Brandon Scott, Beaumont Enterprise

Brandon Scott

Beaumont Enterprise

Beverly Hills, CA, United States

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Past articles by Brandon:

Testimony begins in Lamar University student's killing

Rhydan Bolton, a 20-year-old LU student from Houston, was shot to death around 1 a.m. Jan. 19, 2015 while sitting in the passenger seat of a blue Toyota Scion. Bolton and his friend Kerrick Madison, another LU student, were parked at a 24-hour convenience store on Florida Avenue near Highland, just blocks away from the campus. The Garcias are accused of opening fire in the convenience store… → Read More

Murder trial in Lamar student death to begin

The Garcia brothers are accused of fatally shooting Bolton, while Darren Javon Spikes is accused of driving the Chevrolet Avalanche carrying the brother to and from the South End crime scene. The brothers are accused of trying to avenge a bad marijuana deal in which Escuadra-Garcia was paid with counterfeit money, according to a probable cause affidavit. → Read More

Cartel bribery case draws third guilty plea

Nearly two years after Darwin Barlow bought a prepaid cellphone for a Gulf cartel leader locked up in a downtown Beaumont prison, three of the four people accused in the bribery scheme have pleaded guilty. At least one of the three who pleaded guilty, Ledarris Limbrick, has been called to testify next week in the trial of the man accused of agreeing to take $2 million to help cartel boss Juan… → Read More

Family of woman shot by off-duty security guard reaches settlement

The family of Shalala Fletcher, a Beaumont woman who was shot outside a Port Arthur convenience store earlier this year by an off-duty security guard, reached a civil settlement with her shooter on Thursday that will pay $100,000. Turner pulled up to the Exxpress Mart on Jimmy Johnson Boulevard in Port Arthur in the early morning hours of July 2 as two men suspected of stealing cases of beer… → Read More

Beaumont cop cleared by grand jury in fatal shooting

A Jefferson County grand jury on Wednesday cleared a Beaumont police officer of any wrongdoing in the Oct. 14 fatal shooting of a Vidor man in the parking lot of a popular Beaumont strip mall. Welch, wearing his police badge, walked up to York "in an attempt to diffuse the situation," the release said. Welch was placed on administrative leave with pay after the October fatal shooting. → Read More

Port Arthur woman faces federal charges in housing scheme

A Southeast Texas apartment manager faces federal charges related to a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, a scandal that recently led to an Orange County sheriff's detective's conviction. Sanchez, who was the assistant manager at Villa Main apartments in Port Arthur, is accused of stealing more than $350,000 from HUD over a seven-year span,… → Read More

Warehouse worker killed in forklift accident

A 60-year-old man was killed Monday after he was crushed by a forklift at an Orange County warehouse. The man was working at the Arlanxeo Performance Elastomers Orange Distribution Center on Foreman Road, formerly known as Lanxess. Orange County sheriff's deputies received a call Monday about 5:50 p.m., Det. Janois Strause said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. A representative at… → Read More

Jefferson County Courthouse killer seeks hearing in top state court

Jefferson County Courthouse killer Bartholomew Granger is asking the state's highest criminal court to order a hearing to address his post-conviction claims, which have been rejected twice by a local judge. Prosecutors acknowledge Granger targeted Jackson, who had previously testified against Granger in a sexual assault case. Because they won a conviction of Granger for retaliation against a… → Read More

Accomplice pleads guilty in cartel prison bribe

A man accused of helping Beaumont prison guards take bribes from a Gulf Cartel leader has pleaded guilty to federal charges. In January 2015 - eight days before Saenz-Tamez told a federal judge he generated $100 million smuggling cocaine and marijuana from Mexico - the cartel leader was found trying to flush a cellphone down the toilet of his prison cell, court documents show. → Read More

