Arrest made in assault on Alto couple

by By Cristin Parker
Joshua Gasaway Joshua Gasaway

Local law enforcement officials have made an arrest in connection with the beatings of Alto couple, Jean and Judy Williams.

Tuesday, March 4, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested and charged Joshua O’Bryan Gasaway, 32, of Alto, with two charges of injury to the elderly, a first degree felony.

“Evidence was obtained from the investigator in this case, with the assistance of Alto Police Department,” a statement from the sheriff’s office stated. “The investigation of the incident continued throughout the week of Feb. 24.”

On Saturday, Feb. 23, at about 7:30 p.m., the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received a call about the assault that occurred south of Alto, on a county road off FM 1911. Both senior citizens were taken to the hospital with extensive injuries sustained in the incident. Both were treated and have since been released.

Police reports indicate the couple reported they’d heard an alarm on their property go off and went outside to investigate.

“The female subject observed a black male near one of the out build-ing,” a release from the CCSO stated. “This unidentified person struck the female with an object. When she screamed out, her husband came outside and retrieved a firearm and fired in the direction of the sus-pect. The suspect then ran from the property.”

Alto and Wells police departments assisted in the initial investigation.

Cherokee County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Judge Tony Johnson is-sued the arrest warrants and arraigned Gasaway, setting bonds at $250,000 on each charge. Gasaway remains in custody in the Cherokee County Jail as of deadline Tuesday.

“The investigation will continue to gather further evidence in the case,” the statement from the sheriff’s department said.

Gasaway has been booked into the Cherokee County Jail on numerous occasions for various offenses beginning in 2005.

The first degree felony charge carries punishment of five to 99 years or life imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and/or punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Law enforcement officials are also still seeking information in the shooting death of Justin Lee Christian, 26, of Rusk. He was shot while in Jacksonville on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the 600 block of Kickapoo Street.

The shooting took place while Christian was in a vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

Cherokee County CrimeStoppers is offering a reward for any information on this incident.

Call the Jacksonville Police Department, (903) 586-2546 or CrimeStoppers, (903) 586-STOP (7867). Callers may remain anonymous.