Affidavit: Girlfriend forged documents hoping to free San Augustine assault, car theft suspect

Affidavit: Girlfriend forged documents hoping to free San Augustine assault, car theft suspect

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A little over two weeks after Baytown Police officers arrested a 28-year-old San Augustine man on outstanding warrants on Oct. 16 in connection to allegations that he assaulted his female cousin before he stole her car and almost ran over her kids, authorities are now looking for his girlfriend.

The San Augustine County Sheriff's Office obtained a felony arrest warrant for Crystal Mae Ballinger, 31, of Channelview, in connection to allegations that she forged documents to prove that Kenneth Grimet, her boyfriend, was with her in the Houston area when he allegedly committed the assault, car theft, and child endangerment charges.

According to Chief Gary Cunningham with the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office, Grimet claimed that he couldn't have committed the crimes he was arrested for because he was in the Houston area with his girlfriend on the date in question, September 9.

The arrest affidavit stated that Ballinger sent a six-page fax to the San Augustine County District Clerk that stated, "The following is the documents that I found to show that Kenneth was in Houston at the time of this incident. He went in for an interview on the 9th of September and also checked into the Super 8 motel with me on the same day around 3 p.m."

The second page was a copy of an e-mail from the Wyndam Customer Experience Team asking for customer feedback in regard to a hotel stay from Sept. 9 to Sept. 10. Although the third page of the fax was blank, the fourth page appeared to be a response from 24 Hour Motor stating that Grimet had interviewed for a job with a manager named Aaron Nail on Sept. 9.

The fax also contained a reservation confirmation number for the hotel, which stated the room was for two adults and no children for a total price of $80.99.

When a SACSO deputy contacted Ballinger, she said that she and Grimet checked into the Super 8 on Federal Road in Channelview at approximately 3 p.m. on Sept. 9, according to the affidavit. In addition, she confirmed that she sent the fax message.

Ballinger also allegedly told the deputy that she stayed in their room at the Super 8 motel while Grimet went to the job interview at 24-Hour Motor.

The deputy then called the Super 8 Motel to double check Ballinger's story. When he asked the receptionist if there was a way to confirm that Grimet was with his girlfriend when they checked in, the hotel employee said she would have someone return his call.

On Oct. 28, the deputy tried to look up the address for 24-Hour Motor in Channelview and was unable to find a business by that name in the town. A Google search revealed that the business located at the address given in Ballinger's fax is 'Track-Ta-Tube."

The owner and manager of the property said he had owned the property for years and had recently possession of the business from his grandson. In addition, the owner of the business said that he didn't have a manager named Aaron Nail and had never heard of anyone by that name.

Later in the conversation, the deputy asked the Channelview business owner if he knew a woman named Crystal Ballinger. The owner said that Ballinger was his grandson's ex-girlfriend and that she was living in the upper portion of the garage when it took over the business on Oct. 3.

According to the affidavit, the owner said Ballinger ran the business portion of the shop before he took over. The owner allegedly told the deputy after he fired Ballinger, he started receiving complaints from credit card holders who said that their card numbers had been stolen and were being misused.

The Channelview business owner said deputies from is county's sheriff's office had come by his shop looking for Ballinger, the affidavit stated.

When the deputy ran Ballinger's driver's license to check for outstanding warrants, he noticed that it listed the same physical address that she gave as the location for the "fabricated business," 24-Hour Motor.

Authorities added a felony forgery charge to Grimet's list of charges. He was already being held in the San Augustine County Jail on four other felony charges - unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault of a family member causing injury, and two counts of endangering a child.

Cunningham said a grand jury indicted Grimet on the charges on Oct. 15. Cunningham said the charges stem from an incident which allegedly occurred on Sept. 9.

On that date SACSO deputies were dispatched out to a residence on County Road 4400 in reference to an assault involving family members. According to witnesses, Grimet was intoxicated when he got into an altercation with his cousin, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said Grimet hit his cousin in the face, neck, and torso. Grimet also allegedly slammed the woman's face into the top of her car and a tree before he jumped into her car and fled the scene. As Grimet left the property, he almost ran over the woman's two children, ages 8 and 10, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said the stolen car was recovered in Baytown.

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