By Victor O'Brien
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen police solved 100 percent of the city's homicides in 2008, a feat accomplished for the first time since 2005, and one that will allow detectives to shift focus to previous unsolved cases.
While Killeen's homicide total in 2008 was the second highest since 2000, it shouldn't be a cause for fear among residents, spokeswoman Carroll Smith said.
Most of the murders involved people who knew each other and/or involved alcohol or illegal activities, including drugs. Most were not random acts of violence, Smith said. Murders are sometimes unpredictable because what starts as a simple fist fight can escalate in the heat of the moment into a stabbing or shooting.
Killeen's murder total declined from 12 in 2007 to 10 in 2008, but remained in double digits. KPD was inundated with more calls per service and cases yet the department was still able to close all 10 homicides.
Clearance rates tend to be fickle indicators. One unsolved case can equal a 10 percent decrease in clearance rate since Killeen's totals typically fall in single digits.
With all 2008 homicide cases cleared, detectives will continue trying to close two double homicides in 2007. The Dollar General double homicide took the lives of two mothers, Gricelda P. Ramos, 28, and Sheila Reed, 40, on July 4, 2007. Darius Treymane Westbrook, 30, and Natasha Williams Brannum, 36, were killed in a double murder on April 28, 2007. Smith said detectives are still investigating leads in these cases, but so far have not made arrests.
Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin was unavailable to comment for this article while undergoing out-of-town training.
Contact Victor O'Brien at email@example.com or (254) 501-7468.
Killeen's Homicides for 2008*
1200 Jacqueline St.
Reid Mark Paoloni, 23, is accused of shooting Christopher Benard Wall Jr., 18, on April 1, 2008, in the 1200 block of Jacqueline Street. Wall later died of his injuries.
Arrest records indicate that Paoloni was a passenger in a car that blocked Wall's car from leaving a Rancier Avenue convenience store. After several minutes, the vehicle was asked to move.
The car with Paoloni followed Wall to Jacqueline Street where gunshots were fired from behind striking Wall.
Case update: Jury trial scheduled for April 13.
807 N. Second St.
Killeen police arrested three suspects in the April 3 shooting death of Kimberly Quynhnhu Tran, 41.
Tran died after being shot during a fight in the 800 block of North Second Street at what neighbors described as an illegal gambling room.
Suspects Shanay Brown, 21, Oliver Sowell 22, and Bonnie Johnson, 21, were indicted Feb. 4 on capital murder charges and jailed in separate arrests in late February and early March.
Case Update: All three suspects are scheduled to be arraigned March 27.
3100 Southhill Dr.
Police stated that Staff Sgt. Gilberto Mota, 34, shot and killed his wife, Diana Mota, 31, before committing suicide.
Case update: Cleared by exception. Suspect committed suicide.
300 N. 14th St.
Killeen police arrested Julius Wilson Jr., 36, of Killeen and Dannece Shawnta Jenkins, 26, of Los Angeles on charges related to the death of Gerardo Neave Garcia.
Garcia died May 2 after being found bleeding from a head injury in a field in
the 300 block of North 14th Street seven days earlier.
The arrest affidavit stated a witness saw Wilson strike Garcia over the head with a bedpost to collect money Garcia owed him. Wilson and Jenkins then stole Garcia's wallet from his pockets.
Case update: A jury trial is set for Wilson on May 11. A jury trial is set for Jenkins on June 8.
3103 S. Fort Hood St.
Killeen police arrested Antwon D. Harris, 21, in the death of Frederick John Dimock Jr., 58, on May 1 at a mobile home park.
An affidavit stated that the incident started with a phone argument between Harris and Dimock about money. Harris showed up at Dimock's mobile home with a gun in his car.
The witness heard a scuffle and then a gunshot sounded from inside the mobile home as the witness fled after being threatened by Harris. Dimock was found later suffering from a fatal gunshot wound.
Case update: A jury trial is set for June 1.
1807 N. Second St.
Spc. Jody Wirawan, 22, killed 1st Lt. Robert Fletcher with a gun on Sept. 8. Fletcher and another Army official went to an apartment at 1807 N. Second St. in Killeen to inquire about missing equipment, according to police.
Status: Cleared by exception; suspect committed suicide.
713 W. Rancier Ave.
Chun Hee Lee, 39, was indicted by a Bell County grand jury Jan. 8 in the stabbing death of Han Ok Kim, 55, of Copperas Cove.
The incident took place at the Ichi Teriyaki restaurant in the 700 block of Rancier Avenue. An arrest affidavit indicated Lee confessed to killing Kim.
Case update: Pretrial hearing set for March 26 on a charge of murder with a deadly weapon.
3405 Girard Court
A Bell County grand jury indicted John Anthony Valdez, 24, of Killeen, and Kyle Moesch, 23, of Fort Hood, on capital murder charges in the death of Ryan Sullivan.
Preliminary autopsy reports revealed the cause of death to be injuries sustained from entry of a sharp instrument.
An arrest affidavit stated that Moesch awoke the morning of Oct. 11 and discovered Valdez wearing a ski mask over his face standing over Sullivan's body, according to the arrest affidavit.
The affidavit stated that Valdez admitted to Moesch that he killed Sullivan.
Further investigation led to Moesch being charged as well.
Case update: Pretrial hearings for Moesch and Valdez are set for March 27.
4308 Secretariat Drive
Daren Terrence Walker is serving a 50-year prison sentence for the murder of Anthony Thompson, 34, after he worked out a deal with prosecutors.
Walker attempted to rob and shot Thompson in the 4300 block of Secretariat Drive, according to the arrest affidavit.
A Bell County grand jury indicted Christopher Bryan Gray, 22, on one charge of capital murder in Thompson's death and three charges of aggravated robbery of three men with a gun in the 400 block of Alpine Street more than one month before the murder happened.
Case update: Walker serving 50-year prison term. A pretrial hearing for Gray is set for March 26.
*Note: Killeen's 2008 homicide total includes a 2006 aggravated robbery in the 800 block of East Rancier Avenue. The female victim died of injuries in 2008 and one suspect was arrested.
– Compiled by Victor O'Brien from Herald archives