Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

December 27, 2013

Area man arrested on family violence charges

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

CHEROKEE COUNTY — A 23-year-old man arrested in 2007 for allegedly assaulting his sister and again in 2006 for allegedly burning his mother's travel trailer remained in custody Thursday after he was recently arrested on similar charges.

Phillip Wayne Mitchell was taken into custody earlier this month in connection with two counts of second-degree felony aggravated assault-family violence. He  remained in county custody on those charges Thursday in lieu of $150,000 bail, jail records show.

Information about the  disposition of Mitchell's previous two cases was not immediately available Thursday.  Cherokee County Sheriff's Capt. John R. Raffield and Rusk Police Chief Jamie Campbell were unavailable to comment, and their respective offices were closed for the holidays.

Mitchell was arrested for the alleged aggravated assault of his sister in November 2007, JDP records show.

“The suspect and the victim became involved in an altercation, in which he assaulted her and exhibited a knife," a Cherokee County sheriff's deputy told the Jacksonville Dally Progress at the time. "The victim was not seriously injured, but did suffer a small laceration to the forehead. He was arrested at that location."

In February 2008, Mitchell was arrested and charged with arson for allegedly burning down his mother's travel trailer, although no one was harmed in the incident.

That crime occurred just south of Jacksonville on U.S. Highway 69, near the bowling alley in that area, reports show.

“The initial call came through to the fire department at about 4:15 p.m. Deputy (Richard) Gould arrived at the scene, spoke with the parties involved and contacted our arson investigator Jack White,” a sheriff's deputy told the Jacksonville Progress. “The scene was processed for evidence, and we interviewed a witness to the crime who made a statement implicating Mr. Mitchell’s involvement in the fire.”

According to White, the victim’s trailer was being stored on a friend’s property, and the victim was visiting those friends at the time of the crime.

In another case this month, Earnest Eugene Palmer, of Rusk, 61, was arrested for the first-degree aggravated sexual assault of an elderly-disabled person, reports show.

Palmer remained in custody in Cherokee County in lieu of $250,000 bail, jail records show.