Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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November 30, 2012

Grand jury declines to indict man in September stabbing death

Mineral Wells man accused of hitting, killing bicyclist indicted on two charges


PALO PINTO – A Palo Pinto County grand jury on Thursday declined to indict a man charged with stabbing a man to death on U.S. Highway 180 East in September.

José Luis Ramos, 40, was released from Palo Pinto County Jail on Thursday after he was “no-billed” by the panel that decides whether to indict and prosecute persons accused or suspected of committing felony offenses.

Ramos was charged with stabbing Damon Desdunes, 27, after he stopped his vehicle in the 4300 block of U.S. Highway 180 East on the afternoon of Sept. 8 after reportedly being pursued by Ramos. Desdunes reportedly exited his vehicle wielding a bat. Following a brief altercation, Ramos reportedly stabbed Desdunes twice – once in the arm and once in the heart. He later died at Palo Pinto General Hospital.

Ramos remained at the scene as medical and law enforcement personnel responded and was taken into custody.

Also on Thursday the grand jury rendered two indictments against a Mineral Wells man charged in the death of a bicyclist who was struck and killed in the early morning hours of July 25.

Thomas Ray Johnson, 27, of Mineral Wells, was arrested a couple of days later after police reportedly found his vehicle at a local repair shop. Johnson was indicted on felony counts of tampering with physical evidence and an accident involving personal death or injury.

Johnson was allegedly the driver of a pickup that struck 60-year-old David Valtier, of Mineral Wells, in the 4300 block of U.S. Highway 180 East around 12:45 a.m. Valtier was riding his bicycle westbound on U.S. 180 on his way home from his second-shift job at Antelope Oil and Tool and Manufacturing at Wolters Industrial Park.

See more on this story and the other indictments returned Thursday in Sunday's Index.

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