Jefferson County to implement digital jury system

The program, called I-Jury, will allow residents to register, screen for exemptions, complete a juror questionnaire and orientation and specify any personal or business conflict dates for up to three months. Potential jurors will then receive an email assigning them to a specific courtroom and giving them trial date reporting instructions. I-Jury will eliminate the clogged courthouse parking… → Read More

Local nonprofits add safeguards against fraud

Local nonprofits add safeguards against fraud [...] a month ago, one person handled the Lumberton High School band booster club's cash. Like many nonprofit organizations, the group was vulnerable because of their blind trust - and a lack of checks and balances, board president Randy Eason said. At West Brook High School, the football booster club requires three signatures for payments, a policy… → Read More

Beaumont man not guilty in elderly mother's injuries

A Beaumont man accused of causing severe injuries to his elderly mother was acquitted by a Jefferson County jury Thursday, according to court officials. Larry Gilbert, 68, was found not guilty of injury to the elderly, which prosecutors had alleged caused his mother's 2014 death. Dorris Thomas, Gilbert's 83-year-old mother, died after suffering a ruptured spleen, fractured ribs and multiple… → Read More

TCEQ: Willow Marsh Bayou spill killed more than 1,400 wildlife

An "extensive," potentially "catastrophic" chemical spill in south Beaumont in September killed more than 1,400 wildlife, prompting the state this week to issue a citation against the industrial water processing facility responsible for dumping 1,000 gallons of toxic chemicals into Willow Marsh Bayou. Betz for failing to prevent the spill, which caused "nuisance conditions" that produced a… → Read More

Judge orders documents to be released in Jefferson Co. deputies' cases

A visiting district judge on Tuesday ruled that additional documents should be given to the Ninth Court of Appeals for consideration in reviewing tampering cases made against two high-ranking Jefferson County sheriff's deputies. Smith and Kolander were indicted in May on charges of tampering with physical evidence and a government document involving a process server who tried to serve former… → Read More

Lack of laws about mental illness, access to guns a concern

The method that police in Beaumont and statewide use to take guns away from people in mental health crises does not go far enough to stop public safety threats, according to research by advocacy groups wanting to add new restrictions to the state's gun laws. Mentally ill people, if untreated but never convicted of a crime, can get their guns back from the same police agencies that took them away… → Read More

Port Arthur PD names Ramirez deputy chief

The Port Arthur Police Department has named Lt. Frank Ramirez as its newest deputy chief, city officials announced Tuesday. The panel held city staff, community members, a public safety chief and a district attorney's office prosecutor. → Read More

Calvin Walker brings double jeopardy claim to U.S. Supreme Court

Former Beaumont ISD contract electrician Calvin Walker wants the highest court in the nation to determine whether state prosecutors can try him on charges similar to the ones he fought in federal court in 2012. In a petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 10, Walker asks the eight justices to review the government-claimed exception to Walker's constitutional protection against being… → Read More

Convicted sex offender, 63, sentenced to 20 years for child assault

Vernon Ray Strong pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child after taking advantage of a family that took him in while he was homeless, according to a statement by the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. The victim's mother, who knew Strong but was unaware that he was a registered sex offender, invited Strong to stay at her home over the holidays last year because she was… → Read More

OSHA fines contractor in death at Beaumont Exxon Mobil refinery

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration this month fined an industrial engineering company in the case of a worker who was fatally struck by a pipe while performing turnaround operations at the Beaumont Exxon Mobil refinery. AltairStrickland, an engineering company based in La Porte, was fined $62,355 for five OSHA violations in the May 11 death of employee Miguel Barron, including the… → Read More

Jefferson County GOP chair: 'No need for a recount'

The Jefferson County Republican Party will not request a recount in the Nov. 8 general election for sheriff and a judicial seat after previously indicating candidates would challenge the election results, said county GOP Chair Dr. Garrett Peel on Friday. Late surges by Democrats Zena Stephens in the sheriff's race and Terrence Holmes in County Court at Law No. 2 voting prompted Peel and GOP… → Read More