All Officers, All Stations:
WANTED FOR MURDER...
was a late Sunday night in mid September, about 11:30, and my
partner, Patrolman John Odom, said that he wasn't feeling well
and asked me to drop him off at his house. He would go off duty
for the day a little early. We had been working since one that
afternoon and were due to terminate our shift at midnight. Believe
me, I was ready to go home too. But just a few minutes after I
dropped him off, there came a broadcast on my State Police radio.
The broadcast came from our Texas DPS District Headquarters base
radio station in Tyler, Texas. The radio broadcast said:
"Attention all officers, all stations; wanted for murder
by the Houston Police Department, occurring on Scott
Street at approximately 6:45 PM this date,
Elviron Monroe Lewis, Jr., bm, 5'10", weighing 185
pounds, and driving a blue and white 1958 Chevrolet
sedan. Subject may be headed to relatives at
either of two locations--Lubbock, Texas, or Paris,
Texas. CONSIDER ARMED AND DANGEROUS.
broadcast gave the license plate number of the suspect's automobile
and said that a small child, age five or six, might be riding
with him. I quickly figured it's about a four and a half to five
hour drive from here to Houston, and if this suspect is going
to Paris tonight, then he will be traveling north on Highway 19
right here through Sulphur Springs. So he should be getting close
to me right about now. "Maybe I can get this one tonight,"
I thought. "It has been a really quiet shift thus far."
As I was now patrolling alone late at night (which wasn't really
a rare occurrence, but sometimes got a little scary), I had to
move quickly if I was going to have a good chance of intercepting
this murder suspect. I proceeded quickly out Highway 19, heading
south out of town, crossing over I-30. As I drove south, I was
looking at every license plate number that I met as my headlights
reflected on each front plate. After traveling about a mile down
Highway 19, the fourth car I met, a blue and white 1958 Chevrolet,
reflected the license plate number that I was looking for. Eureka!
That was it! The apprehension of a possibly armed felony suspect
was eminent. My heart pumped faster. The adrenaline started to
flow. CONSIDER ARMED AND DANGEROUS. I began to get seriously prepared.
I quickly swung my patrol car out onto the right shoulder and
made a U-turn. Pulling up behind the suspect vehicle, I again
confirmed the vehicle description and the license plate number.
A hit for sure. I wanted a backup police unit in the vicinity
Highway 19 at that time turned into West Main Street into downtown
Sulphur Springs. I slow-trailed the suspect until we entered the
Sulphur Springs city limits. All the time, I was advising Tyler
DPS radio and the Sulphur Springs Police Department radio that
I had the suspect under surveillance. And I requested the SPPD
to provide me a back-up police unit on West Main Street. Only
a short distance west of the Courthouse Square and just past the
SSPD building, I met their police car. At that time I turned on
my flashing red lights and began pulling the suspect car over.
He stopped and just in case he still had with him the high-powered
rifle used in the murder, before getting out of my patrol car
I secured my own heavy firepower. Along with the SSPD, we requested
that the suspect exit his vehicle and put his hands on top of
the car. He wisely offered no resistance. As was reported, the
young child was in the car. There were no weapons in the car,
and he advised us that he was headed to Paris, Texas. Upon searching
his pockets, one 30-30-caliber carbine cartridge was found on
him. They said he had gone to his place of employment, broke into
his boss's office and took the 30-30 rifle. They said he committed
the murder and took custody of HIS child. He then returned the
rifle to his boss's office and left town. It seemed to be a typical
domestic triangle. He said that this child was the only one that
belonged to him.
This suspect was jailed at the Sulphur Springs Police Department
until Houston officers arrived to take him back to Houston for
formal charges. The child was placed with the local Children's
Protective Service to be turned over to relatives later.
The next day was Monday, my regular day off. I went fishing on
Lake Tawakoni down in Rain County. When I later told my partner
what had happened after I let him out at home, he just replied,
"I was really sleeping soundly."
A couple or three months later, I was required to travel to Houston
to the Harris County Courthouse for this defendant's court proceedings
on murder charges. The judge sentenced him to twenty-five years
in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
This case was an easy one.
RAY MAXIE, former Texas Highway Patrolman and Special Texas
Ranger, native Texan, now retired, enjoys writing short stories
from experiences as a youth in the Ark-La-Tex area, as well as
career experiences on Texas highways.
N. Ray Maxie