The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 8Click to view larger version
August 18, 1999

The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 8

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The Galveston Daily News i
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Galveston, Texas
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Wednesday, August 18, 1999
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Page 8
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AS WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 1999 GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS TEXAS Life support withdrawn from comatose pregnant woman By CHRIS FLETCHER The Associated Press HOUSTON - Life support was withdrawn Tuesday afternoon from a comatose pregnant woman whose fetus was the subject of a bitter, month-long court battle. The machines that had kept oxygen and nutrition flowing through Tammy Martin's body since July 18 were disconnected at 5:35 p.m., said Patty Eiddles- barger, a spokeswoman for Memorial Hermann Hospital Northwest. The action resulted from an order by Harris County Probate Judge Bory Olsen, who heard a doctor's testimony Tuesday that both mother and child were legally dead. Olsen's ruling allows Martin's relatives to hold the funeral they .have had to postpone nearly a month while her boyfriend sought legal guardianship of the fetus. But Martin's brother, Lonnie Martin, said the family feels anything but victorious. ly God, nobody wins in this fight. Nobody wins in this game, it's true life." Lonnie Martin Tammy Martin's brother "My God, nobody wins in this fight," he said. "Nobody wins in this game, it's true life." Tommy Martin and other relatives gathered at the hospital Tuesday afternoon to say goodbye to the 34-year-old woman and male fetus that survived for 16 weeks. Her boyfriend, Scott Law, was absent to avoid conflict with her family, said Jared Woodfill, his attorney. Believing himself to be the father of the fetus, Law, 35, sued the hospital to prevent withdrawal of life support. Tammy Martin's relatives argued that she was brain dead and that the fetus had little chance for survival because she abused cocaine and alcohol. •, Both sides shed tears in court Tuesday. , "It's a very sad moment for Mr. Law and the entire family," Woodfill said, speaking for his client who declined comment. "I consider him to be a hero because he was willing to stand up for his child and give his child the opportunity to have life." Law will not attend the Martin family's funeral, instead planning a separate memorial service, Woodfill said. The Martins' service apparently,; will have to wait until a medical examiner has performed an autopsy on the body, collecting evidence for a criminal investigation into Tammy Martin's fatal injury. Law told deputies he and Tammy Martin were arguing early on the morning of July 18 when his pickup truck slipped into gear, lurched, and the door struck Tammy Martin's head. Thomas J. Mims, a Houston neurological surgeon, testified Tuesday that when he examined Tammy Martin that afternoon in the emergency room of Memorial Hospital Northwest, she was comatose and had "severe brain injuries." Mims described how he removed a large blood clot from the left side of Tammy Martin's brain, but the surgery was in vain. "I thought really even at that time that Tammy fit the criteria for being brain-dead," he said. "She did not improve after the surgery." First Assistant District Attorney Don Stricklin said Tuesday the autopsy will help his office decide whether to seek an indictment against Law. The Harris County Sheriffs Department investigated the case as a criminally negligent homicide. Lonnie Martin Is consoled by unknown relatives as he listens to testimony on the condition of his brain-dead, sister, Tammy Martin, on Tuesday in Houston. AP Tractor^trailer accident closes 1-45 The Associated Press CORSICANA - Interstate 45 was closed Tuesday in both directions just north of Corsicana after a tractor-trailer rig loaded with a flammable chemical overturned and began leaking, officials said. Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said frontage roads remained open throughout the day. Crews late Tuesday afternoon reopened all 1-45 lanes, after cleaning the roadway and clearing the debris. The driver, Larry Winston Nuels, 46, was in stable condition at Navarro Regional Hospital in Corsicana, Vinger said. They think that fatigue may have been the cause of the accident," Vinger said. The 6:55 a.m. crash happened Corsicana Fire Department firefighters hose down a truck carrying about 10,000 gallons of flammable vinyl acetate liquid on Interstate 45 near Corsicana on Tuesday, about four miles north of Corsi- prise Transport of Houston, hit a cana when the truck, carrying guard rail and overturned, vinyl acetate liquid for Enter- . Vinger said. Texas in brief Molester who left Texas arrested in Ohio BEAUMONT — A man once featured in a United Way poster for an East Texas boys home has pleaded guilty to molesting a boy there. Mack "Brady" Meadows, 48, -was sentenced to 20 years in Monday's plea arrangement. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years. Meadows was accused of molesting a 9-year-old boy in 1994 at Boys Haven, where Meadows and his wife once worked and lived. Meadows and his wife vanished in May 1998 from their home in Colmesneil, 40 miles southeast of Lufkin, a month before a scheduled court appearance on the case. He was arrested last February in Columbus, Ohio, where he had been living as a fugitive. Computer know-how required at college ARLINGTON — Computer literacy is now a requirement for students at the University of Texas at Arlington. University officials are requiring all incoming students to demonstrate computer competence in five areas in order to graduate. They are word processing, spreadsheets, email, the Internet and online research through the school library. Students can take a computer literacy test to fulfill the requirement, or they can take a course designated by the department of their major. Jury selected for former officers' trial BROWNSVILLE — A jury has been selected in the case of/ two former police officers accused of murdering a woman who had won custody of a child she said was stolen from her at birth. Opening arguments were expected to begin today before state District Judge Robert Garza. Roberto Briseno, a 19-year veteran patrolman, and Randall Ledbetter, a former Brownsville police officer, were arrested in November after a woman named Janet Ramirez told police she plotted with the two men to kill Laura Lugo in 1994. Briseno resigned shortly after his arrest. The Associated Press Water supplies adequate, but some cities wary as summer heat continues By ROBERT G. W1ELAND The Associated Press DALLAS — Texans' water worries have mostly evaporated this year, thanks to a rainy spring and a later start to intense summer heat. Fort Worth used an alternate- day plan last summer, but now has a system that lets residents water only every fifth day, said Mary Gugliuzza, public education program coordinator for the Fort Worth Water Department. System capacity problems, including water main breaks and a flooded treatment center, caused more than two weeks of mandatory watering restrictions last summer, said Ms. Gugliuzza. However, no citations were issued. This year, lake levels are adequate and the delivery system is holding up well, she said. "We had a good wet spring, so have a good amount of water in the lakes," she said. Another factor favorable to water supplies is the temperature, Gugliuzza said. In the North Texas city of Gainesville, residents were asked not to water Monday so the city could replenish the tanks. The city now asks homeowners to water only between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. Galveston, which imposed a ban Friday, also had issued no citations as of Monday, utilities director Brandon Wade said. And : City Manager Steve LeBlanc said the ban likely would be lifted Thursday, although island residents would still be asked .tc^limit consumption. LeBlaiiri skid water levels in 1T*J) the tityjStfeserve tanks over the weekeiitrhad begun to rebound after d^mdling levels prompted city officials to call for voluntary and then mandatory restrictions. "This is a particular concern during hurricane season, when a storm could interrupt our water supply from the mainland, leaving us dependent upon what is in our storage tanks," he said. Dallas has a four-stage plan that begins with a water watch, said Janell Mirochna, community relations manager of Dallas Water Utilities, whose system is designed to handle demand of 815 million gallons per day. A watch, requiring a cutback in the city use of water and a stepped-up education program, was implemented July 30,1998, when one-day water consumption hit a record 708.5 million gallons, she said. No conservation measures have been taken this year, even though consumption reached 708.2 mil- lion gallons on Aug. 11, Mirochna said. 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