Local News Local News en-us Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:10:50 GMT Synapse CMS 10 144 25 Murder Confession Letter Mailed To District Attorney Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 9:16:40 PM Bart Bedsole - Murder Confession Letter Mailed To District Attorney

CORPUS CHRISTI - A shocking letter mailed to the Nueces County District Attorney could lead to a homicide investigation.

It involves the death of a man nearly three years ago on County Road 73 along the Nueces River.

District Attorney Mark Skurka confirmed Thursday that he has turned over the letter to the Sheriff's Office to look into.

Sources tell KRIS 6 News that the letter is from an inmate already in a Texas prison, and includes not only a confession from him, but intimate details that only someone closely connected to the case would know.

Larry Sorrell died in January of 2012, days after he was burned by a fire involving chemicals used to make methamphetamine.

He never received treatment for his injuries until it was too late.

A neighbor said Thursday that after the fire, he went to see Larry, and Larry didn't want to be treated, possibly out of fear that authorities would find out about illegal activity going on at the home.

The neighbor views the death as an accident, and believes it was Larry's own fault for not seeking help earlier.

However, sources say the letter this week indicates someone intentionally lit Sorrell on fire using the methamphetamine chemicals, then wouldn't let him call for help, and a few days later gave him a fatal dose of drugs to end his life.

One of the victim's ex-wives said Thursday that although Larry had problems with methamphetamine, he was never involved in manufacturing the drug.

She and his family, including three grown sons living here, have always questioned what happened, and she was relieved to find out a confession letter was sent to Skurka.

She hopes it will lead to closure for the family.

The sheriff's office didn't return our calls late today to clarify whether they are reopening the case into Larry Sorrell's death.

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Local Veteran Breaks Ground on New, Mortgage-free Home Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 6:55:30 PM Jennifer Lira - Local Veteran Breaks Ground on New, Mortgage-free Home

CORPUS CHRISTI - Back in September, a local veteran got the surprise of a lifetime. He and his family were selected to receive a new house, mortgage-free.

Thursday, retired Navy CPO Jeramy Bush and his wife, Jessica, were brought to the site of their future home in Portland for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Made possible through a partnership with HEB and the Builders Association of Corpus Christi, the Bush family was selected by Operation FINALLY Home to receive a new house, mortgage-free.

Jeramy Bush served 15 years in the military before suffering a serious injury in Afghanistan that ultimately forced a medical retirement. He and his wife are ready for a new start.

Jessica Bush said she most looks forward to having a brand new cooking space for her family.

"Just to have a kitchen again, I love to cook, I love to .. just have a kitchen."

When asked what he most looks forward to in the new house, Jeramy Bush answered, "Maybe the garage, a place to tinker again."

The Bushes have a 17-year old son and two daughters, ages ten and six.

"They're excited, they cant wait," Jessica said, "They keep asking if it's built yet so that we can move in."

The future home of the Bush family should be ready by next spring.

Click here for more information on Operation FINALLY Home.



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Valero Refineries Corpus Christi Donates More Than $141,000 To CC-PAL Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 6:47:43 PM Kirsten Schaffer Valero Refineries Corpus Christi Donates More Than $141,000 To CC-PAL

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Corpus Christi Police Athletic League received a big donation Thursday from Valero Refineries Corpus Christi.

Valero representatives presented the league with a check worth more than $140,000. The money was raised in early October at the 4th Annual Dove Hunt event.

The money will go toward youth athletic programs like martial arts, baseball, softball, and volleyball.

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Alice Police Looking Into Fire Department Fundraising Theft Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 6:18:47 PM Priscilla Torres Alice Police Looking Into Fire Department Fundraising Theft

CORPUS CHRISTI - Several thousand dollars are missing from fundraising money raised by the Alice Fire Department over the past year.

Alice Police are asking for help from the community to track it down. Investigators with the Alice Police Department say there aren't very many leads at this time so they're depending on the community to get this money back where it belongs.

