Witness at trial for alleged Lufkin 'door-kick' burglar: Friend' - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Witness at trial for alleged Lufkin 'door-kick' burglar: Friend's house was 'ransacked'

Corey Fleming (Source: KTRE Staff) Corey Fleming (Source: KTRE Staff)
Corey Fleming (Source: Angelina County Jail) Corey Fleming (Source: Angelina County Jail)
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The “door-kick" burglar trial continued Wednesday morning with the testimony of an alleged victim of Corey Fleming, who said the person who burglarized her house took jewelry with an estimated value of $50,000.

Fleming, 44, of Lufkin, was indicted on eight third-degree felony burglary of a habitation charges in January of 2013. At the time of his arrest, he was also charged with a parole warrant for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, and two misdemeanor traffic charges.

Collectively, his bail was set at $1.22 million.

Fleming is being tried in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court.

Nancy Winston Henson appeared on live video to the jury. Henson now lives outside of the county. Henson described the events of Sept. 8, 2012. Henson told jurors she left home around 7 p.m. and came home around 1 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2012.

Henson told the jury that when she came home, everything looked normal until she went into the bedroom.

“The drawers of the dresser were open,” Henson said. “I looked at the closet and things were thrown around.”

Henson said she had a jewelry box and everything was missing, including her Tiffany engagement ring.

“Once we itemized the jewelry and got with insurance, it came out to around $50,000,” Henson said.

Henson said there was no damage to the house, but it looked like the intruder could have reached through the dog door and unlocked the back door. Henson said she went outside with an officer and saw some footprints in the ground near the woods by her house. Henson said they also found a flash light and a bag with some miscellaneous items in it.

Henson said she did not recognize the foot prints of anyone who might have been in her back yard.

Henson then described a 1996 high school class ring from Hudson High School. Prosecuting attorney Art Bauereiss then showed a picture to Henson of the ring and Henson agreed that was the ring. Henson said she got the ring back after she was contacted by the Lufkin Police Department.

Henson told Bauereiss that there was no reason for Fleming to be at her home on Sept. 8.

Henson told defense attorney John Tunnell that it did not appear that anyone made forced entry. Henson also said that the back door was unlocked, and she remembers locking it before she left home.

After a break for lunch, the state's attorneys continued their questioning of Sgt. Scott Abbott with the Lufkin Police Department.

Abbot explained to the jury that pawn shops must notify police about items that are pawned to them. Abbott also said that items recovered from the pawn shop are kept for trial unless the prosecution says it is okay to return to the victim.

Tunnell then asked Abbott about the pattern having a difference in the eight burglaries. Tunnell argued there were some cases were there was no forced entry at all, to which Abbott said he would have to go back and look.

“There was differences, but the pattern was not based solely on one specific factor,” Abbott said.

Abbott then agreed with Tunnell that the police interviewed another person that was a suspect in burglaries at the time.

“[He became a suspect] because his name was put out there because he had committed other burglaries, but there was nothing to tie him to this case,” Abbot said.

Abbott said they did talk to a person that was already in jail who wanted to give information that would help his case.

“There was one on Ellis Street that may have been the closest, but there was a distinctive foot print, and he cut the wires different,” Abbott said.

Abbott also said there were other burglaries they were told about but they did not fit in with the pattern the department had established.

Winifred Adams took the stand next to tell of the burglary that occurred at her home in August of 2012.

Adams said she left her home to go to an awards banquet at Angelina College.

“I had gone home and opened my garage and pulled in,” Adams said. “I noticed that my back door by the patio was open, and I know my son and daughter were outside, so I hollered at my son ‘Someone is in the house, call the police.'”

Adams said there was a forced entry. Adams said the facing of the door was messed up, and you could see the door had been kicked in.

“I went in the house,” Adams said. “I picked up the poker from the fireplace, and I saw the front door open, and it was not like that when I drove up.”

Adams said the bedroom, her daughter's room was messed with, and her backpack was moved. Adams said her jewelry was gone, including her wedding rings and a heart necklace from her husband. Adams also said a tablet given to her was taken.

“My wedding rings alone were two karats worth of diamonds,” Adams said.

Adams said her deceased husband's pocket watch was also missing.

“The next day I tried to use the Internet, and it didn't work,” Adams said. “I went outside and saw the lines were cut.”

Adams said the police called her months later after they tracked down her engraved pocket watch. Adams said she also identified earrings and identified a leaf dipped in gold.


Bauereiss questioned Lufkin police officer Jeremy Charvoz next.

Charvoz said on Nov .6 he did process some of the evidence. Charvoz said he swabbed a Coke can and sent it to the SWIFS, the crime lab in Dallas County.

Charvoz said he was part of the team that brought evidence out of Fleming's house. Charvoz said he recovered numerous coins that belonged in coin collections, miscellaneous jewelry, a class ring, a pocket watch with an inscription of Winferd, a tablet, and several pieces of costume jewelry.

