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October 30, 2018 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Juan Tremaine Tutt. Tutt is a black male, 5’11 and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

He has active felony warrants for Abandon/Endangering a Child (SJF) and Deadly Conduct (F-3). He is also wanted for FTA: DWI (M-B).

Tutt is a suspect in another case the SCSO is working of for Possession of a Stolen Firearm (M-A) and Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon (F-3).

If you have any information of his whereabouts, please contact Investigator Mandy Fears at the SCSO at 936.598.5601.

If anyone is found to be hindering the apprehension, harboring or concealing, providing or aiding with any means of avoiding arrest or effecting escape, or warns Tutt of impending discovery or apprehension, will be arrested and charged in accordance to Penal Code 38.05 Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, a Felony 3 offense.

October 30, 2018 - At the Center High School football game, on Friday night, October 26, 2018, at approximately 9:41pm a student was told by another student that there would be a shooting at 10pm. The student who received the information made a prompt report to school officials who immediately notified law enforcement.

The school district is grateful to local law enforcement, including the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, the Center Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other local agencies who responded swiftly and effectively. The student who made the threatening statement was located and taken into custody. 

Because this is a student discipline matter, the school district is prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act from providing any student identifying information. 

The Center Independent School District will always put the safety and wellbeing of our students, employees, and patrons as its foremost objective.

October 29, 2018 - As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 2018 by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, October 31, 2018.
If you fly an outside flag that cannot be lowered respect can be shown by tying a black cord or ribbon to the top of the staff.
Read the proclamation here

October 26, 2018 Beaumont, Texas — A 21-year-old Joaquin, Texas man has been arrested on child exploitation charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

Alexander Nathan Barter was arrested on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Joaquin, and appeared today in Beaumont before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin for an initial appearance. 

Barter has been charged in a federal complaint with attempted coercion and enticement and will return to court on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 for detention and preliminary hearings. 

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

If convicted, Barter faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Lufkin, Beaumont, and Houston, Texas; Homeland Security Investigations Cocoa Beach, Florida, Child Exploitation Task Force; Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (Florida); Nacogdoches Police Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; Customs and Border Protection Air Units; and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.

It is important to note that an arrest, indictment, or complaint should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

October 22, 2018 - The Official Ballot candidate list includes Joyce Edwards, Daphne LaRock, Deuce Wulf, Greg Hubbard, John Henry Holloway, and Traci Willoughby. Four positions are up for election.

To the registered voters of Center Independent School District in Center, Texas:

October 11, 2018 - An election is hereby ordered to be held on November 6, 2018 for the purpose of electing four Board members. 

Early voting by personal appearance will be conducted each weekday at the Shelby County Clerk's Office located at 124 Austin Street, Center, Texas between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm beginning on October 22, 2018 and ending on November 2, 2018.

Applications for ballot by mail shall be mailed to:

Jennifer Fountain
Shelby County Clerk
P.O. Box 1987
Center, Texas 75935

Applications for ballots by mail must be received no later than the close of business on October 26, 2018.

Additional early voting will be held as follows at 124 Austin Street, Center, Texas 75935:

Monday, October 22, 7am to 7pm
Saturday, October 27, 10am to 2pm
Sunday, October 28, 12noon to 4pm
Monday, October 29, 7am to 7pm

October 25, 2018 - A miscalculation of judgment led to a major two-vehicle crash during heavy rain on State Highway 7 (SH 7) East October 16, 2018, which held up traffic for an extended period of time and resulted in the death of livestock at the scene.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Jonathon Stinson, at 5:02pm DPS Troopers were dispatched to 7723 State Highway 7 East where an 18-wheeler collided with a Kubota farm tractor that had a stock trailer in tow.

Trooper Stinson indicates the Kubota driven by Brian Hinton, 51, of Joaquin was traveling directly across SH 7 East from a private drive. The Kubota was loaded with a round bale of hay positioned on the front hay spear, and was towing a stock farm trailer loaded with nine head of cattle.

