The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 156, No. 52, Ed. 1 Saturday, August 29, 2009 Page: 1 of 12
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JUNIORS STEAL SPOTLIGHT IN ELQIN • SPORTS B2
Wnt JSastrop Sldoertiscr
Texas' Oldest Weekly Newspaper Since March 1, 1853 Semi-Weekly Since Sept. 5, 1977
Volume 156, Number 52
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 2009
WHO'S THE BEST?
The votes are in - check out the
2009 Best of Bastrop.
NEW VA CLINIC
Local veterans can take advantage
of new clinic in La Grange.
- Page A3
Take a look at the progress of
BISD's three big projects.
- Page A8
■ On Aug 24, Sgt. Burnis Bob-
bitt and Officer Sandra Her-
nandez were dispatched to the
1800 block of N, Pecan Street for
a verbal disturbance and received
information en route that a man
involved was outside the residence
and might be walking away from
the scene, the police report said.
The officers saw the man walking
south on the east side of N. Pecan
n a highly intoxicated condition,
the report said. Maurice Grant
Jr., 39, of Bastrop was arrested on
a charge of public intoxication and
transported to the Bastrop County
■ On Aug. 24, at 4:15 p.m., Of-
ficer Kenneth Mack stopped
a vehicle at Hasel and Chestnut
streets. The driver, Christopher
Aldridge, 19, of Bastrop had
an outstanding local warrant for
failure to attend school from the
year 2007, the police report said.
Aldridge was arrested for the war-
rant without incident and trans-
ported to the jail.
■ On Aug. 24, Sgt. Bobbitt saw
a man staggering north in the Wal-
Mart parking lot, the police report
said. Bobbitt determined the man
to be highly intoxicated, the report
said Michael Jerome Brad-
ford, 19, of Bastrop was arrested
on a charge of public intoxication
and transported to the jail,
See BLOTTER, Page A5
AND VERY WARM
14 pages, two sections
© The Bastrop Advertiser
AUSTIN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS
7 65668 78602 3
The cost of justice
axpayers bot big bills for murder trials
BY CYNDI WRIGHT
Taxpayers in Bastrop
County might be shocked
to learn that they picked
up a $56,000 tab for the
recent capital murder
trial of Christopher Mur-
ray, who was found guilty
of murdering a two-year-
old boy left in his care in
In October 2008, the
state decided to not seek
the death penalty in Mur-
The cost of the trial,
which lasted two weeks,
ncluded two court-ap-
pointed attorneys, jury
costs and expert evalua-
tions, according to County
Auditor Lisa Smith.
That doesn't take into
account the amount of
money it cost to house and
feed Murray for nearly
two years while he waited
for his trial to start.
Even that large tab
pales in comparison to
the 1999 capital murder
trial of Rodney Reed,
which had the death pen-
alty on the table. That
trial cost local taxpayers
$307,000, Smith said. A
rough estimate of what
that would equate to to-
day is between $400,000
Each year, the county
budgets a certain amount
of money to be spent de-
fending those charged
with felonies who can-
not afford a lawyer.
That amount in the pro-
posed 2009-10 budget is
District Attorney Bry-
an Goertz said the Murray
trial was not as expensive
as it could have been.
"This was relatively
cheap when you compare
it to a capital murder tri-
al where the state is seek-
ing the death penalty,"
Goertz said. "That would
have started at 10 times
Attorneys who defend
capital murder suspects
have a special certifica-
tion, which is why Mur-
ray's attorneys were
not local, but came from
"In any capital mur-
der case, the stakes are
so much higher," Goertz
See COST, page A5
a job - a
15 years on bench
BY JACQUELINE DAVIS
It's been 15 years in one elected
office, but for County Court at Law
Judge Benton Eskew, it doesn't feel
like it's been nearly that long.
Bastrop County Commissioners
recently acknowledged Eskew for his
15 years of hearing family law and
juvenile cases, class A and B misde-
meanors, certain civil cases and vir-
tually all Child Protective Services
cases - along with other tasks.
"It hasn't seemed that long until
I really sit and think about all the
cases I've handled," Eskew said. "But
I enjoy what I'm doing, so it doesn't
seem like drudgery."
Born and raised in Bastrop, Eskew
gradated from Bastrop High School
n 1980, the valedictorian of his class.
Eskew said he was born here "back
when you could be born in Bastrop, at
the old hospital on Church Street."
He attended Baylor University for
both his undergraduate degree and
for law school, graduating in 1986
and passing the bar exam in the fall
that same year. Eskew practiced law
in Austin for a few years, but won the
election for county court at law judge
in 1994, taking office a few months
early after Robert Raesz left the posi-
See JUDGE, page A3
RUNNING AND GUNNING
Staff photo by Larry Overall
The Bastrop Bears were all smiles late Saturday night after a victorious trip to Kyle. The Bears took on the Hays Rebels and
clinched the game in the first half with big plays by Josiah Monroe and wide receiver Auston Shipley, above.
Birth certs now available
BY CYNDI WRIGHT
Bastrop County commis-
sioners met for a regular meet-
ing for mostly routine business
and a second discussion on the
proposed FY 2009-10 budget
County Clerk Rose Pietsch
asked the commissioners to
approve a request that would
allow her office to be a remote
site for vital records available
n Austin at the Texas Depart-
ment of State Health Services.
"This has been needed for
awhile," she said. "It's a great
benefit for the county."
Under the new program,
people can access vital records
for those born in Texas.
"Anyone can come in and
purchase a birth certificate,"
Previously, people who
wanted birth certificates had
to go through the department
in Austin. Commissioners ap-
See COUNTY, page A5
Freshmen, with help, learn the ropes
BY TERRY HAGERTY
Trepidation can sometimes
overcome students who are attend-
ing high school for the first time as
Also, the infamous jokes and
pranks occasionally pulled by up-
perclassmen on freshmen can add
to the anxiety of a new day.
But several students who start-
ed school this week at Bastrop High
School's 9th Grade Academy - a
campus a block away from the main
high school building - said upper-
classmen have been helpful with
advice and they are enjoying their
"It's very different than when
I was at Bastrop Middle School,"
said Dalton Warren, as he sat in
the 9th Grade Academy cafeteria on
Thursday. "There are so many new
Warren said he wasn't used to
"going back and forth between two
campuses," referring to the trek
to the larger BHS campus a block
away where 10-12th graders are
But advice from a sibling always
"My brother (Dustin) is a senior
and he told me not to be scared to
walk around and explore things and
ask questions," Warren said. "You
definitely do a lot more stuff on your
own here, versus middle school."
"It's a lot more responsibility,"
added Nicki Visser, who was sitting
by Warren. "There's definitely a
lot more homework - I can already
Staff photo by Terry Hagerty
Madeiyn Minton (from left), Holly Raemsch and Jena Azevedo say their freshman
year at Bastrop High School's 9th Grade Academy building is starting out with
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Wright, Cyndi. The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 156, No. 52, Ed. 1 Saturday, August 29, 2009, newspaper, August 29, 2009; Bastrop, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252609/m1/1/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Bastrop Public Library.