An Angelina County grand jury this week indicted a Lufkin man and woman on murder charges in connection to the death of a Pollok mother.
The grand jury issue first-degree murder indictments to Justin Welch, 23, and Rosalind Smith, 41, in the murder of 30-year-old Elisha Henson. Angelina County investigators have alleged that Welch killed Henson in a fit of rage over the possibility she had given him HIV.
Henson was reportedly killed on April 26 after she spent the day smoking methamphetamine with Welch and Smith. The trio had been at a house together on Virginia Road off U.S. Highway 59 north when Henson and Welch left together for a while. When they returned, Welch overheard a conversation between Smith and Henson in which Smith asked the woman if she had HIV, according to Smith’s interview with law enforcement after her May 14 arrest.
Smith reportedly said Welch seemed shocked by the possibility. Smith said she taunted Welch a little by saying if they had sex, he “better have used protection,” according to previous reports. In the moments that followed, she said, she witnessed Henson’s murder and heard Welch say, “She’s dead.”
Smith said she helped Welch dispose of the body in a wooded area near the Rivercrest community boat ramp, roughly seven miles from the alleged murder site. She said she was in fear for her life when she drove Henson’s car with the body in the back seat.
In the days after the murder, Smith drove Henson’s car before selling it to a scrap yard in Groveton May 7, according to previous reports. She is being charged with murder, tampering with evidence and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Welch and Smith have remained in the Angelina County Jail since their arrests on bonds of $250,000, according to county records.
The grand jury also no-billed Venable Bonham, 49, of Lufkin, in connection to the May 15 shooting death of Timothy Austin, 44, of Garland, according to Angelina County District Attorney Art Bauereiss.
The incident began with a disturbance between the two men in the Brooks Grocery parking lot on state Highway 103 east and ended at Bonham’s home next door.
According to previous reports, Austin apparently rode to the store on a youth-sized four-wheeler. The four-wheeler was seen parked in Bonham’s yard as investigators processed the scene.
Sanches said Austin was shot in the center of the abdomen. He died early the next morning at Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin.
Other indictments handed up by the grand jury this week included:
■ Travion Williams, 19, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and assault/family violence with prior convictions
■ Daryl House, 43, aggravated assault
■ Laura Reppond, 21, possession of a controlled substance
■ Devonte Turner, 22, burglary of a habitation
■ Derald Mills, 37, possession of cocaine
■ Jessie Walker, 63, possession of cocaine
■ Travosky Kiel, 26, unlawful carrying of a weapon
■ Jeremy Freeman, 32, prohibited substance in a correctional facility
■ Edelia Cardona, 50, theft
■ Amanda Arnold, 31, theft
■ Michael Moore, 33, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon
■ LaCourtney Johnson, 28, credit/debit card abuse
■ Octavious Mosby, 22, aggravated robbery
■ Deroy Penson, 24, aggravated robbery
■ Vickey Swindle, 34, robbery
■ Stephanie Berry, 36, forgery
■ Charles Coleman, 61, possession of cocaine
■ Carlos Young, 20, continuous sexual abuse of a young child
■ Evelyn Hamilton, 27, tampering with evidence
■ Matthew Pickle, 33, evading arrest
■ Richard Gilbert III, 20, possession of meth
■ Cedrick Freeman, 35, possession of phencyclidine
■ Bryan Smith, 25, DWI with a child
■ Ahmad Shepherd, 34, sexual assault of a child
■ Tyrone Peel, 52, DWI second
■ Darrell Horace, 21, burglary of a habitation
■ Brant Thomas, 26, sexual assault
■ Laura Reppond, 21, theft
■ Vernon Groze, 40, boating while intoxicated
■ Tammy Houston, 42, felon in possession of a firearm
■ Justin Holland Jr., 31, burglary of a habitation
■ Cassey Richards, 19, assault/family violence-strangulation
■ Rhonda Sparks, 42, evading arrest
■ Daniel Pina, 34, sexual assault of a child
■ Tamberly Winters, 36, prohibited substance in a correctional facility
■ Joel Moreno, 32, assault/family violence-impeding breath and evading arrest with a motor vehicle
■ Leonard Kinnaird, 42, failure to comply with sex offender registration
■ Randy Crawford, 45, theft
■ Jonathan Galloway, 29, assault/family violence-strangulation
■ John Berry Jr., 38, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver
■ Raymond Burton, 30, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver
■ Jose Diaz Jr., 38, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver
■ Lacie Scott, 32, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver
■ Breanne Guzman, 29, possession of meth
■ Ruby Soto, 30, possession of meth
■ Rafael Romero, 24, possession of cocaine
■ Fernando Meraz, 34, theft
■ Mykeal Smith, 23, possession of meth
Jessica Cooley’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.