Monthly Archives: March 2009

Young Rockwall man awaiting cheese death trial arrested for family violence


The above photo of Timothy Salahi provided by the Rockwall County Jail

The young Rockwall man currently awaiting trial on May 11 for providing the cheese heroin which killed former Rockwall-Heath High School student Paige Elliot was arrested again and sent to the Rockwall County jail earlier this month on family violence-related assault charges.

Timothy Salahi, 19, was arrested March 11 by Rockwall Police shortly after he allegedly stuck a family member in the face with his clenched fist.

According to police reports, the complainant suffered redness and swelling on the face.

After the arrest, Rockwall County District Judge Brett Hall ruled the bond on the negligent homicide case as insufficient and raised the bond from $25,000 to $50,000 for Salahi.

Police said that Salahi had two prior family violence-related charges.

It is not known whether he is still in jail, or if he posted bond and was released.

In February Salahi pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of Elliot, a state felony with a penalty of 180 days to two years of state jail time, plus a fine.

But after a plea bargain was reached between Salahi’s attorney, the Elliot family and Rockwall District Attorney’s Office, Judge Hall rejected the plea and ordered the case to trial,  stating that they had a responsibility to the public considering the serious nature of the case.

More details will be provided as we obtain them.

Texas First Lady, Governor’s wife, kicks off Rockwall’s Main St. revitalization program


Texas First Lady Anita Perry, with her husband, Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Despite the driving rainstorm, Texas First Lady Anita Perry, the wife of Gov. Rick Perry, presented the City of Rockwall with the 2009 Texas Main Street City designation today at the Old Historic Downtown Courthouse.

The ceremony, plus brief reception at the City Center afterward, kicked off the City’s three-year program to revitalize the its historic downtown using preservation and economic development strategies.

The award presented to Rockwall by Perry, representing the Texas Historic Commission (THC) in partnership with the Office of the First Lady, recognizes communities that showcase a passionate dedication to community preservation efforts through their participation in THC programs.

“Preserving Texas historic treasures ensures that our unique culture and rich heritage is saved for future generations,” she said. “The Main Street designation recognizes communities which embrace the treasures of their past and protect them for the benefit and enjoyment of all Texans’ futures.”

Perry was welcomed by Mayor Bill Cecil and newly-hired Rockwall Main Street Manager Bethany Golden.

Joining Perry were representatives from the the Texas Historical Commission and Independent Bankers Association of Texas.

President Obama’s Tax Plan


Rockwall Council votes to double number of free concerts by lake beginning April 16

concertlake3“Concerts By The Lake” attracted an average of 3,000-plus people in 2008

The Rockwall City Council voted unanimously last week to double the number of free “Concerts by the Lake” in 2009 from 12 to 24 per year, beginning April 16 and extending through Sept. 24.

Mayor Bill Cecil had proposed the measure so that Rockwall families facing financial distress due to the downtown in the nation’s economy could find free entertainment.

“If it helps retail and helps restaurants down there, that in turn helps the sales tax. But the major focus is the citizens, I am still dedicated to that,” Mayor Cecil said.

Council Member Cliff Sevier, who recently was laid off, said he totally agreed with Cecil.

“Times are tough,” he said. “Vacations are probably out for many, and the concerts, traditionally well-attended, provide a local entertainment. We’re doing this for the betterment of our community.”

Laid-off Council Member David Sweet said he also agreed.

“It is extremely important for people who are not as financially well off this year.  I can safely say the Sweets aren’t.”

Recreational development funds of the city pay for the annual summer series of a variety of musical entertainment.

“Last year, we averaged about 3,000 to 3,500 people per concert,” park director Brad Griggs said.

The recreational development fund has about $200,000 in it at this time.

Using $30,800 from the fund to extend the series, plus adding $4,800 in overtime for police presence, was not considered a problem by the council, nor by Griggs.

The Council may also discuss obtaining financial support from The Harbor merchants to help pay for the concerts.

Rockwall City Council votes down late night liquor sales

The Rockwall City Council  unanimously voted down a proposal to extend mixed liquor sales until 2 a.m. at last week’s council meeting.

According to City Manager Julie Couch, there was no indication that any of the 31 license holders for the sale of mixed beverages in Rockwall would oppose the decision.

The proposal was first brought before the Council two months ago, suggesting that extending the sale would increase revenues for Rockwall restaurants and grocery stores, plus prevent traffic accidents by allowing Rockwall residents to drink closer to their homes.