The money went missing back in September. It was locked in a cabinet inside the firehouse. Lt. Richard Deleon is investigating the case and says they're interviewing everybody and trying to figure out who was working at that particular moment when the money went missing.

We received a comment from the Alice Professional Firefighters Association, "While the money does not directly affect the union, it does affect the organization that we raise the money for... the City of Alice is kind enough to let us have these fundraisers for not only this organization but for other organizations throughout the year. We look forward to this issue being resolved so that we can get the funds to the organization that it was intended for."

Alice PD are asking that if you have any information that can help investigators, your are urged to call the Crime Stoppers of South Texas hotline at (361) 664-7867.


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Local Surgeon Breaks Gender Stereotypes in Her Field Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 6:08:42 PM Sara Donchey Local Surgeon Breaks Gender Stereotypes in Her Field

CORPUS CHRISTI - When you look at the numbers, orthopaedic surgery seems to be a man's world; but don't tell that to Doctor Carissa Kirk--the only female orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Spohn Memorial Hospital.

Kirk admits that since she expressed interest in the specialty, that she was almost always working around men.

Nationally, orthopaedic surgery is a male-dominated field.

Out of everyone who applies for residency in the orthopaedic surgery, only about 12 percent of them are women, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

There may not be a definitive answer as to why that is, but Dr. Kirk has her suspicions.

A common perception is that you have to be big and strong to be able to do some of the more physical aspects of the job.

"I think that's a myth," Kirk said. "I don't think that it's brunt force or brute force. I think it's a lot of have to know how to manage a patient if (they're heavy). You use technique to roll, to lift, and you use instruments now; we have different devices."

Dr. Kirk can perform as many as five surgeries a day, and they last about two and a half hours each on average.

She's also petite; she stands little more than five feet tall.

Although some of her more physical duties include setting or cutting broken bones and lifting heavy patients, Dr. Kirk noted that the most challenging part of her job has nothing to do with how strong she is.

"I don't think it's the physical, I think it's the mental. It's the long hours. I was here at 10:30 (Wednesday) night...and I'm back at 6 am."

In the last 30 years, the number of female general surgeons has soared; the Association of Women's Surgeons says we've seen an increase of almost 40 percent.


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Arrests Made in Possible Human Trafficking Ring Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 5:51:27 PM Caroline Flores Arrests Made in Possible Human Trafficking Ring

CORPUS CHRISTI - Thirteen people are in custody after police uncover an alleged human trafficking ring. The discovery was made as a joint operation between CCPD and the Attorney General's Human Trafficking Team.

CCPD says the operation focused on identifying sex trafficking victims, specifically those advertised on Internet escort sites, and locating and arresting any suspected traffickers.

The operation began Tuesday and ended early this morning. Arrests were made at various hotels around Corpus Christi including the Motel 6 on Lantanta, and the Red Roof Inn and La Quinta Inn on SPID.

During the operation CCPD says three men were arrested on outstanding warrants, one man was arrested on a drug-related charge, and nine women were arrested for prostitution. The women's ages range from 20 to 34-years old. Police opened two cases for compelling prostitution, and seized $7,000 in cash.

CCPD wouldn't release anything about possible victims, only that no juveniles were found. Investigators say this is an on-going investigation.


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Charges Dismissed Against Wife in Portland Shootings Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 5:30:51 PM Charges Dismissed Against Wife in Portland Shootings

SAN PATRICIO COUNTY - Charges have been dropped against one of the suspects in the shooting of two women in Portland back in 2012.

Laura Strickland was charged with tampering with evidence in the shooting of Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa. Olgin died in the shooting.

The San Patricio County District Attorney says the charges against Strickland were dropped because there wasn't enough evidence against her.

Her husband, David Strickland, is charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.


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Retired Judge to Hear Recusal Arguments in Overton Case Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 5:28:40 PM Retired Judge to Hear Recusal Arguments in Overton Case

CORPUS CHRISTI - A retired appeals court judge from the Rio Grande Valley will decide if Judge Jose Longoria should be removed from the Hannah Overton case.

