February 21, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Matthew Allen, 32, of Princeton was sentenced to 35 years in prison without parole for continuous sexual abuse of a child and indecency with a child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Allen began molesting a child known to him from the time she was she was 9 years old until she was 14 years old.  The child’s father found out about the abuse, and contacted Child Protective Services, who began the investigation.  The case was also simultaneously investigated by the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.  CPS Investigator Kalyn Rosser set up a forensic interview, where the victim described the progression of sexual abuse.  The abuse began in Texas, continued in another state, and concluded back in Texas.

On Thursday, the jury returned guilty verdicts on one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.  Allen will serve 35 years in the Texas Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole.  Judge Ray Wheless presided over the case.

Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Miller and Peter Ganyard prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Greg Bowers, Oscar Perez, and Matt Mayes, as well as District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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