Forney high school senior runs for Forney mayor

The City of Forney mayoral race gained a last minute entry shortly before the “write-in” candidate deadline yesterday afternoon when 18-year-old Forney High School Senior Joe Kight officially filed to run for Forney Mayor.

Since Forney is so close to Rockwall County, we thought you might like to read more about the race.

To read the whole story and see a WFAA Channel 8 video, visit the Forney Post.

Jury finds 2005 Rockwall High grad, Royse City man, guilty in parents’ deaths


Brandon Woodruff

A jury found a 2005  Rockwall High School graduate and Royse City resident guilty of capital murder Friday in the deaths of his parents and sentenced him to life in prison.

The panel, which deliberated for five hours, found that 22-year-old Brandon Woodruff killed Dennis and Norma Woodruff in their Royse City home in October 2005, after they had just moved in from their residence in Heath.

Since prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, Woodruff received an automatic life sentence.

Woodruff told supporters he is innocent and will appeal.

His sister, Charla Woodruff, read a statement in which she said she still is dealing with the horror and pain of the slayings.

“Brandon, you made me plan a funeral. That thought still disgusts me,” said Woodruff, who is now a detective with the sheriff’s office in Miller County, Ark.

Adrienne McFarland, a special prosecutor from the Texas attorney general’s office, said she was pleased with the verdict.

She said the defendant had reached limits on all his credit cards and that his parents were struggling with heavy debt. She argued Woodruff killed his parents to gain an insurance settlement.

Woodruff was also about to drop out of freshman classes at Abilene Christian University and was planning to tell his parents he was gay, she added.

“I’m not sure we sat through the same trial,” defense attorney Katherine Ferguson said.

Ferguson said cell phone and toll road records showed that Woodruff did not have time to commit the slayings. Ferguson also cited a dispute among forensics experts over whether a dagger found more than two years after the deaths could have been the murder weapon.

Former Royse City pastor pleads guilty to child porn charges


Former Royse City United Methodist Church Pastor Steve Richardson

The former pastor of First United Methodist Church in Royse City pleaded guilty today to two child pornography charges.

Steve Richardson, 36, pleaded guilty to transporting and shipping child pornography, and possession of child pornography, said acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the U.S. Attorney’s office of Texas’ Northern District.

Richardson communicated with an undercover agent through Google Hello, which allows users to chat and exchange files via the Internet, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

He used the identity of “cowboysspades.”

Authorities seized a computer containing child pornography from his church office in September, 2008, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Richardson admitted to possessing more than 600 images of child pornography and trading images with Google Hello users.

Sentencing is now scheduled for June 15. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years for the transporting charge and up to 10 years for the possession charge. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

After his arrest, Richardson was suspended from ministerial duties by Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Richardson later surrendered his credentials and is no longer a United Methodist pastor.

Royse City United Methodist Church now has a new pastor.

Rockwall County Mud Bog truck/car racing begins again this Saturday

The first truck/car mud racing competition of the year begins at the Rockwall County Mud Bog this Saturday, March 21.

The gates open at 10 am and races begin at Noon at the “Runnin’ Wild” Ranch, located off Hwy. 276, about 9 miles south of Rockwall – halfway between Rockwall and Quinlan. Nine classes of track and car races will continue through about 6 pm, with breaks in between classes.

If you wonder what mud racing is, check out the Channel 8 TV video news report from last year below.

The entry fee is $35 per vehicle. According to owners KayAnn and Skip Butler, the 1st thru 3rd fastest vehicles in each class will win money as a prize. The winners pot will be determined by how many entry fees are received, plus how many spectators come who pay an admission fee to watch.

The admission fee is $10 per adult. Children ten and under at free. Last year, between 500 and 600 spectators attended each race, KayAnn said.

Spectators and racers are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and drinks-including your own beer.

A concession stand is also available, which sells hot dogs, sausages, nachos, candy, snow cones and sodas.

To find the ranch, which is located at 17895 Munson Rd, Royse City 75189, click on the mapquest map here.

For further info, call KayAnn Butler at 214-415-2453, or email her at:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Rockwall County ‘Mud Bog’“, posted with vodpod

‘Rockwall Idol’ preliminary competition concludes Thursday


Preliminary competition for the 2009 Rockwall Idol concludes this Thursday at the Hilton Hotel at 7 pm.

The fee for the singing audition is $10.

The admission charge for guests is $5.

Winner from this contest and the previous two preliminaries will compete in the final competition March 28 at the Hilton.

The annual event is sponsored by the Rockwall Soroptimist Club to raise money for women and children in need.