Overton's attorney filed a motion this week asking that Judge Longoria step down, based largely on a "contractual and financial interest" between Longoria and Larry Overton, who is Hannah's husband.

The motion includes several invoices from Larry Overton's business, Southern Lighting, that were marked as "Paid" by Longoria.

The invoices are related to landscaping light installed and later maintained by Overton's company at Longoria's home.

The work happened both before Hannah was indicted, before Larry took ownership of the company, and after her indictment when he did.

Courtroom transcripts indicate that Judge Longoria mentioned the work to both the prosecutor and Overon's attorney prior to the trial in 2007.

Neither attorney had any objections at the time, however Overton's appellate attorney felt the recusal was necessary.

The motion reads, "A contractual or financial relationship between a party to the case and court requires a motion to recuse.  Because our system of justice insists not only upon fair proceedings, but further, upon the proceedings that appear to be fair, this motion to recuse protects the Court from unwarranted claims of favoritism or bias and protects Ms. Overton's rights, including the right to the effective assistance of counsel."

The motion to recuse also mentions that Hannah Overton is related to the husband of Longoria's former stepdaughter.

Judge Longoria refused to step down, so the regional presiding judge appointed Fred Hinojosa to hear the motion on November 7th.

Overton remains in jail and won't have a bond hearing until the recusal motion is decided. Earlier this month an appeals court overturned her conviction on capital murder for the death of her foster son.


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Islanders Break a Sweat in Order to Land Dream Job Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:10:27 PM Rachel Cole - Islanders Break a Sweat in Order to Land Dream Job

CORPUS CHRISTI - Students at the Island University are finding out through local research, that physical health plays a role when it comes to landing that first job out of college. Newcomers, like Fotini Batsios says, avoiding that "freshman 15" will be beneficial during crucial Q&A with potential employers.

"I try to work out everyday, I try to run everyday, I like to work with weights, I like to do squats," she said.

A healthy lifestyle is something Batsios says is essential. Particularly when the time comes to get a job in the health field.

"It's very important especially if I want to be a doctor at a hospital, I have to be very confident in what I do," Batsios said.

Over the last couple years the Kinesiology Department did a study that shows, students who major in medical related courses, need to hit the gym as much as they hit the books.

"We do feel that it's very important that they do practice what they preach and that they serve as role models for their clients," Professor Frank Spaniol said.

Spaniol says, that's important because most patients seeking medical advice are more likely to take it, if there physician is in good health.

Trainers who work with students and staff say "balance" is everything. If you like to lift weights and exercise, you have more room to eat what you want. However, if breaking a sweat isn't your thing, then trainers say eat smart.

"Chicken, go buy a bag of chicken and some brown rice, it's pretty cheap," Carl Suding said.

Ultimately, the results inform Kinesiology students to avoid tasty temptations and bump up the calorie burn, in order to land that dream job in the health field, post graduation.



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Customers Leap To Action During Store Robbery Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:49:53 AM Kirsten Schaffer Customers Leap To Action During Store Robbery

CORPUS CHRISTI - Corpus Christi Police said customers and store employees leaped to action during a robbery at a pawn shop Wednesday night.

It happened at the First Cash Pawn located in the 2100 block of Morgan Avenue around 7:15 a.m.

Police said a man walking around the store broke the glass counter top of a display and attempted to take jewelry from the case.

A customer in the store saw what was happening and tried to stop the suspect from taking the jewelry. The two began to fight and the suspect made threats about shooting the man and the store employees. 

Police said the customers and employees were able to hold the suspect until officers arrived.

Officers arrested Richard Hollingsworth, 33, and charged him with aggravated robbery, and possession of a dangerous drug, after finding a pill in his pants pocket.

Officers located the metal tool the suspect used to break the display glass, but no firearm was found.

