Two arrested, charged in death of Abilene police officer


http://www.reporternews.com/news/local-news/crime/two-arrested-charged-in-death-of-abilene-police-officer_88726652

Two people were arrested Thursday and charged with murder in connection with the death of an Abilene police officer in his Clyde home.

“It’s with bittersweet emotion that I announce that we have made two arrests in connection with the homicide of Officer Don Allen,” Police Chief Stan Standridge said during a news conference Thursday evening.

Phillip Walter, 29, and his wife, Violetta Walter, 30, were charged with first-degree murder.

Police took them into custody shortly after 6 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 1000 block of South Clack Street.

Bail for each was set at $500,000.

Standridge said Texas Ranger Shane Morrow, along with the district attorney, will file the most applicable charge, as they continue to learn more information.

FUNERAL FOR DON ALLEN

The funeral service for Abilene police officer Don Allen will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Beltway Park Church, 4009 Beltway South.

Burial will follow in Clyde Cemetery. The city of Clyde is donating the plot to the Allen family, according to Keith Selman, city administrator for Clyde.

Residents in both cities are invited to line the route of the procession, which will travel east on FM 707 from Beltway Park Church to FM 1750, then north on FM 1750 to East South 11th Street. It then will proceed east on East South 11th to FM 18 and then east on FM 18 to Clyde.

In Clyde, the procession will turn south on Hunt Street and proceed to the cemetery.

Officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office will direct traffic within Abilene city limits. The Clyde Police Department will take over in Clyde.

COVERAGE: http://reporternews.com/DonAllen

He also said the trial is likely to be held in Callahan County, which is where the homicide occurred.

The chief said he could not discuss specifics of the case but said that property allegedly taken from Allen’s home was linked to the Walters.

Police also have other physical evidence linking the Walters to the scene, he said.

“While I cannot discuss the specifics, we are confident that we have taken the correct people into custody,” he said. “We do not believe there are any other suspects.”

He added that the investigation is continuing.

“I was with the family of Don Allen when they (the suspects) were taken into custody, and it was with honor and relief that I was able to notify them today at Beltway during visitation,” he said. “It was emotional for them. It was emotional for me and our police chaplain.”

Standridge praised and thanked all law enforcement personnel involved in the case.

“I hope none of them have worked more than 72 hours straight — that’s a concern for me,” he said of his officers’ work. “Toughest thing is to send an officer home.”

The chief also thanked the media, city officials and the community for its support of the investigation.

Standridge’s news conference came about five hours after a press briefing in which Sgt. Lynn Beard gave descriptions of two people of interest in the case.

“These two people were seen exiting a late ’90s maroon, four-door passenger car,” Beard said.

Beard also said that misinformation being disseminated via social media did “nothing but add more grief.”

The false information, he said, included stories about “anti-police rhetoric” and “torture,” which had the potential to cause police to chase down the wrong leads.

Allen’s funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Beltway Park Church. He will be buried in the Clyde Cemetery.

A GoFundMe account set up to help offset funeral and other expenses for Allen’s family has reached its $10,000 goal. First Financial Bank also has set up an account, No. 01110148721, in Allen’s memory.

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