The Lead April 28, 2022: Kerrville home, where woman died in fire, received frequent visits from police

The Water Street house, the site of an April 9 fire, received more than 60 visits from police since 2014.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We could see some patchy drizzle as we start today, but things will clear up later in the day. We could see a return to some gusty winds — 15-20 MPH by the end of the day. Today's high — 80.

On today's The Lead Live?

We welcome back Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Leslie Jones, who will give us another rundown of the weekend events, and John Harrison will also join us to discuss Prop. A. We're also going to pick Harrison's brain about his favorite Arcadia Live concert and his take on the lineup for the 50th anniversary of the Kerrville Folk Festival. Join us at 9 a.m.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by

Speaking of today's events

Early Voting

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Cailloux Center for the Performing Arts and the Ingram Independent School District


  • Tour the Kerrville Police Station — Kerrville Police Station, 2 p.m. Information: The details: Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kerrville Police Department.
  • Lecture on J. R. R. Tolkien — Schreiner University, 5 p.m. Information: Contact Dr. Martin Lockerd, Assistant Professor of English, at 830-792-7405 or The details: Dr. Martin Lockerd will be giving a lecture titled "The Stolen Gift: Tolkien and the Problem of Suicide" at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, in Schreiner University's Junkin Campus Ministry Building. A reception will follow the lecture beginning at 6 p.m. at the Trailhead Beer Garden. This event is free and open to the public.

  • Symphony of the Hills — Cailloux Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. Information: The details: Entitled "Primitive Echoes: Mystery of War and Peace," the music recognizes the power, futility, emotion, and accomplishment of war, peace and human connections. Selections include: Jean Sibelius – Finlandia, Op. 26; Ungar/Custer – Ashokan Farewell from "The Civil War" Phil Johnson, violin soloist; Gustav Holst – "Mars, The Bringer of War" from The Planets; Alice Gomez – "Primitive Echoes" Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, Sherry Rubins, timpani soloist; Edward Elgar – Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 Enigma
  • Open Mic with Jesse Owens — Gravity Check Saloon, 6 p.m. Information: Gravity Check Saloon and Arena The details: Some of the best local musicians are playing on the Gravity Check stage. Hosted by Jesse Owen, this is a showcase of local talent.
  • Pottery for kids — Bridget's Basket, 4-6 p.m. Information: The details: Children aged 5-7 can learn to make a Mother's Day mug with this pottery class taught by Tess Outlaw.
  • Crafting — Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, 4 p.m. Information: (830) 258-1274 The details: Fairy gardens are small plots or small container gardens that include live plants, tiny accessories and other elements designed to provide a habitat for magical fairies to visit when no one is looking. Registration is required as space is limited. All supplies are provided!
  • Book club — Kerr County Regional History Center, noon. Information: (830) 258-1274 The details: This month, the featured book is “Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers” by Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade.
  • Live music by Phoenix Miller — Pint and Plow Brewing Co., 6 p.m. Information:

House, where woman died, was frequently visited by police, fire

A home in the 500 block of Water Street, where a woman was found dead earlier this month, was frequently visited by the Kerrville police and fire departments since 2014, including a 2016 murder investigation.

Police and fire responded to 66 calls for service between March 28, 2014, and the fatal fire on April 9, 2022. They ranged from an arrest for an outstanding warrant to the 2016 murder investigation, which led to the sentencing of two men to long prison terms.

"KPD has responded to 516 W. Water multiple times over the years for minor disturbances, typically verbal altercations, most of which did not result in reports being taken," Kerrville Police Department public information officer Sgt. Jonathan Lamb said in an email.

On Jan. 23, 2016, police responded to a report of an accidental fall at home. Lamb said the female homeowner and a guest, Justin Ray Hoy, stated that Kimberly Scott Keating, who was 56 at the time, had fallen and injured himself.

However, police said evidence at the scene was not consistent with an accidental fall. Eventually, officers discovered Keating was assaulted by another houseguest, Joseph Stoy Crowe III, who left the scene before officers arrived. Police later found Crowe and arrested him. Keating died two days later in a San Antonio hospital.

Lamb said the female homeowner implicated Hoy in Keating's beating. Both Hoy and Crowe were charged with murder by the 198th District Attorney's Office. In December 2016,Hoy pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In November 2017, Crowe pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and was sentenced to 15 years.

In the days leading up to the fatal fire, police were called to the home on April 5 and 8. Through the years, police have responded to at least eight significant incidents — three leading to arrests.

