After nearly two months without meeting due to Coronavirus, the Jasper County Grand Jury convened on Thursday and handed down several indictments which included a man accused of running over and killing another man in Kirbyville in 2017, and also a 76-year-old man accused of continuously sexually abusing a child over the course of 3 years. Other defendants are accused of using deadly weapons to assault people, including a ring sizer and a car.
After considering testimony and evidence from District Attorney Anne Pickle, her staff, and others, the Grand Jury indicted the following individuals:
Todd Ross Whitehead, 23, of Kirbyville – May 2017 charge of accident involving death. Whitehead is accused of using a vehicle to run over 21-year-old Jacob Gentry. He died as a result of his injuries a few days later in a Houston hospital.
Kenneth Edward Rhame, Sr., 76, of Buna – March 2017 charge of sexual abuse of a child continuous; victim under 14. Rhame is accused of sexually abusing a child beginning in May of 2014 when the child was 13 years of age and continuing through May of 2017 when the child was 17 years of age.
Ikeal Wade Gardiner, 61, of Buna – April 2019 charge of sexual abuse of a child continuous; victim under 14. Gardiner is accused sexually abusing a child beginning in August of 2017 when the child was 13 years of age and continuing through April of 2019 when the child was 16 years of age.
Johnathan Randall Hanlon, 35, of Buna – January 2020 charge of burglary of a habitation. Hanlon is accused of burglarizing the residence of Robert Seaman.
Tanner Dillon Cole Ebarb, 21, of Lufkin – January 2019 charge of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Ebarb is accused of causing serious injury to Danielle Bonner by striking her in the face with a closed fist.
Anthony Leon Nichols, 25, of Kirbyville – December 2019 charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Nichols is accused of stabbing Jerome Jones with a knife.
Doretha Michelle Fowler, 52, of Jasper – September 2019 and February 2020 charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In September 2019, Fowler is accused of using a deadly weapon, namely a Kia Optima sedan, to accelerate towards Khadijah Hafford. In February 2020, Fowler is accused of cutting the arm of Carl Eugene Grant, Jr. with a knife.
Jake McKinney, 18, of Brookeland – October 2019 charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. McKinney is accused of stabbing John Medlock, Jr. in the side and back with a ring sizer.
Jessica Byrum, 34, of Jasper – February 2018 charge of injury child/elderly/disabled reckless bodily injury. Byrum is accused of forcefully yanking the arm of a 14-year-old child, resulting the dislocation of the child’s shoulder.
Justin David Burch, 32, of Kirbyville – August 2018 charges of fraudulent use/possession of identifying information and credit/debit card abuse, and December 2019 charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Burch is accused of August 2018 crimes of stealing credit card information from Arielle Foster and using the debit card information from Katrina Blanchard. Burch is also accused of a December 2019 crime of stealing a vehicle from the owner, Mark Morgan.
Steven Ross Johnson, 36, of Buna – Two June 2019 charges of driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years of age in the vehicle. Johnson is accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with two children in the vehicle under the age of 15.
The following defendants were indicted on drug crimes:
Carl Edward Johnson, 38, of Brookeland
Crystal Sonnier, 35, of Jasper
Whitney Michelle Woods, 32, of Jasper
Taushaunna Siggers, 40, of Silsbee
Craig Lorenzo Booker, 44, of Kirbyville
Roger Lynn Stratton, 53, of Lumberton
An indictment by the Grand Jury does not mean that a person is guilty of committing a crime. Instead, it simply indicates that Grand Jurors felt that enough evidence existed to merit a trial.