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Police: Woman Assaults Boyfriend For Giving The 'Googly Eye' Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:38:33 AM Kirsten Schaffer Police: Woman Assaults Boyfriend For Giving The 'Googly Eye'

CORPUS CHRISTI - Corpus Christi Police responded to a disturbance between a man and woman early Thursday morning, finding clothing books, canned food, and dog food strewn through the parking lot.

It happened in the 2000 block of Airline Road around 1:45 a.m.

A 19-year-old man told police he was helping his girlfriend move out when she got upset with him. 

She told the man she saw him give one of her female friends "the googly eye."

The man told police this started an argument, which led to both parties throwing things at each other in the parking lot. 

Officers said Dana Russell, 20, had hit the man in the head and pushed him, causing minor injuries to the man.

Police said Russell was determined to be the aggressor in the confrontation and was charged with assault.

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Students' Project Explodes With NASA Rocket Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 6:22:56 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV Students' Project Explodes With NASA Rocket

TEXAS - Texas students are more than disappointed after their million-dollar project went up in flames in the NASA rocket explosion.

Those students from the University of Texas watched with the rest of the world as their satellite, which took hundreds of hours to complete, exploded with the rest of the rocket earlier this week.

"We were watching the launch, it was very exciting," said UT Professor Glenn Lightsey. "Then we realized something was wrong, and it was just very quiet for a few minutes as people were sort of processing what they were seeing."

The student's satellite, called "Race," was something they believed would change the world.

"That's why we do it," said Lightsey. "We do it for the advances in technology that you get."

The satellite would have helped scientists measure the earth's water cycle to better understand global warming.

"It's sad," said UT Senior Cody Colley. "But, it's still a positive experience, we still have to come to work...and keep inspiring people because that's what it's about, and the science we're doing, that's what it's about."

They weren't the only students who watched their work go up in smoke. A group of kids from a high school in San Antonio also had a project on the shuttle. However, they said the explosion won't deter them from trying again.

"Luckily we still have all our information," said a San Antonio high school student involved with the project. "We still have all our ingredients, we just need to put it together and send it back up."

The rocket was heading to the International Space Station to bring new supplies for the six people living there. However, NASA said the crew is still in good shape, even without that resupply.


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Speaking Out On Stroke Signs Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 5:33:05 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahTV Speaking Out On Stroke Signs

CORPUS CHRISTI - Because 90% of first-time strokes are caused by risk factors that can be changed, the American Heart Association is updating their prevention guidelines.

The new recommendations include eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and cutting out most red meats and dairy.

They also recommend you get daily exercise and don't smoke.

Doctors said parents should learn the signs of a stroke, and teach them to their family as well, because it can mean the difference between life and death.

"We always say time is brain," said Spohn Shoreline Stroke Coordinator Amber Blimline. "Because every minute, over one-million brain cells are being killed during a stroke, and that is why it's so important to get help."

Click here for more information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke.


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City Denies Claims Of Flood Victims Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 9:35:03 PM Bart Bedsole - City Denies Claims Of Flood Victims

CORPUS CHRISTI - A major pipe break on Macleod Drive, behind the Woodlawn Shopping Center on Leopard, will cost the neighbors there thousands of dollars, even though it was a city water line that broke.

Rebecca Ramirez tried to save what she could when she saw the water rising outside her home earlier this month, but by the time it finally drained out of the home she rents and the backyard, the losses were extensive.

"Three heaters, air condition, exercise equipment, all of that, it's about $12,000," she said.

Ramirez submitted a claim to the city, but learned this week it was denied.

Not every case is denied by the City.

A year ago, when Jose Vera's home was filled with sewage, the City covered all of his repairs.

The reason Vera was paid was because a city crew was actually working on sewage lines in the area and their negligence caused all that sewage to back up into his house.

In the Macleod case, a water line simply broke.

The City believes it was not negligent, and can therefore claim sovereign immunity, which protects governments from most lawsuits and claims from utility mishaps.

