Suspect in Maypearl City Hall incident didnt leave at 5 a.m., witnesses say
By 09/22/2008 10:00:00
Suspect in city hall incident didn't leave at 5:09 a.m., witnesses say
Half-way house sources 'cannot be found'
DALLAS - Witnesses at a half-way house in Dallas told Texas Rangers investigators in Ellis County that Grethon Wendell Powell, 34, did not leave at 5:09 a.m., according to a phone conversation this morning with someone close to the investigation.
Prosecutors with the Ellis County/District Attorney's office and the Texas Rangers were reportedly working on obtaining a search warrant for Powell, with reports circulating that enough evidence was left over last Monday when Maypearl Police Chief Lester Taylor alleged that an unidentified black male kicked down a city hall door and wrestled his gun away from him and fled. Authorities said the incident occurred around 5 a.m.
Taylor said he had never seen the man before "in my life." He reported that he was in fear of his life after the suspect pulled the trigger of his 9 mm handgun three times, all of those times failing due to a safety lock.
Taylor told The Dallas Morning News that he knew the man, however, causing relatives and other sources close to the case to scrutinize and question the case.
Powell, who is black and is 6'5", was set to return home after his half-way house sentence, reportedly worked temporary construction jobs in and outside of Ellis County, including jobs in Maypearl.
The witnesses - five in all - reportedly cannot be found, the witness who called The Ellis County Press said this morning.
"I don't know where they took them, but they're not there," this paper's source said of the half-way house in an unidentified location in Dallas. "He didn't leave at 5 a.m. like they said.
"I don't know where Wendell is, I don't know what they did to him, he was supposed to go home today [for his daughter's birthday," the witness said. "He's [on parole] but it wasn't for violent crime. He wears a GPS monitoring [ankle bracelet] at all times. Why don't they examine that and see where he was?
"The chief's story is just not adding up. It's so strange."
Law enforcement officers and defense lawyers have e-mailed and called The Ellis County Press repeatedly questioning Taylor's version of the events; TV cameramen and reporters with Dallas stations said at last week's press conference at city hall that "it's strange that nobody is talking."