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Staring Down the Barrel of a Gun


By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – A Grapeland woman was taken into custody earlier this week for brandishing and pointing a weapon at a Grapeland police officer in mid-April.

Ashley Lanell Hanson-Hadley, 36, was booked into the Houston County Jail on Tuesday, May 9 on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant.

An affidavit of probable cause, filed by Grapeland Police Department Lt. Ronnie Howell, indicated Hanson-Hadley’s arrest stemmed from an incident which occurred on April 13.

According to the affidavit, Grapeland PD Officer Tyler Moore was dispatched to Hanson-Hadley’s residence at 302 Darsey in reference to a welfare check.

“Hanson-Hadley had been texting family and friends earlier in the evening that she was going to harm or possibly kill herself,” the affidavit reported.

Once Moore arrived at the location, the affidavit indicated Hanson-Hadley would not answer the door. Howell was requested at the scene where the law enforcement officers asked for and “… received permission from the property owner to enter the home by force, in order to conduct the welfare check.”

Upon entering the residence, the officers verified Hanson-Hadley’s presence by speaking with her but they were unable to make visual contact.

“She refused to come into the living room so we could see her,” the affidavit stated. “She then told us she had a pistol, was holed up in a back bedroom and refused to come out.”

Following the officers’ determination of Hanson-Hadley’s physical well-being and because of officer safety concerns, along with her irate temperament, the affidavit stated Moore and Howell left the residence.

“We were called back to the scene minutes later via a HCSO (Houston County Sheriff’s Office) dispatch which told us that Hanson-Hadley wanted us to come fix the door we entered by force,” the legal document stated.

“HCSO dispatch told us over the radio, ‘She said you better hurry up and get over there or else you’d better bring the coroner,’” the report stated.

The officers returned to the residence and were met by Hanson-Hadley who “… opened the door and pointed a silver colored pistol at me (Howell). I was in imminent fear for my life and immediately took cover,” according to the affidavit.

The report indicated Howell began negotiating with Hanson-Hadley to put the gun down. While he negotiated with her, the affidavit further stated Hanson-Hadley began to yell/curse at Howell and said he was the reason her Hydrocodone prescription had been discontinued.

She eventually ceased her verbal tirade, lowered the gun and closed the door. Hanson-Hadley was later taken into custody and placed under observation before being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant.

The criminal offense is considered as a first degree felony and according to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Hanson-Hadley remains at the Houston County Jail and is being held on a $30,000 bond.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.