The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise from Seguin, Texas on September 8, 1988 · Page 1
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The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise from Seguin, Texas · Page 1

Seguin, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 8, 1988
Page 1
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06, Serving Seguin and Guadalupe County \ %tmrrac Vol. 99 No. 253 hk Thursday, September 8, 1988 DSPS 488-700 25C By BOB THAXTON Staff Writer A 20-year-old transient from Michigan was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to the murder of a male nurse whose decomposed body was found in January in a mobile home in western Guadalupc County. Barry Kahkola Jr., previously sentenced by an Alabama judge to life in prison without parole for the murder of a female nurse, was returned to the Guadalupc County P Jail where he'll await transfer to the Texas Department of Corrections. After being turned over to TDC, Kahkola is expected to be transferred to Florida where he'll stand trial for the December 1987 slaying of a 65-year-old man who was beaten to death with a pipe wrench. If found guilty in Florida, where he faces the death penalty, Kahkola's record will list convictions in four slayings. He previously had served a prison sentence in Kentucky where a plea-bargain agree- ds guilty to murder mcnt reduced a murder charge to manslaughter. Second 25th District Judge Gus J. Strauss Jr. sentenced Kahkola to a life term after quashing a capital murder indictment which could have resulted in Kahkola receiving the death penalty for the killing of Robert Haugh, the 37-year-old male nurse whose body was found Jan. 14 in Haugh's mobile home. According to investigating officers, Haugh picked up Kahkola who was hitchhiking along Interstate 10 Judge sets date for pretrial hearing in chief's case sometime around Jan. 1. Haugh and Kahkola reportedly were seen later at a Scguin restaurant and at bars in San Antonio. When Haugh in early January failed to report for work at Medical Center Hospital in San Antonio, coworkers went to Haugh's mobile home and smelted a foul odor apparently coming from inside. They contacted the Guadalupe County Sheriffs Department, and Investigator Larry Morawietz found Haugh's nude and beaten body bound to a bed. At the time Haugh's body was found, Kahkola was jailed in Alabama where he had been charged with the fatal shooting of a female nurse whose car had broken down along an interstate highway. Kahkola was driving Haugh's car when arrested near Saraland, Ala.; however, authorities were unaware at the time that the car had been stolen. After the car's status was listed in the nationwide law enforcement computer system, Alabama authori- ties contacted the Sheriff's Department here. Kahkola had been expected to plead guilty Wednesday morning when Strauss made his ruling to quash the capital murder indictment. But after a 90-minute conference with his court-appointed attorneys, Kahkola insisted on pleading not guilty and requesting a jury trial. Strauss accepted the recommendation of District Attorney W.C. See Life, Pg. 2 By BOB THAXTON Staff Writer Former Schcrtz Police Chief James Keith will return Sept. 22 to 25th District Court in Scguin for a prctrial hearing on a four-count felony indictment returned last month after the Guadalupc County grand jury reviewed evidence in a Texas Ranger's two-month investigation of the Schertz Police Department Keith, who was released on a 55,000 personal recognizance bond aflcr his initial indictment, was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge B.B. Schraub who set the prctrial hearing date and ordered Keith to hire an attorney. Fired Aug. 22 by the Schertz City Council, Keith first was indicted Aug. 12 on charges of misapplication of fiduciary property, tampering with government records and official misconduct. During its Aug. 31 session, the grand jury added a fourth count, official oppression, stemming from allegations that Keith used his position as police chief in attempting to force a woman to have sexual contact with him. Each of the four charges is a third-degree felony carrying a possible sentence of two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The charge of misapplication of fiduciary property arose from allegations that Keith took 36 guns from the property room of the Schcrtz Police Department and traded them for five shotguns in an exchange with a Marion gun dealer, Donnic Stevenson who is Precinct 2 constable and the Republican nominee for sheriff in the Nov. 8 election. The charge of tampering with government records stems from the same incident. Authorities allege that Keith altered the property room log, changing eight entries fraudulently listing guns actually disposed of in the exchange with Stevenson as having been either destroyed, released to owners or traded. The other charge, official misconduct, arose from allegations that Keith took 51,400 from a soft drink vending machine at the Schertz Police Department. District Attorney W.C. "Bud" Kirkcndall, responding to a request from the Schcrtz City Council, asked Texas Ranger Jack Dean for an investigation of the city's Police Department, and Dean assigned Ranger Rudy Rodriguez to the case. See Pretrlal, Pg. 2 Vehicle rollover A ONE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT late Wednesday morning sent an 18-year-old Floresville youth to Guadalupe Valley Hospital and later to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio for treatment of a fractured left arm, fractured jaw and multiple abrasions and lacerations. The accident