In a statement late Wednesday, City Attorney Miles Risley wrote, "In a case like Ms. Ramirez's case, where a claim for property damage does not implicate our negligent use of motorized equipment, we are generally not liable."

Ramirez disagrees.

She believes that while the pipe break may not be an act of negligence itself, the fact that it took 8 hours to shut it off is.

"I understand water breaks, and dang, it happened to me. But you know what? They did not even try to get the whole crew out," she says.

The city claims a valve was frozen, causing delays in shutting off the water.

Because of the flood, Ramirez's family is moving, but with three kids and no extra money, the claim denial has them underwater again.

Ramirez would also like to see a "Citizens Assistance Task Force", saying the police were there to maintain safety, and the water department was there for the pipe, but no one was out here helping the people affected.

She believes if there were such a group to respond to civil emergencies like that, it could have helped save a lot of her stuff.


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Synthetic Marijuana Use Rises; Doctors Still Don't Have Treatment Protocol Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 8:33:35 PM Stephania Jimenez - Synthetic Marijuana Use Rises; Doctors Still Don't Have Treatment Protocol

CORPUS CHRISTI - The use of synthetic marijuana is on the rise. According to a recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the number of emergency department visits due to the drug doubled in one year; from 11,406 in 2010 to 28,531 in 2011. Despite the increasing popularity of synthetic marijuana, experts still haven't developed a standard protocol to treat patients suffering from the drug's adverse side effects.

"I thought I was dying. I literally thought I was dying," said Elizabeth.

Elizabeth spoke to KRIS 6 News about her first and only encounter with synthetic marijuana. She wanted us to keep her identity private.

Elizabeth said she tried synthetic marijuana while she attended a concert earlier this year; she noticed someone there smoking what she believed was marijuana, asked for some, inhaled it, and it wasn't long before panic set in.

"I couldn't breathe. I just couldn't catch my breath and then I started seeing people in front of me, going up and down."

Elizabeth was experiencing some of the side effects; such as anxiety, paranoia, nausea/vomiting, and hallucinations, associated with synthetic marijuana.

"It tends to raise your pulse, raise your blood pressure...a lot of people have a form of psychosis," said paramedic David Karrer, with the Corpus Christi Fire Dept.

"Seizures is another bad thing that happens with them," explained Dr. Albert Gest, an emergency medicine specialist at Christus Spohn.

Despite a state and a federal law such as the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, banning the sale or possession of some synthetic marijuana, the drug's popularity has been increasing, especially among young men. That's troubling to Dr. Gest, who believes synthetic marijuana is very risky. It hasn't been around long, so little is known about its long-term effects. Also, its manufacturers keep changing the recipe to sidestep state laws. That means you'll never quite know which chemicals are in the drug, and that makes it very difficult for doctors to develop a standard treatment protocol when a patient is suffering adverse side effects from synthetic marijuana.

"You sedate them and do the best you can with that," explained Gest.

Unfortunately, that's not enough in some cases. This summer, Connor Eckhardt, 19, of California, inhaled synthetic marijuana, slipped into a coma and never woke up.

Elizabeth survived; she was taken to a hospital the moment she fell ill. However, she feels she was lucky and hopes other people think twice before trying synthetic marijuana.

"What I experienced was so powerful that I don't think a young kid could survive that on their own unless they get help immediately," said Elizabeth.

Here's more information on synthetic marijuana:


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Students Hold Halloween Celebration For Special Needs Kids Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 7:06:08 PM Kirsten Schaffer Students Hold Halloween Celebration For Special Needs Kids

CORPUS CHRISTI - Students from John Paul II High School put on a Halloween celebration for special needs children Wednesday.

The annual event features trick-or-treating and Halloween activities, especially for special needs kids.

The event is put on by the Voices That Care organization at the high school.

The young organizers tell KRIS 6 there's a lot of goes into getting it ready, from collecting candy to coordinating volunteers, but that it's all worth it.

