A busy 2023 is set to begin for the Galveston County courts, with several notable cases soon to go to trial.
ANGELIQUE CAMPBELL AND DARON GILLS
Campbell, 22, of Port Bolivar, is set to face trial Jan. 9, while Gills, 25, of the Clear Lake area, is expected to see his day in court on Feb. 6. The two are charged with murder in the June 2021 shooting of 25-year-old Jordan Boxley-Turner in Crystal Beach.
On June 9, 2021, Campbell texted Gills asking how she could get him back into her life, according to the criminal complaint against her.
In response, Gills said Campbell had to “catch a body,” a slang term for committing murder, according to the complaint.
Other texts show Campbell volunteering to set someone up, and Gills urging her to “just stab him or something,” according to the complaint.
Investigators also found text messages that show Campbell inviting Turner-Boxley to a Crystal Beach trailer for sex, according to the complaint.
Campbell initially was considered a witness and had called 911 to the scene.
She told deputies Gills had unexpectedly arrived at the trailer while Turner-Boxley was visiting her, starting a fight that ended in the shooting, according to a police complaint written after Gills’ arrest.
Investigators, however, found Campbell had lied about her involvement in the shooting and had played a role in planning it, prosecutors allege.
Messages between Campbell and Gills on the night of the shooting showed premeditation, investigators said.
Campbell described to Gills where in the room Turner-Boxley was sitting, for example, and in another she texted she was afraid and wanted to leave the trailer, according to the complaint.
On July 13, 2021, investigators confronted Campbell about the text messages. In an interview, Campbell said Gills was hiding in a bathroom armed with a gun when Turner-Boxley arrived, according to the complaint.
She also acknowledged she insisted Turner-Boxley come over late at night, despite some hesitation he had because he had to go to work in the morning, according to the complaint.
Brazier, 28, is charged with murder in a deadly crash near Ball High School that rocked the Galveston community.
The crash occurred about 6 p.m. Sept. 2 when a white Toyota SUV going west at high speed on Avenue O struck a Jeep traveling north on 41st Street, Sgt. Derek Gaspard of the Galveston Police Department said at the time.
The white SUV driven by Brazier failed to stop at several traffic lights along Avenue O and ran through a red light at 41st Street, police allege.
Mason Nelson, 14, a freshman at Ball High School, was killed in the wreck. A parent was driving the vehicle, with four other passengers, who were taken to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, authorities said.
On Sept. 16, police announced Sam Mixon, 14, also a freshman at Ball High School, died after nearly two weeks in critical condition.
Brazier had been released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Holliday Unit in Huntsville at 10:40 a.m. Sept. 2, about seven hours before the wreck, Amanda Hernandez, communications director for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said.
Brazier had been convicted of three DWIs before the deadly Galveston crash — in 2016, in 2019 and in 2021, according to court records. He was sentenced Dec. 27, 2021 to three years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility, but was released just hours before the fatal wreck, police said.
Brazier spent 25 days in the hospital before being taken into the custody of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office. He is charged with two counts of murder and aggravated assault.
A hearing on the case is set for Jan. 20.
Espinoza, 45, of Rosenberg, is charged with manslaughter in the deaths of four people and accused of driving while under the influence.
Espinoza was driving a black Hyundai SUV about 11:35 p.m. Aug. 6, that police allege ran a stop sign at 33rd Street and Avenue R, striking a pickup truck, which crashed into the golf cart carrying six people, killing Rosenberg residents Felipe Bentancur, 49; Kaisyn Bentancur, 4; Destiny Uvalle, 25; and Brailyn Cantu, 14. Two passengers also were critically injured in the crash.
Espinoza also had previous convictions dating back to 1994, including aggravated assault in 1994, criminal trespass in 1996, assault causing bodily injury in 1994 and 2010, delivery of a controlled substance in 1999, theft of property in 2010 and DWI in 2010, according to publicly available records.
Espinoza is charged with four counts of intoxicated manslaughter and one count of intoxicated assault with a vehicle. A status conference is set for Jan. 24.
