News

Officers search rural Milam for killer

Walker County convict nabbed in Houston; object of local hunt arrested near Texas 36
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor


Not a familiar sight in Milam County, law officers searching for an escaped killer on horseback. At left, Chief Deputy Chris White (foreground), members of a Texas Department of Corrections mounted team and search dog check out a building off County Road 234 during massive ground and air search Thursday morning. At right (L-R) Sheriff David Greene confers with Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann as White, already in the saddle, looks on. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Not a familiar sight in Milam County, law officers searching for an escaped killer on horseback. At left, Chief Deputy Chris White (foreground), members of a Texas Department of Corrections mounted team and search dog check out a building off County Road 234 during massive ground and air search Thursday morning. At right (L-R) Sheriff David Greene confers with Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann as White, already in the saddle, looks on. Reporter/Mike Brown For most of a night and day last week county and state law enforcement officers thought it was possible a convicted killer was roaming the woods of east central Milam County.

He wasn’t. Trent Archie, 29, of Huntsville, was arrested just after midnight Thursday in Houston.

But there was somebody on the run in the woods around County Roads 234 and 380 about five miles east of Rockdale.

Anthony White, 19, of Houston, was arrested about 7:30 a.m. Friday walking on the side of Texas 36 near the Griffin Chapel community. He was charged only with evading arrest and remains in the county jail in lieu of $2,000 bond.


Trent Archie ( L) was not in Milam County. Anthony White was. Trent Archie ( L) was not in Milam County. Anthony White was. Deputy Sheriff Chris White identified Anthony White as the “suspicious person” whose presence triggered two manhunts overnight Wednesday and again Thursday.

Thinking the suspect might be Archie, who escaped from the Walker County (Huntsville) Jail the previous day, law enforcement agencies responded with mounted patrols, police dogs, a helicopter and dozens of officers.

SUSPICIOUS—The drama began about 9:45 p.m. last Wednesday when the sheriff’s department received a call of a young, black male wearing a white or tan longsleeved shirt and blue jeans walking on CR 234.

“Callers reported the subject had stopped them and asked for a ride,” Chris White said. “He told them he had gotten into some trouble and was trying to get a ride to Austin.”

Deputies responded to the scene and located the subject who fled into a wooded area.

Photos of Archie, who had been convicted of murder in Walker County seven years ago, were shown to witnesses.

“They all agreed the man who ran looked like the subject but were not able to say for sure it was him,” Chris White said. “Obviously, we couldn’t take any chances.”

ESCAPE—Archie was convicted in 2004 of the Huntsville murder of Anthony Williams.

The conviction was reversed by an appellate court but in June of this year a State Court of Appeals threw out the reversal and upheld the original conviction.

In the interim, Archie had been jailed on drug and sex assault charges and was being held in the Walker County Jail.

At 3 a.m. Tuesday, June 29, he overpowered a jailer in a booking area and f led in a gray Toyota convertible.

LaToya Marsha Wr ig ht, 27, of L ivingston, was arrested that day and charged w ith helping A rchie to escape, including providing the getaway car.

Bond was originally set at $1 million but was reduced to $7,500 on Friday.

MA NHUNT—The manhunt began Wednesday night in the area of CR 234, which runs from the Sandy Creek area of US 79 to the Griffin Chapel area of Texas 36.

Sheriff David Greene and deputies were joined by the Texas Rangers, DPS troopers from several counties, Game Warden Charlie Mayer, Constables Herbie Vaughan and John Anderle.

At dawn the DPS launched Air One, a surveillance helicopter.

Deputy White led horseback searches into the densely wooded brushland.

Around 9 a.m. the Texas Department of Criminal Justice brought more horses and tracking dogs to the scene.

About that time a San Antonio television station reported Archie had been arrested in Marlin.

Walker County authorities held a press conference at mid-morning. Chief Deputy Butch Davis debunked the Marlin report and also said he “doubted” the person being sought in Milam County was Archie.

SECOND HUNT—The Milam manhunt was suspended just before noon Thursday.

About an hour later a subject matching the description given the previous day was observed walking through a field off CR 380.

“Deputies and troopers again converged on the area and again the subject fled into the woods,” Chris White said.

A second 10-hour search followed, again without success.

“Several of the DPS troopers remained overnight to stay in the immediate area,” Chris White said.

ARRESTS—Archie was arrested about 1 a.m. Friday near the home of a friend in southwest Houston after a block-anda half foot chase with Harris County authorities.

“We were advised of that arrest just after it occurred,” Chris White said.

Six hours later a 911 caller reported a man wearing a tan long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans was walking down Texas 36 near CR 234.

“ The subject, A nthony White, was detained without incident, taken back to the sheriff’s office and was identified by deputies as the person who had run the previous day,” Chris White said.


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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