Ennis PD: Hellstern admitted driving car night of exposure
By 02/07/2008 00:00:00
Retiring sheriff denies everything
The Ellis County Press
ENNIS - An Ennis police report taken in October of 2006 details the whereabouts of Don Hellstern, husband of Ellis County prosecutor Cindy Hellstern and subject of a firestorm over how law enforcement handled the case involving allegations Don was caught masturbating in an area near Palmer.
Cindy Hellstern was running for Court at Law No. 2 as a Democrat at the time her husband was accused of performing the sexual act in his Dodge Intrepid.
An out of town truck driver made the initial complaint. He could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Republican County Attorney Joe Grubbs, who faces a March 4 primary challenge from attorney Rodney Pat Ramsey, last week denied having received a copy of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office report detailing the accusations.
'No such case was ever filed or received,' Grubbs was quoted in The Ellis County Press last week as saying.
Sheriff investigators, who fear retaliation for coming forward publicly, said Grubbs did in fact receive the report with former county attorney Mary Lou Shipley, now a defense attorney and Democratic precinct chair, after the incident report was filed with the ECSO.
Investigators said Grubbs' office covered up for Hellstern, even though the sheriff's report was classified as a Class C misdemeanor, in effect a speeding ticket.
The Ennis PD report was in response to 'indecent exposure,' which would have been a case the county/district attorney's office had jurisdiction over.
After this newspaper broke the story, it generated interest from Dallas television stations; Sheriff Ray Stewart, in a phone call to KDFW Fox 4 News, denied his office ever meeting with Grubbs about the incident.
That statement was contrary to several of Stewart's top lieutenants, who reportedly told WFAA-TV Channel 8 they could not deny the fact a meeting took place.
[Ennis PD Incident Report: EPD206002963]
On 10/03, 2006 at approximately 15-20 hours I, Officer Jeffery Bates was relieving dispatch when I received a call from Ellis County Sheriff's Department in regards to Palmer looking for an indecent exposure suspect.
Upon talking with ECSO dispatch they stated that Palmer was looking for a vehicle bearing TX LP (J25NJT), [a] wine colored Dodge Intrepid that was traveling south bound and took the 253 exit. ECSO stated that the vehicle showed a return out of our city on West Baylor Street.
Upon leaving the station and traveling down West Baylor I located the maroon Dodge Intrepid bearing TX LP (J25NJT). The vehicle was located at 400 W. Baylor and a brief check of the vehicle's exhaust was warm to the touch. Upon attempting to make contact with a property owner at the location I was unsuccessful and was about to leave the location when a white male came out of the house and wanted to know if he could help me.
Upon speaking with the man who identified himself as Don Hellstern w/m DOB 04/14/51 I advised him that I was gathering information for Palmer Police Department in regards to a white male subject driving a vehicle like his bearing the exact license plate that was on his vehicle. I asked Hellstern how many people drive his vehicle and he advised that him and his wife drive the car. I asked him if he was driving the car earlier and he stated about an hour ago. I asked an hour and he stated well about thirty minutes ago.
Mr. Hellstern was advised that the incident was in regards to indecent exposure and that Palmer PD had a complainant who wanted to file charges and that any further information that he needed would have to be directed to the Palmer Police Department. The complainant in this incident is [######]. No complainant contact was made by Ennis PD in regards to this complaint. Palmer PD was contacted by me and all information to this incident was passed on to Palmer officer Mendez #402. No further information is available at this time.
Source: Open records requests