Fannin County grand jury this week indicted Thomas Taunton 54, of Leonard on a charge of murder. The indictment is a formal charge and not an indication of guilt. Taunton was already awaiting trial on a charge of capital murder.
All of the charges pertain to the deaths of Taunton’s step-father, mother and sister, Harold Harpst, Sue Harpst, and Regina Taunton in January 2012. The remains of the Harpsts and Ms. Taunton were found by a Fannin County deputy in a wooded area about two miles southwest of Sherman’s wastewater treatment plant on State Highway 11. The discovery came several days after deputies went to the Harpst’s home and discovered what authorities called “signs of foul play.”
Authorities put out a warrant for Thomas Taunton and he was eventually arrested in Louisiana and returned to Texas to stand trial for the deaths. District Judge Laurine Blake recently set Taunton’s trial date for August 2014.
The grand jury also indicted the following people.
indicted Jeramie Dean Baker, 31, of Ector — injury to a child bodily injury;
Ray R. Ball, 51, of Whitewright — intoxicated assault with a motor vehicle serious bodily injury;
Teisha Ann Brewer, 31, of Bonham — possession of a controlled substance;
Deborah Gaye Cook, 57, of Sherman — driving while intoxicated 3rd or more;
Eric James Davis, 23, of Telephone — two counts of assault of a public servant;
Samatha Ruth Davis, 28, of Anna — possession of a controlled substance in a drug free zone;
Darren Patrick Doyle, 37, of Anna — driving while intoxicated 3rd or more;
John Karl Duncan, 54, of Bonham — four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child sexual contact;
Rebecca Le Freeman, 59, of Bonham — burglary of a habitation;
Justin Ray Horton, 30, of Bells — burglary of a habitation;
Bennie Bernard Johnson, 37, of Bonham — two counts of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance;
Shaun Crawford Pemberton, 56, of Leonard — forgery financial instrument;
Kristie Denise Phifer, 31, of Ladonia — manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance;
Jerry David Roberts, 58, of Plano — theft of property;
Jason Lee Robinson, 36, of Dodd City — credit card abuse;
Charles Ray Stauts, 48, of Telephone — theft of property;
Leonada Semaj Wilburn, 38, of Ladonia — manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.