The Coryell County District Attorney is preparing its case against a convicted child abuser arrested Sunday on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to a news release from Dusty Boyd, Coryell County district attorney, law enforcement officials arrested Chet Shelton, 27, of Gatesville, on a charge of aggravated sexual of a child under 6 years of age, a first-degree felony offense.

Shelton was arrested after emergency personnel responded to a home on 34th Street in Gatesville on Jan. 13 regarding an infant who was not breathing.

The news release, issued Sunday, said Shelton was the only one caring for the child on the day of the incident.

According to the news release, “The child had been in the care, custody and control of Chet Shelton throughout the day as his girlfriend and mother of the child was at work.”

The infant was pronounced dead at Coryell Memorial Hospital. An autopsy was ordered.

The news release stated the autopsy revealed disturbing details that led to the child’s death.

“The body was taken to Dallas for autopsy, which concluded the cause of death was homicide by blunt force trauma,” the release stated. “Additionally, the child had been sexually assaulted, causing distinct trauma.”

Records reflect Shelton was on parole for felony injury to a child. The Texas Pardons and Parole Division, subject to court action, will issue a warrant for his arrest — essentially vacating Shelton’s parole on the previous charge.

The Texas Rangers, an arm of the Texas Department of Public Safety, assisted the Gatesville Police Department in investigating the case and Boyd’s office said additional charges are likely.

For some offenders, incarceration in the Texas penal system serves no rehabilitative purpose.

Gaining parole on a felony charge for a convict who reoffends simply means the parole board was bamboozled into believing the offender had seen the error of his or her ways and promised to adhere to the straight and narrow path of a law-abiding citizen.

For many who are abusers, particularly sexual predators, parole only serves to provide an opportunity for continued offenses.

It’s a time-worn story. The pardons and parole division and the parole board are stretched thin, as is the case in all aspects of law enforcement. Everyone wants the protection afforded by these entities, but the taxpayers or the state government does not heap funding upon them.

Worse still is the scorn recently displayed against law enforcement officers nationally. Consider what your life would be like without around-the-clock protection from your local and state law enforcement personnel.

I have seen with my own eyes the exorbitant number of cases assigned to each institutional parole officer. It is little wonder these fine folks have so little time to devote to any particular case. Moreover, their recommendations weigh heavily on the parole board. An error in judgment on their part could have catastrophic results.

This being said, it is unlikely the parole board will look kindly toward parole for a second or third offender, especially for one who has reoffended in the same category of crime.

Regardless of the remedies meted out by the judiciary after an affirmative finding, hell awaits the perpetrator of crimes against children. Satan has prepared a special place for child abusers and child rapists. I hope they like heat!

Assaults

Assault dominated Cove’s crime scene this week. Sadly, Copperas Cove dominates the Fort Hood area in the number of assaults, particularly those perpetrated against family members. Sixteen assaults were reported this week alone, 13 of which involved family violence. This trend must stop.

  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 10 in the 300 block of Sumac Trail.
  • Disorderly conduct-public affray was reported Jan. 10 in the 1800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 11 in the 500 block of North First Street.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Jan. 12 in the 1900 block of Boland Street.
  • Disorderly conduct-public affray was reported Jan. 12 in the 500 block of Sunset Lane.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Jan. 14 in the 100 block of Hickory Circle.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Jan. 14 in the 1100 block of South 25th Street.
  • Injury to a child/bodily injury was reported Jan. 16 in the 300 block of East Avenue E.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 16 in the 3500 block of Lucas Street.
  • Two separate counts of assault by contact/family violence were reported Jan. 14 in the 1100 block of Timmons Drive.
  • Two separate counts of assault with bodily injury/family violence were reported Jan. 14 in the 200 block of Marston Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 17 in the 400 block of Nauert Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence and a separate assault by contact/family violence were reported Jan. 17 in the 1100 block of Golf Course Road.

Theft/burglary

Eighteen thefts/burglaries were reported this week. This number is completely out of line with expectations for a city the size of Copperas Cove.

  • A theft of tools from a building was reported Jan. 10 in the 700 block of Constitution Drive.
  • A cellphone was reported stolen Jan. 10 in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of currency was reported Jan. 10 in 500 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A theft of coinage was reported Jan. 12 in the 500 block of Atkinson Avenue.
  • A theft of groceries was reported Jan. 12 at a retailer in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A burglary of a residence was reported Jan. 12.
  • A theft of a cellphone and case was reported stolen Jan. 12 in the 2000 block of Urbantke Lane.
  • A burglary of a vehicle was reported Jan. 14 in the 1200 block of Sublett Avenue.
  • A burglary of a vehicle was reported Jan. 14 in the 1300 block of South 21st Street.
  • The theft of a microwave was reported Jan. 14 in the 500 block of Redbud Drive.
  • A theft of groceries was reported Jan. 14 in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A theft of service was reported Jan. 14 in the 100 block of West Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A burglary of a vehicle was reported Jan. 16 in the 200 block of Myra Lou Avenue. Power tools valued at $2,063 were reported stolen.
  • A burglary of a habitation was reported Jan. 16 in the 1600 block of Pleasant Lane. Electronics valued at $4,550 were reported stolen.
  • The theft of furniture from a residence was reported Jan. 17 in the 800 block of Mueller Street.
  • The theft of a wallet from a vehicle was reported Jan. 17 in the 1600 block of North Main Street.
  • A memory card was reported stolen from a retailer Jan. 17 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Unauthorized use of a vehicle (theft) was reported Jan. 17 in the 900 block of North Main Street.

Other crime

  • Forgery of a financial instrument was reported Jan. 11 in the 700 block of Hempel Drive.
  • Forgery of a government document was reported Jan. 11 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Forgery of money was reported Jan. 14 in the 100 block of South 21st Street.
  • Possession of a dangerous drug was reported Jan. 11. Ann arrest was made.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 11 in the 1000 block of South 21st Street.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 13 in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Another fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 13 in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 11 in the 1300 block of Eagle Trail.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 14 in the 700 block of West Avenue D.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 16 in the 1200 block of Urbantke Lane. A window valued at $100 was damaged.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 17 in the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 17 in the 200 block of South Seventh Street.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 17 in the 1800 block of Bryce Court.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 17 in the 700 block of North 23rd Street.
  • Graffiti was reported Jan. 13 in the 1200 block of West Avenue B.
  • Debit card abuse was reported Jan. 13 in the 100 block of Nelson Drive.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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