Thursday, September 19, 2019

Repeat Jacksonville, TX sex offender pleads guilty to sex assault of a child circa 1989; gets time served

When law enforcement, prosecutors, and investigators conduct themselves in an unlawful manner, violent criminals can get away with murder. Cherokee County sex offenders and drug addicts are paid to be the "source" of information obtained illegally by the Sheriff Department and district attorney's office.

Being a wanted sex offender puts them at the top of the Grand Jury Pool and tax dollar handouts. Tommy Stricklen of Jacksonville fell into the good graces of his Cherokee County in-laws who used his handicapped daughter to solicit donations in the local newspapers. His name was also found routinely on the District Court Clerk's revolving grand jury list, despite being a registered sex offender.

Thomas Ward Stricklen, Jr. (Courtesty: DPS)

After molesting his underage handicapped cousin in 1989, Tommy Stricklen, Jr. moved from Ector County to Jacksonville, TX as a registered sex offender. Stricklen had remained the number one suspect in the cold case murder of a 15-year old girl during this time period.

In 2015 Odessa authorities were finally able to match semen samples taken from the girl's dead body to Stricklen's DNA taken as part of his sex offender registration. Stricklen was arrested in Jacksonville and transported back to Ector County where he faced a murder trial and hung jury in 2018.
Thompson Ward Stricklen Jr., 55, [was ] accused of fatally cutting open the throat of 15-year-old Wendy Burdette in 1989.
He was indicted in 2015 on the charge of murder after semen found inside of Burdette matched his DNA, but that wasn’t enough to convince the entire [Ector County, TX ] jury.
The jury deliberated for more than seven hours until District 358 Judge W. Stacy Trotter declared a mistrial. (Source: Odessa American, July 19, 2018)

Ector County murder trial 2018

A second murder trial was slated for the summer of 2019 while Stricklen remained incarcerated on felony bond when murder charges were dropped by Ector County prosecutors. Stricklen was offered 4 years credited jail time when Odessa Police misconduct during the investigation was raised by court appointed attorneys. The Odessa American reports:
A 56-year-old man pled guilty to sexual assault of a child from a case dating back to 1989.
Thompson Stricklen Jr. was sentenced to four years in prison after he pled guilty. Stricklen was previously tried in July 2018 for the 1989 murder of 15-year-old Wendy Burdette, an Ector County District Attorney’s affidavit detailed.
That case resulted in a mistrial with hung jury. Stricklen’s charges of murder and a second sexual assault were dismissed due to the termination of the lead investigator for the Odessa Police Department for dishonesty and violating department policy, court records show.
Stricklen was credited with 1,458 days of jail time, court records show. (Source: Odessa American, July 19, 2019)
Which means Tommy Stricklen was given time served (1458 days = 3.99 years).  He is now under sex offender supervision in Gregg County, TX.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Rape and murder of 10-year old girl in Cherokee County gets national coverage, short shrift from locals

From Breitbart News Texas Aug 27, 2019:

A previously deported illegal alien has pleaded guilty to strangling and drowning his ten-year-old cousin in Cherokee County, TX after attempting to sexually assault her in 2016. He had been arrested TWICE before in Smith County for ASSAULT OF A FAMILY MEMBER.


Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, an illegal alien from Mexico living in Cherokee County, pleaded guilty on Aug. 22, 2019 to murdering his cousin Kayla Gomez-Orozco in 2016, after the 10-year old girl went missing, CBS Austin reports.

Kayla’s body was found Nov. 5, 2016 four days after her abduction, in a well on the property where Zavala-Garcia lived in the 22100 block of Farm-to-Market Road 2493 (Old Jacksonville Highway) in Bullard, TX. He had been living there and working in the area for 2 years after being deported on domestic violence abuse charges.

As reported in the region, Cherokee County, TX law enforcement assisted in the search for Kayla Gomez-Orozco and released multiple statements upon discovering her body. However after the indictment of Gustavo Zavala-Garcia and details of his immigration status and the sex assault were revealed, local media buried the story.

"We've caught this guy twice before."

