Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Judge Ronny McBroom set bonds totalling $75,000 against a Burleson man after grand jurors in the 413th District Court indicted him on two counts of intoxication manslaughter, two of manslaughter and three of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The charges stem from a Nov. 25, 2017 traffic accident, which left a woman and her unborn baby dead.

The accident occurred about 9 p.m. on Farm-to-Market Road 917 east of Joshua.

Nathaniel Lee Schaffner, 23, was traveling west on FM 917 at a high rate of speed in his Dodge Charger when he lost control of the vehicle, according to Texas Highway Patrol notes.

Schaffner’s Dodge left the road and continued on striking the right side of a Ford Fusion, which was parked in a private driveway facing north.

Samantha Usher, 18, of Arlington, who was sitting in the back seat of the Fusion, was pronounced dead at the scene. The baby Usher was pregnant with was killed as well.

Shaffner operated “a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body and did by reason of such intoxication cause the death of [Usher and her baby],” according to his indictment.

Shaffner also operated his vehicle in an unsafe manner and/or speed, according to the indictment.

Two others in the Fusion — Jarrod Richards, 20, of Arlington, and Elijah Lopez, 18, of Arlington — suffered serious injuries and were transported to area hospitals. A fourth passenger, an unidentified male, suffered serious injuries and was transported, according to reports from the time of the crash.

Shaffner suffered minor injuries in the crash but refused treatment, according to reports.

 

Back to jail

McBroom on Friday set bond at $10,000 each against two men who escaped the Johnson County Jail on Aug. 2.

William Aaron Bates, 57, of Johnson County, and Patrick Douglas Strong, 38, of Keene,  both enjoyed a brief bout of freedom before being returned to lockup. 

The Johnson County Jail went on lock down about 5:20 p.m. Aug. 2 after jailers noticed that Bates and Strong appeared to be missing.

They were last seen at the jail about 11 p.m. Aug. 1, according to reports.

Bates was a trustee at the time and was housed with Strong, who obtained a trustee outfit, according to reports.

Both told a LaSalle Corrections guard that they were going to do a trash run at which time the door was opened for them allowing them to leave their holding cell, according to reports.

Once the two gained access to the outside area they allegedly cut several fences. Jail and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office officials subsequently discovered the holes in the fences. It is believed they escaped through a hole in one of the fences near railroad tracks. 

Officers later found orange shirts, the kind worn by trustees, north of the jail near the railroad tracks.

Bates apparently went home. JCSO detectives paid his residence a visit and arrested him there.

Strong took a bit longer to locate. Detectives pinged the phone of a woman who had visited Strong several days before he escaped. The woman told detectives that she did not know Strong but had visited him in jail.

The woman said she went with a friend of hers, Shannon Burr, who is also Strong’s friend.

The woman told detectives that she visited Strong  because “Burr’s identification was messed up and she was not allowed to visit [Strong].”

The woman told detectives that Strong was upset that Burr was not allowed to visit him, according to reports. She said that Strong began yelling, at which point she got up and left the visitation area.

The woman told detectives that Strong would probably be with Burr but said she did not know where Burr lived other than somewhere near Glen Rose.

Detectives tracked Burr to a trailer house on County Road 320 in Glen Rose.

Burr told detectives “she picked up a friend in Cleburne,” but denied that Strong was in her home, according to reports. Burr subsequently admitted that Strong had been in her living room when officers arrived but said she was unsure where he went. Detectives found Strong hiding under a bed and arrested him without incident.

Both men’s arrest warrants note that: “At no time was Patrick Strong or William Aaron Bates given permission to cut fences and flee the jail premises.”

Both men are being housed in secured, single cells under close supervision, JCSO officials said. 

Bates was originally arrested and jailed on three counts of burglary while Strong was originally arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

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