LOGAN LLEWELLYN AND CIANNA MIMS
Llewellyn, 21, of Seguin will face the courts, accused of the hit-and-run death of popular island physician Dr. Nancy Hughes, who was killed in a March hit-and-run crash while riding her bicycle on the seawall’s east end. Llewellyn’s girlfriend at the time, Cianna Mims, 19, of Seguin is charged with failure to report felony, which is a misdemeanor.
Hughes was riding her bicycle along the east end of the Seawall about 6:15 a.m. March 18, when a Mercedes Benz SUV struck her, police said. She was found by a passerby and declared dead at the scene.
Charging documents allege Mims urged Llewellyn to flee the scene and that she didn’t report the crash to police. Mims also filed an insurance claim, asserting the vehicle struck a deer in Tomball, according the affidavit.
Llewellyn was arrested March 20, after Mims’ parents, who own property on Bolivar Peninsula, contacted police to report their suspicions about the crash.
Mims was with Llewellyn when he was arrested and told police a bicyclist had been riding in the middle of the road without lights or reflectors and asserted the bicyclist had been at fault for not riding on the sidewalk, according to the affidavit.
Police determined Hughes’ bicycle was equipped with all the legally required safety equipment and that equipment was functioning, however.
Mims was arrested in San Antonio on March 26 and charged with the misdemeanor offense. A case announcement is set for Feb. 10.
Llewellyn is charged with accident involving death and is expected to go on trial Feb. 27.
JESSE KERSH — CORVETTE CONCEPTS
One of Galveston County’s most infamous cases is expected to go to trial. Kersh, 64, of Spring, is charged in the 1983 Corvette Concepts triple homicides in League City.
The case was cold for nearly 30 years until Kersh was arrested in Jan. 2016 after testimony from a witness, ballistics and DNA linked him to the crime, police said.
On the morning of Nov. 3, 1983, Thomas Earl McGraw, 28, Beth Yvette Wilburn, 25, and James Oatis, 22, were found dead inside Corvette Concepts, a custom auto shop on West Main Street in League City.
The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Wilburn had been stabbed 114 times in the torso and shot in the head.
McGraw, a shop employee, had been shot seven times and stabbed 15 times.
Oatis, an electrician from Houston, was shot eight times in the head.
Kersh was an employee of the shop at the time of the murders.
In 2013, investigators concluded that marks found on bullets at the crime scene indicated that some sort of sound suppressor had been used in the shootings. Investigators said they also compared DNA found under Wilburn’s fingernails to Kersh.
“Jesse Dean Kersh could not be excluded as a contributor to the genetic material,” according to the affidavit police submitted to 10th State District Court Judge Kerry Neves, who issued the arrest warrant.
On Feb. 21, 1985, Kersh told investigators that when he left work on Nov. 2, 1983, Wilburn, Oatis and McGraw were all in the building and alive. In the same interview, Kersh told police he did not own a .22-caliber handgun, the type used in the killings.
The case stayed cold until October 2006, when investigators received a tip from Darryl Krogman. Krogman told FBI agents he had been present when Kersh bought a .22-caliber pistol at a gun show, according to the affidavit.
Krogman also reportedly told investigators that, at Kersh’s request, he had made a “silencer” for a .22-caliber handgun shortly after that purchase and about six months before the murders.
The trial has been rescheduled multiple times and was set to go in October, but rescheduled because of conflicting schedules with witnesses. The new trial date hasn’t been set, but prosecutors are set to meet with newly elected Judge Jeth Jones of the 122nd District Court when the courthouse opens for the new year.
What about the Dee Ann Haney Case?
I still don’t understand why Cianna Mims is only being charged with a MISDEMEANOR?? She was equally involved in the cover up of the accident, not to mention she flat out lied to the police about what happened and about filing an insurance claim. For heavens sake, she went so far as to blame the victim! At the very least she should be charged with accessory after the fact and perjury, both of which are FELONIES. Why isn’t anyone questioning why she is getting off so damn easy?? Our justice system is disturbingly skewed, one could almost say corrupt.
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