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department was placed front and center during the FBI search, then dropped after the sex assault and cause of death became public. Even though the abduction, Amber Alert, and homicide all occurred in Cherokee County, TX, the case was handled in neighboring Smith County. Why? Because Zavala-Garcia returned to his Cherokee County employer after his deportation orders even though he had been charged with multiple violent crimes 20 minutes away in Tyler, TX. He had a house, a job, and transportation waiting for him in Cherokee County, supplied by a local farmer everyone knows and everyone is related to. (Source: Jacksonville Progress)

A timeline was constructed based on witness accounts, evidence located at Zavala-Garcia's place and his cell phone records.
Investigators believe he took Gomez-Orozco in his vehicle as he left the church Nov. 1, and sometime between the time he arrived home and the time when his wife told law enforcement agents he entered their residence “is when (the) suspected party concealed the victim in the well,” the affidavit states.
Cell phone records also revealed that Zavala-Garcia contacted his employer by cell phone that evening, “requesting to borrow one of the business vehicles to assist with the search” for the girl after his wife told him she was missing from the church, the affidavit added.
Although the employer did not answer the call, he text messaged Zavala-Garcia the next morning, Nov. 2, “asking what was needed,” according to the affidavit, which added that his employer was not aware if a company vehicle was used.
However, footage from a local convenience store surveillance camera shows Zavala-Garcia and his wife on Nov. 1 at the gas pump in one of the company trucks and places them inside the store between 8:12 p.m. and 8:18 p.m., the affidavit noted. (Warrant Affidavit reaveals timeline of child's death, Nov 12, 2016 Jackonville Progress)

The illegal alien's name was widely reported as his alias "Gustavo Gonzalez," the name he used working in Cherokee County, TX. His previous assault arrests and charges have been conveniently ignored. Cherokee County hires the cheapest ranch hands in East Texas, no questions asked.


Court records released after the murder reveal gruesome details where Zavala-Garcia kidnapped Gomez-Orozco from a church service and attempted to sexually assault her. According to Smith County prosecutors, the illegal alien struck the girl in the head with a blunt object, then strangled and drowned her. Gomez-Orozco’s body was found days later in a water well at the home where Zavala-Garcia had been living.


As Breitbart News reported in 2016, Zavala-Garcia crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally sometime after 2014, when he was first deported for violent crime charges, having been arrested TWICE for domestic abuse/ assault of a family member that year.

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia arrested in June 2014 for Assault Bodily Injury to a Family (Courtesy Smith County)

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia arrested in October 2014 for Assault Bodily Injury to a Family (Courtesy Smith County)

Zavala-Garcia will serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder. (Courtesty Breitbart News and CBS 19)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Jacksonville, TX sex offender faces murder retrial in Odessa cold case

Local papers used their news platforms for donation requests to financially help a convicted sex offender now on trial for murder.

How does a child molester get called for jury duty? First, the Sheriff Department uses drugs and taxpayer money to recruit the unemployable convicted pedophile (and family members) into the county drug informant ring. The stoolpigeons supply the dirt on their neighbors in exchange for grubby little handouts from narcotics officers. Annual sex offender registrations are ignored, while the Good Ol’ Boys and Gals promote the child rapist in local newspapers. Typically, the child molester or family member is cast as the victim of some extraordinary circumstance to make the story palatable and sympathetic; forgotten sex offender registration is buried and never mentioned in the articles.

In Cherokee County, registered sex offenders have their mailing address published in the newspapers to solicit donations. Their names are deliberately misspelled on juror forms in order to be called for jury duty and law enforcement officials can deny working hand-in-hand with them. They could be disqualified on a petit jury, but on a grand jury they get a free ride to the courthouse and a free meal courtesy of District Attorney investigators.

Also, in Cherokee County, the sex offender/informant is paraded around the schools during athletic and holiday events to keep them in constant contact with hand-picked jury pools. The district attorney enlists the district clerk to keep child predators on the revolving door jury summons. They know the Attorney General’s office would never go back decades to verify falsified jury selection questionnaires and contaminated juries. Who knows what they would unravel? 500 miles away the City of Odessa Police Department found matching DNA of a murder suspect who was also a paroled child sex offender living the high life in Jacksonville, TX courtesy of Cherokee County taxpayers. (East Texas man arrested for 1989 slaying of West Texas teen, CBS 19 TV)


Tommy Stricklen, Jr. registered sex offender circa 2011 (CBS 19)

Jacksonville, TX: 
26 years later, the 1989 cold case murder of Wendy Burdette of Odessa, TX led to a DNA match and the 2015 arrest of 58-year old Jacksonville resident Tommy Stricklen, Jr. (Source: Washington Times ) The Texas Department of Public Safety reportedly matched semen with DNA samples taken from Stricklen's long overdue sex offender registration in Cherokee County. Stricklen and his family are well-known in local newspapers as charity cases via his handicapped daughter who attended Jacksonville ISD. With the help of local media, the Stricklen family set up donation pages for his daughter's wheelchairs. Back in Ector County circa 1989, the underage victim Wendy Burdette was 15-years old when Stricklen admitted to having sex with her; he was 27 at the time. He was charged during the same time period for the molestation of his handicapped 11-year old relative.

