You Would Never Suspect Somebody Like That

.jpg photo of Child Sexual Predator
Dennie Howell, 57

TX City Councilman Charged With
Child Sexual Abuse

DAISETTA, Texas  –  A well-known city councilman is locked up inside the Liberty County jail and charged with one count of sex abuse of a child.

“I trusted him.  I trusted the wrong person, obviously,”

Dennie Howell, 57, was indicted and turned himself in to the authorities on Feb. 23.  He is currently being held without bond.

“You would never suspect somebody like that…”

Detectives in the case tell Channel 2, a 14-year-old girl came forward and said Howell molested her.  Police began their investigation several months ago.  Recently three more girls, all under the age of 13, came forward and made similar allegations. Police are continuing to investigate and more charges could come.

“He’s always been friendly with the kids.”

“I trusted him.  I trusted the wrong person, obviously,” said one of the girls’ mother’s.  She spoke exclusively to Channel 2, and her identity is not being released to protect her daughter.

“He had her convinced that nobody would believe her and that she would be the one that would be in trouble.”

The girl’s mother said her daughter is 12, and the alleged abuse was happening for about two years.  Her daughter got the courage to come forward after she heard Howell had been arrested.

The mother told Channel 2 their families had known each other for many years, and they were very close friends.  The alleged abuse was happening at Howell’s Daisetta home.

“It’s shocking,” said Huey Palmer, who has known the Howell family for more than two decades.

Everyone in town knows Howell because of his work with the city, and a lot of people are surprised about the allegations.

“You would never suspect somebody like that,” said Jimmie Dee. “He’s always been friendly with the kids.”

TX Judge Sentences Tim Archuleta To 20 years

.jpg photo of man that ignored Child Abuse
Tim Archuleta

Last member of Archuleta family sentenced
in Child Abuse case

SAN ANTONIO, TX  –  Before he sentenced Tim Archuleta to 20 years in prison in a shocking child abuse and starvation case, District Judge Ron Rangel told him that he “buried his head in the sand” while three children were being starved and abused.

Archuleta, his wife Illiana, and her brother-in-law, Rogelio Archuleta, adopted twin boys and a girl in 2012.

They all pleaded no contest to abuse and starvation charges.  As part of plea deals, Illiana Archuleta was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Rogelio Archuleta was sentenced to 35 years.

On Friday, Rangel sentenced Tim Archuleta on charges of injury to a child serious bodily injury and starvation by omission.

Prior to sentencing, prosecutor Stephanie Boyd said that for the trio, the adoptions were not about caring for the children who had been born addicted, it was about money.

“They got $90,000 tax-free and blew it all on themselves,” Boyd said.
Shannon Brooks of Child Protective Services testified that the family received $90,960 for the time period that the children were in their care.

Archuleta’s attorney James Tocci asked the judge for mercy and probation.

“Should he have done more?  Yeah, OK, I’ll give you that,” he said. “But did he intend to starve those kids out?  No.”

Before sentencing Archuleta, Rangel told him, “There seems to be a lot of indications that you were aware of what was going on.  You were aware of the injuries and for whatever reason you chose to ignore them.”