occurred 8.9 miles south of Seguln on State Hwy. 123. According to the Seguin office of the Department of Public Safety, Daryl Wayne Johnson was northbound on Hwy. 123 when his pickup swerved left off the road, struck a culvert, flipped over several times and ran through a fence. He was transported to GVH by Seguin EMS and later transferred to San Antonio. (Staff photo by Steve Boehm) Report indicates citizens happy with city Chamber drive adds 52 to membership rolls The Seguin and Guadalupe County Chamber of Commerce's Annual membership drive, that began Wednesday, continues today. The telemarketing campaign is being conducted by the Chamber's ambassadors. The goal for this year's drive is 70 new members. So far 52 new members have been signed on and include: Mrs. Pat Watkins, Herminia Urcsti, Larry McGough, Bugman Company, Computerized Accounting Systems, Seguin Mechanical, Vangie Cortez, Plaza Del Rey Shopping Center, Seguin Aviation, Father Thomas O'Callaghan, Pilgrim Cleaners, Grctchen Rickcr, Little Red Bam Playschool, Joe Pryor, Oran Logan, Gerry Webb, Allstate Insurance Co.-Louis Reyes, Larry Bassham-AmWay, Alexander Mill, Cousin's Ice Cream, Sepulveda Fillin' Station, John Detter, Guadalupc Valley Quarter Horse Breeders; Nelson Parsons, Jane Parsons, Jane Pryor, Tuddy Dietz Horse Ranch, Martin and Mildred Steger, Judge's Barbecue, Neal-Fina One Stop, Linder Bookkeeping Service, Leonard Schulze, Ken Wells Insurance, Tom Crump, Lloyd Damman, Sue Engbrock Woytck-Southland Life Insurance, Dr. Larry Campbell, Jim Jones Exxon, Angel Pest Control, Court Street Jewelers, Dr. Terry Frisbc, Dr. Jeffrey Patterson, Dr. Tim Stewart, The Art & Craft Shop, Joe Engbrock, Century 21-Brewer-Hauschild, Mickey Ferrell Realtors-Seguin office, Tom Dullard, Jerry Towner, Janice Taylor, Sid Smith Homes Inc. and Schubert Distributing Co. By GARY GOSSETT City Editor Citizens of Scguin are apparently pretty happy with their city according to the recently-completed Texas Cities Analysis and Planning Program (TCAP). The results of the TCAP study, done by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service in conjunction with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, were presented to the Seguin City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday evening by Dr. Norman Whitehorn of the extension service. "You came out pretty well in the study," Whitehorn told the council. "Many of those who responded to our community opinion survey said they thought the city government was doing a good job and had qualified leadership, and throughout the survey there were really very few negatives." The survey was one of two parts of the study. The first dealt with a profile of community facilities, services and functions compiled by "knowledgeable individuals selected from the city, chamber, school and other organizations." The report is the culmination of an extensive effort by several organizations and many individuals, Whitehorn said. The study was done at the invitation of the City Council and is described as "a self-analysis study of the resources, services and needs." Whitehorn explained the analysis is designed to be utilized for planning purposes only and should not be considered as criticism of any component or division of the city of Seguin, the Chamber of Commerce, school system or any other organization or group of individuals concerned with the quality of life in the Seguin area. In the survey portion, Whitehorn explained, a questionnaire was mailed randomly to 400 city residents who were asked to "grade" a variety of community services. Respondents were asked to use a scale of 1-4, with 4 being excellent, 3 good, 2 fair and 1 poor. Any rating below 2.0 should be considered poor, he said, and any rating above 2.5 should be considered good and highly acceptable by most citizens. Of the 400 questionnaires sent out, 83 were returned, 21 percent. Another random sample of 140 residents was selected and personally interviewed with 89 responding, a 64 percent return. Some of the services receiving the highest ratings included library services, 3.0; opportunities for out- door sports, 2.9; schools, 2.8; quality of educational opportunities, 2.7; utilization of school facilities, 2.7; youth programs (4-H, FFA, FHA, etc.), 3.2; local banking services, 3.1; air and water quality and pollution control, 2.9; retail businesses and services, 2.6; trade and craftsman services, 2.7; quality of electric service, 2.9; quality of gas and telephone service, 3.0; quality of hospital and medical care, 2.9; effectiveness of law enforcement, 2.7; community fire protection, 3.1; and garbage collection and disposal, 3.0. Receiving the lowest grades were job opportunities for high school graduates, 1.8; appearance and maintenance of vacant lots, 1.7; and airport facilities, 1.8. In every other one of the 60 areas surveyed, a grade of at least 2.0 was given. The effectiveness of local government received a 2.1 rating and qualified leadership stood at 2.2. Newspaper coverage received a 2.5 rating, radio a 2.6 and media support for community projects a 2.6. Survey respondents were also asked to list three projects they thought would be beneficial to the community in the next five years. Ranking highest on the list were, in order, city parks (improve facilities, swimming pool, wave pool), eco- nomic development, youth programs and facilities, beautification, downtown revitalization and street improvements. The final section of the report was conclusions and recommendations. It said the most serious complaint against the City Council was its lack of responsiveness to citizens, and recommended the