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Houston County Courier - Local News

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DA wraps up murder trial
Houston County Courier

By Donna Kaspar
Houston County

District Attorney A jury trial began on Monday (Aug. 19) and concluded Friday (Aug. 23) in the murder/aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon cases of The State of Texas vs. Roderick Demetrius Creag. Mr. Creag was convicted by the jury of Murder, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Unlawful Possession by a Felon in the 349th Judicial District Court. Evidence was presented that the victims, Jason Fransaw, Kimberly Caldera and her daughter, Kameron Harrison, went to a trail ride party on the evening of Sept. 1, 2012. In the early morning hours of Sept. 2, while they were getting ready to go home, a verbal argument began between Jason Fransaw and the defendant. After the argument ended and before the victims finished packing their belongings, Mr. Creag returned with a shotgun and fired twice in the direction of Jason Fransaw. Mr. Fransaw received minor injuries while Kimberly Caldera was struck with five of the buck shot pellets and later died from her injuries. Mr. Creag made a statement to investigators from the Sheriff's Department where he said that Mr. Fransaw pulled a gun on him first. Other witnesses testified that Mr. Creag's white Cadillac left and returned before the fatal shots that ultimately killed Kimberly Caldera. Based on that evidence, the jury rejected Mr. Creag's self-defense claim. After the jury found the defendant guilty it was responsible for assessing punishment. After carefully considering the facts of the case as well as the evidence of Mr. Creag's criminal history, the jury assessed his punishment at life imprisonment for Murder, life for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and 20 years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. Mr. Creag had two prior felony Deadly Conduct convictions that resulted from an incident at a trail ride party in Grapeland in 1998. There, two young men died from gunshot wounds they received after Mr. Creag got into an argument with another individual and subsequently fired two shots into the air with a handgun. It is unclear whether the two victims were participants in the shootout that ensued or innocent victims. Mr. Creag also had convictions for theft and terroristic threat and his probation had been revoked in the Deadly Conduct cases for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, retaliation and criminal mischief. I hope that this verdict brings some closure to the victim's family. I felt such deep sympathy for Kimberly's mother, Audrey Archie, and her daughter, Kameron Harrison, as they told the defendant during their victim impact statements that they forgive him but could not forget what had happened. They spoke of the hardships that were caused by the event and the fear that they now constantly contend with on a daily basis. This verdict unfortunately can't undo what has been done. I commend the jury for making the hard decision in these cases and assessing the maximum punishment. It is rarely easy to give out a sentence that will affect someone for such a great portion of their life, but in this case it was warranted due to Mr. Creag's past criminal history.

 

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