South Texas Court/Crime Briefs

CORPUS CHRISTI–A Nueces County jury has found a couple, who were former correctional officers, guilty on seven counts of child abuse after they were accused of severely burning their 10-year-old daughter last June.

Palanco Tatman, 30, and his girlfriend Crystal Robinson, 27, are accused of  burning her with scalding water last June and waiting four days to take her to the hospital to treat the burns. Doctors report the burns were on more than 20 percent of her body and caused more than 30 injuries.

Both Tatman and Robinson are facing life in prison when the jury starts hearing the punishment phae of trial on Tuesday.

Robinson testified Friday she was innocent of any wrongdoing in the case or putting the young girl in hot water. 

She told jurors because of her background in law enforcement, she was trying to hide her child abuse injuries or the severe burns. She stated she believed her injuries would improve, but when they didn’t, the child was taken to the doctor.    

Tatman said he was there when it happened and treated her, like any parent would do, in getting help for his daughter. From his medical training in the military, he didn’t believe she needed to go to the hospital.

His daughter testified she was burned by Robinson and Tatman ignored her pleas for help. She also said she was abused by the couple and there were bruises on her body. She testified she was told by the couple to lie to authorities about the burns and the bruises.

BROWNSVILLE–A criminal trial for a Cameron County man is starting on Monday and he’s accused of killing two Rio Hondo sisters in a drunk driving accident last year.

Authorities said James Pearson, 52, was under the influence of alcohol when he was involved in an accident in February of 2009, killing Yanely Mendoza, 16 and Yamily Mendoza, 20.

Jury selection has started in the case. Pearson was tried on these charges last August, but a judge declared a  mistrial.

CORPUS CHRISTI–A Corpus Christi man, who was kicked out of a gentleman’s club, attacked the manager early on Sunday morning with a sledge hammer and hit him with it.  

Workers said Rosslee Holik, 30, was too intoxicated at the Party Palace Cabaret on the 4800 block of Leopard. So the manager asked Holik to leave.

Holik confessed to officers he went back to his truck, grabbed the sledge hammer and struck the manager on the head with it. The manager refused medical treatment at the crime scene and his injuries weren’t serious.

Holik was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

CORPUS CHRISTI–Late on Sunday night, an elderly man at a Corpus Christi motel claims he was attacked by a woman inside his room and she took his wallet.

The 84-year-old told police a woman knocked on his motel door at the Midtown Motel and wanted to use the bathroom.

He refused, but he said the woman was able to open the door and get inside his room. He suffered a cut in the struggle and she took off with  his wallet.

Police searched the area for her, but couldn’t find the suspect.

ALICE–A teenager from Alice was arrested for deadly conduct and taken to the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center over the weekend.

Police investigators said the 16-year-old boy fired a 22 pistol into the brush on St. Joseph’s Street. Nobody was injured in the shooting incident on Saturday night around 8:30 pm.

An investigation is still ongoing as there were two others in the area and they haven’t determined if he was shooting at somebody or fooling around with  the weapon.

–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune,


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