Three of 4 suspects indicted in vandalism, attempted arson at Lufkin washateria

Adan Cordero (Source: Lufkin Police Department and Angelina County Jail)
Adan Cordero (Source: Lufkin Police Department and Angelina County Jail)
Luis Ramirez (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Luis Ramirez (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Francisco Cordero (Angelina County Jail)
Francisco Cordero (Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County grand jury handed down felony indictments for three of the four suspects who allegedly broke into the R&R Washateria on Jan. 12 and tried to set it on fire.

The Angelina County District Attorney's Office released the list of 46 grand jury indictments on Wednesday.

Adam Cordero, 17, of Lufkin, was indicted on felony charges of arson and graffiti. He is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on unrelated charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and attempted escape. Collectively, his bail has been set at $175,000, including the $25,000 bail for the two charges related to the R&R Washateria incident.

On Jan. 24,  Adan Cordero allegedly tried to escape from the Lufkin Juvenile Detention Facility located at 705  Ellen Trout Drive by assaulting a detention officer and threatening him by holding a pencil near the man's throat. Adan Cordero had turned 17 just days before his attempted escape.

However, Adan Cordero's escape was short-lived. He was stopped at the facility's back door and taken back into custody.

Adan Cordero was still a juvenile when he and the other three suspects broke into the R&Washateria and tried to set it on fire. At the time of Adan Cordero's alleged escape attempt, Angelina County authorities would not confirm that he was one of the four suspects in the R&R Washateria incident.

"The juvenile court waived its jurisdiction over Cordero based on the nature of the offense, his level of sophistication, and his age at the time he committed the offense," said Angelina County District Attorney Art Bauereiss. "It is called waiver of jurisdiction and discretionary transfer hearing. "

Bauereiss cited Section 54.02 of the Texas Family Code.

Francisco Cordero, 19, of Lufkin, was indicted for arson in connection to the R&R Washateria incident. He was released after he posted $20,000 bail.

Luis Alberto Ramirez, 17, of Lufkin, was indicted for arson and an unrelated burglary of a habitation charge. He has been released from jail after he posted a collective bail of $27,500.

According to an arrest affidavit, the alleged burglary of a building Ramirez was indicted for occurred at the Kwick Korner Shell convenience store located at 203 S. Timberland. LPD investigators obtained a surveillance video from the store that showed two men running up to the store from the south parking lot. One of the men broke the glass in the door, and the two men entered the store. They allegedly began to steal Kool, Newport, and Camel cigarettes and fled the scene.

The affidavit stated that while the detective was interviewing Ramirez about the attempted arson at the R&R Washateria when he admitted to being a lookout for the two suspects who burglarized the Kwick Korner Shell store. The two male subjects turned out to be juveniles.

When the LPD detective located one of the juvenile suspects, the young man admitted to breaking the glass in the door and stealing the cigarettes along with the other juvenile, the affidavit stated. The young man confirmed that Ramirez had acted as their lookout, and the detective allegedly found him with a backpack that contained "numerous packs of unopened Kool, Newport, and Camel cigarettes.

In regard to the Jan. 12 incident at the R&R Washateria at 1318 Paul Ave., surveillance video footage shows four men, including a man in a white long-sleeved shirt that appears to be Adan Cordero, inside the R&R Washateria, located at 1318 Paul Ave. on Jan. 12. It shows them trying to break into a vending machine, slamming laundry machine doors, and attempting to start fires. One of them later tries to kick out a window but is unsuccessful after several attempts. He then tries to break it with a chair but is still unsuccessful. Finally, someone managed to break it from the outside.

At one point, the individual that looks like Adan Cordero sees the surveillance camera and squirts lighter fluid on it. A different clip shows the man that looks like Adan Cordero and another of the men trying to start a fire. First, they spray lighter fluid by a door and throw a match on it. But the fire only burns the fluid and goes out on the concrete floor. They then try to light a match and drop it on the ground and spray fluid on it. However, the fluid only extinguishes the match.

The men finally manage to start a fire in the corner of one room and leave. About an hour later, a firefighter in the area sees the smoke and goes in and extinguishes it before it can spread.

After the Lufkin Police Department released the surveillance video, numerous people called in Crime Stoppers tips. All four suspects - two adults and two juveniles - were identified and taken into custody.

Also among those indicted by the Angelina County grand jury was Kevin Jefferson, 19, of Lufkin, who was indicted on three aggravated sexual assault of a child charges. According to an arrest affidavit, Jefferson allegedly sexually assaulted two young girls, who were 10 and 12, on three separate occasions back in August 2012.

Austin Wayne Rowland, 22, of Lufkin, was indicted for sexual assault. He was arrested in December 2012 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at his residence in 1600 block of Slack Street in July of that year.

Another of those indicted was Katherine Butler, 38, of Wells. Butler was indicted for driving while intoxicated with a child under the age of 15 in the car. She was arrested for DWI with a child after witnesses spotted her driving north in a southbound lane of traffic on U.S. Highway 69 North in February.

When a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulled her over, Butler allegedly failed a field sobriety test. She also reportedly admitted to taking prescription drugs as well.

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