Stricklen in court courtesty Odessa-American

Tommy Stricklen moved to Jacksonville, TX in 1998; his sex offender registry had not been updated since 2011. In 2015, the Odessa Police Department requested DNA results from semen samples taken in 1989 from Wendy Burdette's body. Stricklen had remained the number one suspect after Burdette's body was found. She was stabbed multiple times, her throat cut and body dumped according to investigators. (Source: Odessa-American)

Stricklen was charged by Odessa Police in July 2015 with underage sex assault and murder and transported back to Odessa where was indicted in October of that year. Three years later, he faced an Ector County trial jury in June 2018 resulting in a mistrial after 7 hours of deliberation. Stricklen had told police he remembered Burdette as a prostitute and sought her out for for an unpaid drug deal; he has denied killing her.

Wendy Burdette

Ector County prosecutors announced a retrial of the 1989 murder of Wendy Burdette to go forward in the 358th District Court later in 2019, 30 years later after the homicide. (Source: Odessa-American) East Texas media has dropped the story after a decade and half of lauding Tommy Stricklen and family with stories of delightful high school spirit and freebies for his wheelchair-bound daughter. When setting up donation pages for the Stricklen family, they did not include his lifetime sex offender status and parole from the molestation of a disabled 11-year old female relative back in 1989. Instead, he was encouraged to work around Cherokee County children and volunteer at schools while ignoring his sex offender restrictions.

Stricklen remains in Ector County custody on $650,000 in bonds.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

16-year Veteran Cherokee County Deputy indicted on 5 felony counts of Indecency with a Minor

(Courtesy KETK)

You can tell it’s going to be a Pretend Slow News week when local media refuses to cover what’s under their and their cousins’ noses.
Then again the news is worse than the fiction.

Cherokee County Deputy Sergeant Jonathan Bryan Shobert, 47 of Jacksonville, TX is out on his original $50,000 bond after being formally indicted on 5 separate felony counts of Indecency with a Minor, stemming from alleged incidents occuring in the Fall and Winter of 2018 (not in early January this year as previously reported). Deputy Shobert has been ordered to stay away from the victim, his wife, and nearby schools. Deputy Shobert has been in Cherokee County law enforcement since 2002. In fact he remained employed after being arrested by the Texas Rangers in Febuary 2019.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Cuney, Texas police chief charged with falsifying police cadet form

Cuney, TX is a town located in northwest Cherokee County, Texas.
Cuney, TX operates the 6th worst offending speed trap in Texas, generating an annual average of $319,117, or $2,279 per town resident, from speeding citations issued along a small stretch of U.S. Highway 175. Cuney was the only "wet" town in Cherokee County from the mid-1980s until 2009, when voters in Rusk came out in favor of beer/wine sales. After that result, voters in Jacksonville and Frankston have since voted in favor of beer/wine sales, and Rusk voters returned to the polls to vote in favor of liquor sales. As of 2017, there is only one liquor store remaining in Cuney. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

 Police Chief Gregory Sinkfield, booked courtesy Gregg County Jail

Cuney, TX Police Chief Gregory Sinkfield, an 18-year law enforcement veteran, has been released without bond from the Gregg County jail on tampering with a government record allegations. The charges stem from a female cadet's admission form he falsely certified to the East Texas Police Academy, in which he claimed she had been working for the Cuney Police Department. (Source: KLTV) The Pay to Play case is being handled by TECLOE and Criminal Justice Information Services, a division of the FBI. (Source: Longview News-Journal) The East Texas Police Academy is located in Kilgore, TX.

 The City of Cuney made national news in 2016 when its entire police force quit over disagreements with the new mayor over police policy they deemed "harrassing." (Source: KLTV, Cuney police force resigns, May 31, 2016 )

Cherokee County, TX deputies speak with outgoing Cuney, TX mayor after entire police force resigns. (Courtesy: Daily Progress)

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department took over patrol duties until June 2016, when Chief Gregory Sinkfield was hired along with three other parttime reserve officers to watch the town with a population of 140 on a busy day.

[Reprinted from Daily Progress] Cuney: Small town hires new police chief ( Jun 23, 2016 )
Gregory Sinkfield Sr., a 16-year law enforcement veteran, is now the top cop in Cuney. Sinkfield, a 44-year-old native of Atlanta, Georgia, was sworn into office Monday as the new Cuney Police Chief after being hired June 16 to succeed Michael Trawick, who stepped down from the position on May 31. The new chief said he's looking forward to serving as the city's top officer, having recently served as a lieutenant on the Coffee City police force.