Charvoz said they also did an itemized list of the contents of Fleming's vehicle.  Charvoz said officers were able to remove earrings from the car as well as a watch, pendant and pawn tickets.

The pawn tickets were from a Cash America Pawn in Houston. The items on the tickets were jewelry items that police were looking for in the search warrant. The seller is known as a person other than Fleming.

Dr. George Thannisch took the stand and talked about Nov .2, 2012. Thannisch said he was on his way back home from a vacation with a group of people when he was called and told his home had been burglarized. Thannisch said they were in Tennessee when he got the call, and it took him several days to get home.

“We got home and the back door had been broken,” Thannisch said. “I also noticed that the phone wires had been cut. The house itself was remarkably intact, but we did see the main thing we had seen was my wife's jewelry was missing.”

Thannisch was shown a pair of gloves that were found near the safe in his home and he said he never had seen those gloves before. Thannisch said the police have returned two bracelets that had a combined value of $7,000.

Later, Carolyn Peak took stand to talk about a night in Sept.2012. Peak said she went to church on the night of Sept. 26 and then went home. Peak said the first thing she noticed when she got home was the telephone wires looked to be messed up.

“I saw in the news that this was one of the things [messing up the wires] that they had been doing,” Peak said. “I went in the house, and it didn't look like someone had been there. I called police and when they got there, I told them I don't think anything was missing, but then I noticed something the next day.”

Peak said her daughter was over at the house, and she showed her where the sliding glass door had been pried a little bit.

“I noticed some jewelry had been taken,” Peak said. “A cross necklace and a necklace my husband made out of a graduation rings with a pearl. I had my mother's wedding ring and my husband's wedding ring in a draw string bag. They were gold, so I'm sure they had value but I think they had more sentimental value.”

Peak said they called the police and said they did believe some things were taken.

Peak told Bauereiss that Fleming would not have any reason to have her jewelry unless he took it from her house.

Eddie Hanes was another victim of the alleged break-ins back in October of 2012. Hanes said he was taking his break from work when went home and saw the screen was taken off of one of his windows.

Hanes said he noticed that one of his guns was missing.

“I was frightened,” Hanes said. “My gun was missing; my door was opened. I'm not sure if there was someone in my home. I was scared.”

Hanes told Bauereiss that two rings and a watch were also missing. Bauereiss took out two images on paper that Hanes identified as the rings and the watch. Hanes also said the telephone wires were ripped. Hanes did tell Tunnell that he could not remember the exact time he told police about the stolen items.

Andy Modisette took the stand about the events in August of 2012. Modisette told Bauereiss that he stayed at a friend's house with two of his guns after her house was broken into. Modisette said he called his friend and said it would be best to move to his home after six days of staying there. Modisette said her home had been broken into, and she was scared.

Modisette said he was called by his friend who said she had gone home to get some stuff and she called him saying her house was broken into.

“I got there and we sat in the car,” Modisette said. “She opened the door and could see straight back to the back door and saw it was broken down. She did not go inside. We were not sure if they were still there.”

Modisette looked at a picture of his friends room and said a coke can looked out of place.

“The coke can has no place being there,” Modisette said. “[My friend] was a great housekeeper.”

Modisette said after police got there, they went in the house and started looking around.

“The place was destroyed in her bedroom,” Modisette said. “It had been ransacked.”

Modisette also said he believe a firearm that he gave her for protection was stolen from her bedroom. Modisette said she was frantic and crying the day of the break in.


“I got there and we sat in the car,” Modisette said. “She opened the door and could see straight back to the back door and saw it was broken down. She did not go inside. We were not sure if they were still there.”

Modisette looked at a picture of his friend's room and said a Coke can looked out of place.

“The Coke can has no place being there,” Modisette said. “[My friend] was a great housekeeper.”

Modisette said after police got there, they went in the house and started looking around.

“The place was destroyed in her bedroom,” Modisette said. “It had been ransacked.”
Modisette also said he believes a firearm that he gave her for protection was stolen from her bedroom. Modisette said she was frantic and crying the day of the break in.


Deborah Walsh, a crime scene investigator with the Lufkin Police Department testified about the evidence she was involved with. Walsh said she was involved with the crime scene at the Thannisch's home.

Walsh said in photos shown to the jury that you could see tampering with the phone wires outside of the house. Walsh pointed to a picture of a footprint and said that she made a cast of it. Walsh said they found latent fingerprints on several objects in the house. Walsh said latent prints can be left from a person's sweat.

“We ran then through our identification system, and compared them to prints from victims,” Walsh said.

Walsh told Bauereiss that if a person was wearing a glove and touched something that a finger print would not be found.

Walsh later said that gloves could block the DNA from getting on a surface.?

Copyright 2015 KATE. All rights reserved.

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