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Witness: Suspect in city hall incident didnt leave at 5:09 a.m.

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Half-way house sources ‘cannot be found’

The Ellis County Press

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 Monday with someone close to the investigation.

Prosecutors with the Ellis County/District Attorney’s office and the Texas Rangers reportedly have Powell in custody, 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 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 he knew the man, 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.

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 paper 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."


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