Crockett Man Detained on Assault, Drug Charges

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A Crockett man was taken into custody and charged with two counts of assault, one count of drug possession and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia after officers with the Crockett Police Department were dispatched to the scene of a possible physical altercation on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Derick Deshun Starling, 28, was arrested after he fled to a relative’s residence and was charged with assaulting a family or member of a household by impeding breath or circulation; assault causing bodily injury to a family member or member of a household; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, CPD Sgt. Alfredo Fajardo, Officer Jeffery Dean and Officer Shane Sandifer responded to a residence located at 137 Lewis Circle, shortly after 2 a.m., on Tuesday in reference to a possible assault.

Once they arrived at the location, Fajardo went to 137 Lewis Circle while Dean and Fajardo went to 143 Lewis Circle “… after being advised by a female resident of a subject identified as ‘Derick.’ The female subject stated ‘Derick’ was inside of the residence and was directing Officer Sandifer and myself (Dean) inside to possibly remove ‘Derick’ from the residence,” the affidavit reported.

As Dean and Sandifer approached the 143 apartment, the probable cause document stated Dean could “… hear what sounded like two male subjects verbally arguing inside of apartment 143.”

The affidavit indicated as Dean neared the front door of the apartment, he heard the arguing stop and what sounded like someone exiting the apartment from the back door.

“Officer Sandifer yelled at a subject and advised, via radio of a foot pursuit from Lewis Circle towards Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. The subject running away from 143 was later identified as Derick Starling,” the report stated.

While other law enforcement officers tried to locate Starling, Dean spoke with the victim of the assault who stated “… she was drug by Starling from the opposite side of the complex to her residence at 137. (The victim) stated Starling placed both of his hands around her neck during the physical altercation and while doing so, (the victim) told me this action caused her breathing to be impaired. (The victim) told me multiple times that during the physical altercation with Starling, she felt he was going to kill her.”

Dean observed several abrasions, scratches and bruise marks on her back, neck and arms as well petechial hemorrhaging – burst blood vessels – in her eyes.

While he was at the victim’s residence, Dean also spoke with a juvenile relative who confirmed the victim’s story. Dean also asked the victim if she might know where Starling had run to and she replied, according to the affidavit, Starling could possibly be at a relative’s residence in the nearby vicinity.

Once Jackson had been evaluated by EMS personnel, the officers traveled to the relative’s address provided by the victim.

“At approximately 2:59 a.m., officers made contact with Starling’s (relative) at said residence and determined Starling was inside the residence. Contact was made with Starling, and shortly thereafter, Starling was taken into custody without incident,” the affidavit stated.

After Starling had been placed in handcuffs, officers questioned him about any illegal items in his possession. Starling admitted he had a “… pipe, later determined to be a device used to smoke methamphetamine, inside of his pocket. The pipe contained a crystal-like substance suspected to be trace amounts of methamphetamine.”

Starling was transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on charges of: assaulting a family or member of a household by impeding breath or circulation; assault causing bodily injury to a family member or member of a household; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The impeding breath assault charge and possession of a controlled substance charge are both third degree felonies.

According to Section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 10 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Starling is being held at the Houston County Jail on bonds totaling $32,800.

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