The city pushes back against debt claims

During Tuesday's Kerrville City Council meeting, Finance Director Julie Behrens presented a report about the city's debt service — pushing back against what she described as misinformation.

The city's debt burden is a campaign point for those running for a seat on the City Council and those backing or opposing Proposition A — the city's proposed $45 million public safety complex. One group suggested the city would be $100 million in debt if Prop. A general obligation bond is approved by voters May 7. Technically that would be correct, but the issue is more complex than the simplistic representation presented by bond opponents.

Behrens explained that the city carries $65 million in debt, but $43.6 million is for water and sewer infrastructure. The ratepayers pay down that debt. The city's Economic Improvement Corporation owes about $10.6 million — paid through sales taxes. The general debt service paid through existing property taxes is $12.8 million, primarily certificates of obligation to pay for road and drainage projects.

The City Council says yes to parks plan, new body cameras

During Tuesday night's meeting, the Kerrville City Council unanimously approved the following:

  • Accepted an update to the city's park and recreation master plan that prioritizes improvement projects for city parks. The Council heard a presentation last week during a workshop session about the plan and some potential costs associated with upgrades to Singing Wind, Kerrville-Schreiner, Louise Hays, and the Olympic Pool. Parks and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle said the update meets the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requirement.
  • Authorized accepting a grant from Gov. Greg Abbott's office to pay for 41 body cameras — replacing the department's current equipment. The city is responsible for paying for about $80,000 for the equipment, but Abbott's grant covers an additional $230,000. Police Chief Chris McCall said body cameras are an essential part of the department's work.
  • The Council accepted a second bronze statue from the estate of the late L.D. Brinkman — a 22-foot tall piece of a Native American warrior. The statue was cast in 1986 by sculptor Fritz White, who died in 2010. The city has already accepted another piece from the estate.
  • The Council appointed Lucy Pearson as a municipal court judge.

White nationalist set for trial starting Tuesday

The trial of a man, who Kerr County Sheriff's investigators said threatened to inflict a mass shooting on Kerrville's Walmart, will face trial on three felony indictments starting Tuesday.

Coleman Thomas Blevins, 26, described as a white nationalist, was arrested by Kerr County Sheriff's deputies on May 28, 2021, after an FBI tip. Deputies uncovered books espousing "radical" ideologies, flags and firearms. Blevins was already on probation for a previous felony conviction for drug possession.

District Attorney Stephen Harpold, who represents the 198th District, will lead the prosecution. The scope of Blevins' indictments is on firearms possession — a 9mm Sig Sauer, along with a .223 caliber rifle. He also faces one count of making terroristic threats.

Kerr County officials describe Blevins as a subscriber of "radical ideologies," but the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism across the nation, suggested a more deeply-rooted ideology.

"Blevins' views are in many ways representative of recent trends within the white power movement. His Telegram (social media) channel subscribed to the strategy of accelerationism, making several references to an impending bloody breakdown in society," The SCLC wrote in a 2021 article about Blevins' arrest. "You know you want holy war now," he posted on May 13. Accelerationism as a tactic embraces terroristic violence with the goal of sparking a revolutionary race war, and contradicts the wing of the white power movement that seeks political power through electoral politics."

Read more here:

Voter turnout

Trying to read the tea leaves of the 2022 May 7 election, especially when it comes to voter turnout, can be a maddening track to take for those watching the Kerr County races. Unless you're watching the Ingram City Council Race, where the turnout is abysmal, the turnout is just behind the March primary election. That turnout ended up being about 17% of the electorate in Kerr County — not great, but certainly better than in years past. Here's a look at Tuesday's numbers:

This week's featured event at Arcadia Live!

Friday night, 8 p.m.

  • Live music by Grady Spencer and The Work — Arcadia Live!, 8–10 p.m. Information: The details: Hailing from the great city of Fort Worth, Grady Spencer and The Work have released three full-length albums since their conception in 2013. Firmly rooted in Texas soil, they are active in the Fort Worth music scene and boast a tight, professional sound, synergizing familiar Southern country sensibility with modern easy-going rock and roll. Opening for the act is Kerrville's Scott Sean White, who started playing keyboards in bands and engineering at Dallas-area studios while producing tracks for other songwriters in almost every genre, all the while feeling the call in his heart to explore his songwriting at a deeper level. By 2007 he was immersed in the community and culture of Music City, making trips to Nashville once or twice a month and finding a musical home in the lyric-driven, story-driven, real-life-driven art of songwriting.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top