Author: Valerie Reddell

News Director for Polk County Publishing Company Inc., a family of six community newspapers in East Texas.

Crime Stoppers offers reward for info on break-in at Goodrich Church

On December 24, 2019 a burglary of a building was reported to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office that occurred off of US Highway 59 in Goodrich.  Several electronic items were stolen from a church.  If you have any information or can identify the suspect(s) involved, please call Detective Byron Dunawa with Polk County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 936-327-9027. You may submit a tip at, the P3 App or by calling Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP where you can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.


LPD: 32 year old man dead after shooting at apartment complex, suspect in custody

On Monday Dec. 23, 2019, at approximately 10:20 a.m. Livingston Police Officers responded to Ridgecrest Apartments 901 Forest Hollow, in reference to a report of shots fired.

When officers arrived, they were advised the victim — later identified as Justine Jermanie Brown, 32, of Livingston — had been shot and taken by private vehicle to CHI St. Luke’s Hospital, according to Det. Marty Drake.

Upon further investigation officers located and interviewed several witnesses who all identified Jermichael Lynn Harrell, 21, of Livingston as the subject who had allegedly shot Justine Jermanie Brown moments earlier.

During preliminary investigation at the scene investigators believed Brown and Harrell were in a domestic dispute over a child.

During the dispute, Harrell produced a handgun and allegedly shot Justine Jermanie Brown several times, causing his death.

This is an ongoing investigation, Officers and Detectives are currently interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.

At approximately 3:00p.m., Jermichael Lynn Harrell turned himself in to Polk County Chief Deputy Byron Lyons without incident. Jermichael Lynn Harrell was then transported to the Livingston Police by Chief Deputy Lyons and released to the Livingston Police Department for processing.

Jermichael Lynn Harrell (21) of Livingston was charged with Murder (1st Degree Felony) and is currently being held at the Polk County Jail with a bond of $500,000.00. 

Fugitive, two others found with nearly a pound of meth

Search reveals illegal weapons, children also in home

LIVINGSTON — Sheriff’s deputies from Polk and Tyler counties concluded a week-long joint operation Sunday when they arrested three people at a residence off Nettles Cemetery Road on multiple warrants for narcotics, illegal weapons and child endangerment charges, according to a statement released by Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack Monday morning.
Tyler County requested assistance from Polk County’s narcotics detectives with a search for a fugitive with multiple felony warrants.

Earlier attempts by Tyler County Deputies to serve arrest warrants on Christopher Dashawn Montoya, 25, of Woodville were unsuccessful. In one of those efforts, Montoya left his two children abandoned in his vehicle — containing illegal narcotics — in the city of Woodville.
Efforts to locate Montoya led detectives to a house on Nettles Cemetery Road off of U.S. Highway 190 East. Officers shared information from the suspect’s Facebook profile that corroborated information that he might be found there.
Early Sunday morning, Polk County deputies arrived at the home to serve the felony warrants. They made multiple attempts to contact the occupants of the residence. The officers reported that those inside came to the door without opening it, locked the door and barricaded themselves inside.
As efforts to contact the occupants continued, deputies saw a firearm and illegal narcotics sitting in open view inside the front seat of a vehicle sitting in the driveway near the front door.
Narcotics detectives arrived on scene and obtained a search warrant for the residence and property.
After they made a forcible entry into the residence, officers found Montoya, Kimberly Foster, Portia Winston and five children.
Deputies took Montoya into custody and continued to search the home.
They discovered three firearms, ecstasy, marijuana fentanyl pills and more than two pounds of methamphetamine.
Montoya’s status as a convicted felon bars him from possessing firearms.
Illegal narcotics were found throughout the house, and easily accessible to the children.
Montoya, Foster and Winston were all charged with manufacture and/or delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 in an amount greater than 400 g. (Methamphetamine); manufacture and/or delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 in an amount greater than 4 grams, but less than 200 grams (ecstasy and fentanyl); and five counts of child endangerment.
Montoya was also charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and six outstanding warrants for his arrest.