A white 2000 Freightliner owned by JRM Logging and driven by Michael Anthony Johnson, 51, of San Augustine was westbound on SH 7 with an empty log trailer in tow when the tractor entered the highway. Johnson attempted to stop the 18-wheeler, which jack knifed and began a side skid and collided with the Kubota and stock trailer on the left side.

Livestock were ejected from the trailer in the middle of the highway and the Freightliner came to rest in the westbound ditch in a jack-knife position. The Kubota came to a halt straddling the eastbound shoulder.

Hinton was transported from the scene by private vehicle to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for treatment of possible injuries. Johnson was transported by ambulance to the same facility for treatment of possible injuries.

Hinton was issued a citation for failure to yield right of way from private drive.

Two calves that were ejected from the trailer were put down at the scene by law enforcement officers. The stock trailer was rolled from the center of the highway to the shoulder where Joaquin Volunteer Firemen assisted in herding the remaining cattle into a nearby field while also directing traffic.

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies and the Constable Precinct 3 officers assisted at the scene.

Update: October 25, 2018 - Fox News picked up the story of Alexander Barter's arrest on October 19th and included additional information pertaining to what lead to the arrest and the suspects gruesome intent which included allegedly the murder and eating of a little girl.

Read the following story - 'Texas Man Allegedly Searched Dark Web to Find Young Girl to Murder and Eat' on Fox News.

Statement from Shelby County District Attorney Stephen Shires

October 22, 2018 - The dark web, and the individuals that operate there, pose an increasing threat to the safety of our children. Technology has eliminated the barrier of distance for these sorta of activities. In this case, Law Enforcement mounted an integrated (both state/federal and multi-state-Texas/Florida) effort to deal with this particular individual.

Hopefully, this will serve as a continued reminder that parents should always be vigilant and aware of what their children are doing on the internet. I hope it also gives folks some comfort to know that there are also good guys at work-highly trained, highly capable individuals protecting us.

And rest assured, anyone utilizing the dark web will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by my office.

Alexander Barter, 21 of Joaquin, was arrested by the FBI on October 19, 2018 and charged with Criminal Attempt Sexual Performance of a Child (felony 2), Criminal Solicitation (felony 1), Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder (felony 1), Criminal Attempt Capital Murder (felony 2), and Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Sexual Assault (felony 1). Barter is being held in the Shelby County Jail awaiting transfer. No bond will be set.

October 18, 2018 - Center Fire Department firemen were dispatched to the scene of a structure fire on CR 1490 at 2:40pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

When firemen arrived the at the scene of property owned by Mike Bush, flames could be seen emanating from a structure at the back of the property.

While working to extinguish the flaming double-wide home, firemen gained entry to ensure there were no occupants within.

With firemen inside, units continued extinguishing flames from the outside.

It was determined no one was within the house at the time of the fire. According to the fire department, the fire appeared to have ignited in a bedroom at the west end of the home. The initial cause is unknown at this time.

Firemen returned to the station at 5pm.

October 24, 2018 - The jury that has been summoned for Monday, October 29, 2018 for the 273rd District Court, Honorable Charles R. Mitchell, Judge presiding, has been cancelled. 

All cases have been passed or settled. Anyone receiving a summons for that day is released from jury service until they receive a future summons.

October 24, 2018 - The Center Police Department has reported of a recent arrest of a Center man on alleged sex related charges and the recovery of narcotics.

Randal RushingAccording to the press release issued by the Center Police Department, on October 11, 2018, Center Police officers arrested Randal Rushing, 31, of Center for displaying harmful material to a child, sexual performance of a child-criminal attempt and prostitution.

Center Police Detective David Haley presented the case to District Judge Charles Mitchell. As a result, Judge Mitchell issued arrest warrants on Rushing along with a search warrant for Rushing's residence.

The search warrant was executed and several cell phones, note tablets, a computer and other data storing devices were recovered. Center PD officers also found 22 grams of crack cocaine.

Randal Rushing was arrested on the warrants issued by Judge Mitchell along with the charge of possession of a controlled substance.