“My police chief pulled me aside and said he thought this would be a good opportunity,” and so he applied, he said. Sinkfield's career includes stints with the Morris Brown College police department in Atlanta and the City of Pine Lake, Georgia, before moving to Texas in 2005. Here, he served as a police sergeant in Lone Oak, as well as a field training officer and investigator with the Dallas Community College District in El Centro and Richland, before returning to Georgia in 2007 as deputy police chief with Atlanta College.

Sinkfield held that position for more than two years before becoming supervisor over the criminal investigation division at Clark Atlanta University, he said. Having earned a doctorate in divinity, Sinkfield began pastoring full-time in 2011 at Empowering Life Christian Church in Atlanta, until his family's return to Texas in 2013, where he subsequently joined the police force in Coffee City. Additionally, the chief is a certified training instructor for firearms as well as a law enforcement educator. Sinkfield and his wife, a first-grade teacher for Mesquite ISD, have five children.

They will continue to live in the Metroplex, where Sinkfield is a pastor at Empowering Life Church in Mesquite. “I'm looking for a home here, where I'll be staying during the week,” he said, adding that he doesn't think the arrangement will pose a challenge. “I plan to hold a town hall meeting, where I can listen to the concerns of the citizens,” he said. “From there, we can be a more community-oriented police department, who is more (attuned) to the community's needs.”

Along with the meeting, future plans including a back-to-school initiative featuring a backpack drive for students, participating in National Night Out and helping to ensure the safety of local children through participation in different programs. His background as parent, pastor and police officer spurs him to focus on youths. “It's a combination of them all, of being a concerned parent, of being a pastor and (being married to an educator). I feel the community can benefit from that,” Sinkfield said. He oversees a force of 11 officers, who primarily are reserves.

Sinkfield is the only full-time officer, while his second in command, Sergeant Allan Richardson – a five-year Coffee City police veteran who was hired Monday – is a part-time city employee. Other part-time employees on the force include Investigator Lamont Hughes of the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office and Kelan Logan, who graduates from the Cedar Valley College Law Enforcement Academy on Thursday. Until Sinkfield's hire, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office provided service in Cuney after the city's force quit in late May, leaving the town of 140 without police protection.  (Source: Daily Progress, June 26, 2016)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

16-year Veteran Cherokee County Deputy arrested for Indecency with a Child

Indecency with a Child: under Texas Law, the intentional exposure of genitals to a child or having a child expose themself for sexual purposes, including touching or simulated intercourse- Texas Penal Code Section 21.11 

Cherokee County Deputy Sergeant Jonathan Bryan Shobert, 46, of Jacksonville, Texas was arrested by the Texas Rangers on February 13, 2019 on indecency with a minor charges. (Source: KETK )

A long-time resident of Jacksonville, Texas, Deputy Jon Shobert formally introduced himself to the community in 2002 when he began working as a reserve dispatch officer with the Jacksonville Police Department. In 2005, Shobert became a full-time Patrol Officer with the JPD and in 2012 received a 10-year service award from the Jacksonville City Council (Source: Jacksonville Progress, Cop's Corner Oct. 24, 2006) He later transferred to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department where he is still employed according to sparse reporting.

Deputy Shobert has worked in Cherokee County, TX law enforcement since November of 2002, his exploits reported on and written about since the early 2000's; even had his engagement and wedding announcements running for months in the local papers, yet no further information is available on this particular incident. IF he were an unknown caught doing something like this, then the victim's age and relationship would be published accordingly. Cherokee County is a haven for this kind of deviant criminal behavior because there is rarely any legal consequences for those in the Sheriff Department's or District Attorney's circle of friends. Then again as the political season heats up towards the March primaries, false sexual accusations are traded like Pez candy by the Good Ol' Boys and Gals of Cherokee County.

Patrolman Jon Shobert 10-year service award circa 2012 (Source: Jacksonville Progress; Nov. 15, 2012)

Deputy Jon Shobert was released on $50,000 bond. The incident he is accused of allegedly occurred in late January 2019. Indecency with a child by contact is a second degree Felony punishable by a fine up to $10,000, between 2 and 20 years in prison, or both. If convicted, Deputy Shobert will have to register as a sex offender for life and scratch out a living in Cherokee County, Texas with the other child molesters and pedophiles on the Sheriff Department's dole.