October and November were busy months for the attorneys at Philip Kim Law firm, prosecuting multiple defendants for theft-related offenses.
Myles Christopher Gray was found guilty by a jury on nine separate counts of burglary of a building in Judge Scott McKee’s 392nd District Court on October 22. He received the maximum sentence of 10 years on two of the counts and two years on the other seven, all to run concurrently.
Gray, along with two co-defendants, burglarized nine storage units in Mabank in January of this year. They gained entry by cutting the locking mechanisms on the units where they stole various items from several of them, including car parts and a motorcycle.
The trio was captured on security cameras breaking into two of the units during an intense thunderstorm after dark. The thieves were on scene for over 30 minutes allowing them time to burglarize the other units before driving out the front gate of the facility in two separate vehicles.
Mabank police chief Keith Bradshaw, who assisted in the investigation along with Officer Justin Jordan, was also the owner of one of the rental units broken into.
Mr. Gray was on parole out of Colorado for less than a year when he and the other two committed these burglaries.
The case was tried by District Attorney Mark Hall along with Assistant District Attorney Roxanne Cox in front of Judge McKee.
On November 13, First Assistant District Attorney Nancy Rumar and Assistant District Attorney Isaac Gloger prosecuted David Earl Jackson for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity in the 3rd District Court, Judge Mark Calhoon presiding.
Jackson and several other co-defendants were indicted in January 2017 for collaborating with one another to commit the burglary of a local business. It is believed by law enforcement that the theft and burglary ring was responsible for up to 30 separate burglaries in Henderson County over the last couple of years, along with at least 20 more occurring in Smith, Navarro and Ellis counties.
During the trial, the State called numerous peace officers from Athens, Corsicana and Ennis police departments to testify, along with members of the Texas Department of Public Safety who took the lead in linking the multi-county break-ins and establishing the identity of the other suspects.
The jury also heard from five of the business owners victimized by the ring. The burglaries generally followed the same pattern of forcefully breaking the front glass of the respective businesses at night and stealing money and cigarettes, which can easily be sold on the black market.
Jackson was stopped in Ellis County for a traffic violation where several tools believed to have been used in burglaries were recovered. Authorities retrieved a distinctive, long, yellow crow bar seen on several of the surveillance videos being used along with an acetylene torch, clothing and shoes also identified in the videos.
The case was also enhanced by the use of a cell phone mapping program that allowed prosecutors to pinpoint the general location of a specific cell phone number associated with Jackson, at a specific point in time. Several of the burglaries occurred during times that Jackson, who primarily lives in Corsicana, Texas, was in the vicinity of the businesses shortly before the burglaries occurred.
Jackson received a sentence from the jury of 13 years in the Texas Department of Corrections. The case was a culmination of an eleven-month effort by Special Agent Joe Gomez with the Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigation Division.
“This was a far reaching and complicated ring of smash and grab thieves who have been wreaking havoc, stealing and causing thousands of dollars of property damage to businesses all over our part of East Texas for some time,” said Rumar. “Agent Gomez spent untold hours working to put this together and we appreciate his hard work and dedication.”
District Attorney Hall said that he is pleased with the outcome of all three of these cases, and is glad that the many hours and efforts expended by the various agencies and officers involved, including his staff of attorneys, has paid off. “Just these three defendants have been responsible for at least 40-50 thefts and burglaries in and around our county. A few more like that, and we can really make a dent in this type of crime that is so invasive and callous. To the thieves, the things they steal just represent money for short-term gain, but to the victims, it may be representative of their life’s work, or something near to their heart, so it is gratifying when we can put a stop to it and hold these people accountable.”