council members take the complaint seriously and cooperate with other agencies, organizations and indivi- See Survey, Pg. 2 INDEX Sports Pg. 3 Comics Pg. 4 Entertainment Pg. 5 Opinions Pg. 6 Image Pg. 7 Classified Pg. 8 WEATHER Outlook: Tonight, clear. Low in the mid 60s. Light southeast wind. Friday, sunny. High in the mid 90s. Light and variable wind becoming northeast 10 to 15 mph during the afternoon. Businessman says he could have saved county money By BOB THAXTON Staff Writer A Seguin businessman contends his company could have saved Gua- dalupc County more than 40 percent of what was spent earlier this year to buy a law library for the county jail. "It's just absurd," said Pat Carney, president of Texas Law Book Co., 427 N. Milam, regarding the county's spending more than $10,900 for a law library he says he could have supplied for $6,100. Carney is miffed because county officials bought the lawbooks from a company in St. Paul, Minn, without even contacting his local company whose offices are located only four blocks from the courthouse. County commissioners authorized buying the lawbooks after Sheriff Melvin Harborth was advised by the U.S. Marshal's Service that a court decision made it mandatory for jail inmates to have access to a law library. The Marshal's Service has con- tracted to board federal prisoners at the Guadalupc County Jail and currently more than half the jail's inmates are federal detainees. Federal reimbursements for boarding the prisoners are expected to exceed operating expenses of the jail. Effectively ordering the county to buy the law library, the Marshal's Service required that an attorney be provided during the interim while the lawbooks were in transit. The attorney's role was to provide legal assistance, not for the criminal cases in which the inmates were charged, but for civil actions such as lawsuits over jail conditions. Harborth responded to the federal officials' advice by contacting the area representative of West Publishing Co. and getting a proposal to supply the same selection of law- books that Comal County had bought for its jail. Although the original list totaled approximately $14,000, the selection was trimmed to $10,910.24 for which the county was billed July 14 by West Publishing. When the purchase was approved, commissioners were asked why there was no advertisement for competitive bids, and County Judge Jim Sagebiel explained that West is the only publisher of lawbooks. Buying from a single-source supplier allowed the county to make the purchase without competitive bids, and the purchase could also have been made without bids based on another statutory provision regarding copyrighted materials such as books, magazines, films and recordings. Carney admits that "technically" there probably was no violation of state law on competitive bidding because West Publishing Co. is indeed the only company in the nation publishing lawbooks. They've had a monopoly on law- book publishing for 75 years, Carney explained. However, he pointed out, there are numerous firms like his Texas Law Book Co. which sell used law- books, and he said other government entities write bid specifications allowing suppliers of used books to compete with West. His company has sold books to state agencies, the state prison system and to other counties purchasing law libraries for their jails. Carney displayed an invoice for a $4,500 jail law library recently shipped to Lubbock County, and he said even larger purchases have been made by Brazoria County. In January, Carney mailed a form letter to the county judges of all 254 Texas counties, including Sagebiel, advising them of the court decision making it mandatory for inmates to be provided law libraries and offering to supply used books at roughly half the cost of new volumes-. 'Texas Law Book Co. Inc. can provide you a law library at about half the cost of new books. That's a 50 percent savings of your library budget. All our sets are guaranteed to be complete, current and in good condition," his letter said. "We have an attorney on staff to discuss your library needs at no cost to you and are able to provide any support information you may require." Regarding Guadalupe County officials' plans to fund the library purchase with profits from the jail commissary rather than tax revenues, Carney said it still represented a waste of public money whether the source of the money was the commissary or the taxpayer. Carney's Texas Law Book Co. has been in business 13 years although its offices were located in San Antonio until moved to Scguin about three years ago. Because most of its business is conducted by mail and by telephone, the company's location is not significant. "It's not necessary that we be in the big city," Carney said. "We're serviced here the same as we would be in San Antonio," he said, referring to services such as UPS and Federal Express. Behind the company's offices on North Milam Street is a 6,000-square-foot, climate- controlled warehouse holding his company's inventory of "several hundred thousand volumes." "We ship all over the country," Carney said, noting that his company's gross sales exceed $1 million annually. Most of their sales are to private law firms or individual attorneys, and much of their inventory is bought as a result of the mergers ol law firms. Though county officials didn't contact Carney when purchasing the jail law library, local officialdom has not ignored the company. Besides this reporter, Wednesday's visitors at the offices of Texas Law Book Co. included an appraiser from the Guadalupe County Appraisal District.

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