"It makes a big impact because I know a lot of times it's hard for them to go out into the community and actually go door-to-door trick-or-treating like regular kids do," said Gabby Conklin, the president of Voices That Care.

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Bond Hearing For Hannah Overton Canceled Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 6:59:54 PM Kirsten Schaffer Bond Hearing For Hannah Overton Canceled

CORPUS CHRISTI - The bond hearing for Hannah Overton that was planned for Thursday has been canceled.

Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka confirmed Wednesday the hearing planned for Judge Jose Longoria's court was canceled.

Overton spent seven years in prison in connection with the death of her 4-year-old foster son, but her conviction was recently overturned.

Overton remains in the Nueces County jail.


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Port Event Inspires Students to Pursue A Career In The Coastal Bend Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 6:54:12 PM Kirsten Schaffer Port Event Inspires Students to Pursue A Career In The Coastal Bend

CORPUS CHRISTI - Port Corpus Christi hosted nearly a thousand local high school students Wednesday in an effort to encourage them to think about a career in the Coastal Bend.

The fourth annual "Explore Your Port, World, & Future" event showcased a variety of local industries, including the US Army, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries, US Customs and Border Patrol, as well as several different refinery companies and government agencies.

The event has consistently received praise from attendees from previous years, who say it taught them just how much the Port plays into the future of the Coastal Bend region.

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Halloween Sex Offender Sweep Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 5:59:46 PM Priscilla Torres Halloween Sex Offender Sweep

CORPUS CHRISTI - In a couple of days children will go door to door asking for Halloween treats, but local probation officers are already out trying to keep an eye on registered sex offenders. It's all part of the ninth annual "Halloween Sex Offender Sweep."

Ninfa Martinez and Lupe Cardona are probation officers with Nueces County. Today they began knocking on doors where registered sex offenders who are on probation, live. The main goal for probation officers is to make sure offenders aren't taking part in any Halloween celebrations which means they can't pass out candy or have any halloween decorations visible. If they're found violating any of these conditions, their bond could potentially be revoked.

Probation officers were also passing out orange flyers with child safety tips and alerting neighbors there's a registered sex offender living nearby. The sweep will continue through the rest of the week and on Saturday evening as well.

Any suspicious activity by any known sex offender should be reported by calling (361) 854-4122.


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Jim Wells County Employee Arrested In Connection with Missing Money Local News Wed, 29 Oct 2014 5:50:57 PM Caroline Flores Jim Wells County Employee Arrested In Connection with Missing Money

CORPUS CHRISTI - A Jim Wells County employee has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a very large sum of money.

Her former boss spoke with KRIS 6 News Wednesday and told us why he has bigger concerns after the arrest.

Former Deputy District Clerk Maria Alicia Soliz, 46, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on theft charges by the Texas Rangers.

Soliz worked for Jim Wells County for 10 years, and now she is facing theft charges.

"It's not something you expect," said Jim Well County District Attorney Carlos Garcia. "Because of the situation where you're dealing with a position of trust. You generally put trustworthy people there."

The arrest came after her boss, District Clerk David Guerrero, discovered there was money missing last year.

"We decided that we should go back multiple years and we did go back multiple years and as we continued to look we found more discrepancies," said District Clerk Guerrero.

Once he discovered someone in his office was most likely responsible, he notified the County Judge. That's when the county got an outside accountant to do an audit. In it he discovered someone had been stealing money since 2010, adding up to almost $35,000.

"When something does happen I think it shocks the whole community because you expect your government is gonna be there to do what's right," said Garcia.

But the District Clerk says one of the things he believes was a factor in this alleged theft, is that his office hadn't been audited by the county for the past seven years.

"It concerns me that if this happened in this department, you know, could it happen in another department? Hopefully not," said Guerrero.

As a result of the recent arrest of Soliz, Guerrero has made some changes in his office in hopes of preventing anything like this from happening again.

Soliz was released from the Jim Wells County Jail late Tuesday night on a $10,000. Her case has not been reviewed by the grand jury yet.


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