A Bell County, Texas, grand jury issued three capital murder indictments last week against a 2004 East Newton High School graduate in connection with the November 2004 deaths of four people connected with a Killeen, Texas, strip club.
The Temple, Texas, Telegram reported that Timothy Doan Payne, 19, a soldier at Fort Hood, was indicted along with Richard Lee Tabler, 26, of Killeen. Tabler was identified in print reports as a disgruntled former employee of the Teazers nightclub and purportedly was involved in gang activity.
In a December interview with the Dallas Morning News, Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith described the deaths as coming as the result of a "sinister and gruesome plot" to kill Teazers employees who had wronged Tabler. The Morning News reported that Tabler had been fired from the nightclub for dealing drugs and fencing stolen property.
Those allegedly shot to death by Tabler while Payne videotaped the murders, according to printed reports were: Tiffany Dotson, 18, a blond dancer from California; Amber Benefield, also known as Zoe, 16, a runaway from Louisiana; Mohamed Amine Rahmouni, the bar manager and a native of Morocco; and Haitham Zayed, who was described by authorities as most likely being a bystander who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Payne had been assigned to Fort Hood for less than a month, according to the Morning News. Both men allegedly confessed to their involvement in the murders, though Tabler later recanted in an interview with the Morning News. Sheriff Smith said Tabler told him he was angry at being banned from Teazers, so he lured the manager to a rural stretch of road outside Killeen on Nov. 26, allegedly to sell him stolen property. Rahmouni arrived with Zayed and reportedly Tabler shot them to death as Payne taped the action.
Two days later, the two men allegedly lured Miss Dotson and Miss Benefield to a deserted road with the promise of crack cocaine. When they arrived, Tabler reportedly shot them to death, with Payne once again operating the videocamera.
Club employees told the Morning News they had a hard time believing that the victims had anything to do with drugs or with stolen property.
Though nothing has been mentioned to link Payne with gang activity, there has been a serious problem over the past few years with Fort Hood soldiers becoming involved with local gangs, according to printed reports.
Payne and Tabler could receive the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted. Tabler is being held in lieu of $8 million bond, while a $4 million bond has been set for Payne.
O'Sullivan Industries will close its Australian operations by June 30, according to a filing last week with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. The reason given: "sales in the region were not sufficient to support the infrastructure required." Seventeen employees will lose their jobs, according to the filing.
The closing will cost O'Sullivan between $1.5 million and $2.2 million, the filing said. "Of this amount, between $400,000 and $700,000 will represent cash charges related to severance, termination of leases and other agreements, and costs to administer the winding down of these operations. Between $1.1 million and $1.5 million will be used as a reserve against our inventories in Australia."
The closure came after the quarterly report issued by O'Sullivan last week which showed that the company went further into the red in the second quarter, posting a net loss of $12.1 million.
I don't have all of the results but apparently KQYX 1450 news/talk broke into the top five in the most recent Arbitron ratings. The number one station as usual was KIX 102.5.
A special meeting of shareholders of Kmart Holding Corp and Sears, Roebuck and Co. will be held March 24 to vote on the proposed merger of the companies. The meeting, according to today's St. Louis Business Journal, will be held at Sears headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The danger of taking a press release and running it unchanged as news was demonstrated last week in The Lamar Democrat. The newspaper apparently took a Democratic Party news release about Governor Matt Blunt's awarding of a license fee office to former State Representative Bubs Hohulin and ran it verbatim. No mention was made of the source of the article.
It began, "The Missouri Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint on Wednesday against Governor Matt Blunt, Revenue Director Trish Vincent and Martin "Bubs" Hohulin, who was illegally awarded a no bid contract to operate the Lamar Revenue Fee Office. Blunt gave this political payoff to Hohulin, a former Republican state representative, even though he is a full-time state employee for a Republican Missouri State Senator Carl Vogel in Jefferson City receiving a salary in excess of $48,000 a year, plus benefits."
It would not have been much too trouble for The Democrat to have balanced this news release with one from the Republican side, or better yet, making a couple of phone calls or doing a little bit of research and presenting a more complete story to its readers.