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3 hurricane evacuees accused of killing woman who helped them
Houston Chronicle ^ | Oct. 30, 2005 | ANNE MARIE KILDAY and MÓNICA GUZMÁN

Posted on 10/30/2005 11:52:43 AM PST by Ninian Dryhope

Three hurricane evacuees were charged with capital murder Saturday in the strangulation of Betty Blair, a 77-year-old church leader, mother of three daughters and the widow of former Pasadena school board President Robert "Bob" Blair.

Jimmy Hoang Le, 18, Stephanie Jacobo, 18, both from the Beaumont area, and Roosevelt Smith Jr., 43, of Louisiana, were charged with murdering Blair during a robbery at her Pasadena home Friday.

An active member of St. Pius V Catholic Church, Blair had been helping the three by paying them to do odd jobs and yard work on her property.

"It appears that those that she tried to help were the ones that murdered her," said Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell. The three lived together in an apartment in the 900 block of Randall in Pasadena, Mitchell said.

They were arrested Friday night at the toll booth at Beltway 8 and Westheimer, driving Blair's tan 2000 Buick, in which some of her belongings were found. Jacobo's 10-month-old son also was in the car, and is now with "appropriate relatives," said Gwen Carter, a spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The car was located through OnStar, an onboard electronic tracking system.

Police said Blair's body was found by the youngest of her three daughters, Melissa Bishop.

Next-door neighbor Lestley Rowell heard "very loud screams" coming from the home. He helped Blair's daughter and called Pasadena police, said his wife, Doris Rowell.

"We are just devastated by this," Rowell said. "My husband is not feeling very well today."

Rowell said her husband had "a bad feeling" earlier in the week when he saw one of the men working in the yard. "He said he was going to talk to Miss Betty about being more careful," Rowell said.

'Very sweet, giving person' The three suspects were the second group of evacuees Blair had helped after Hurricane Katrina, said her neighbor and fellow parishioner Mary Titus.

Since the death of her husband — who served on the Pasadena Independent School District board for 12 years — in the spring, Blair had become "even more involved" in church activities, Titus said.

"Betty was just a very sweet, giving person," Titus said. "She had told me she was just starting to get over Bob's death — he passed away last April, or May. They did a lot of stuff together. She was very active in the church and very active in the community."

Titus, who said she had lived directly across the street from the Blairs for the last 18 years, said they were "wonderful neighbors." Just after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in late August, Blair took three women from New Orleans into her home in the Parkview Estates subdivision, which was named the 2005 "Neighborhood of the Year" in Pasadena.

"They were very nice people — a grandmother, a mother and a daughter — who went to church with Betty every Sunday," Titus said.

"They apparently got back on their feet within a month and moved on."

The pastor of St. Pius V Catholic Church in Pasadena, the Rev. Hubert Kealy, said, "My heart was broken" upon learning of Blair's death.

"Betty Blair was a well-known, prominent member of this parish. She and her husband, Bob, God rest them both, were very active in most everything," Kealy said. The parish of St. Pius V was "the center of their life," Kealy said.

Involved in the aid In addition to serving as chairman of the church's Communion ministers, Blair had been a teacher at St. Pius V and had edited the parish's last two directories.

"She was well-liked and respected by former students and the people she worked with at the present," Kealy said.

Learning of her death, he said, "I was absolutely stunned, I was breathless. The first thing I remember being able to do, when I recovered my emotional breath, was to say a prayer for her eternal peace."

"How someone abuses kindness, or how someone is led astray, we can't second-guess that. All I can do is to do what I know the Lord wants," Kealy said.

Another parish priest, the Rev. Oscar Castro, went immediately to Blair's home to administer last rites, Kealy said.

"Everyone in the parish that I have talked to is just stunned. It's unbelievable," he said.

Blair's daughters are in "shock and disbelief," he said, adding that his own feelings were of "anger and disappointment."

The most difficult thing to do now, Kealy said, "is to remind ourselves that we ask Lord's grace that we find forgiveness. ...

"I am not there yet, in asking for that grace."

Kealy said that Blair was very involved in the parish's Social Services Ministry, which had "really geared up" after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Rita hit East Texas.

That parish office offers a food pantry and small amounts of cash to people who are down on their luck, or who have been through disasters.

After Hurricane Katrina, there were 32 children from the Louisiana area enrolled in St. Pius V's grade school. That number has dropped to 11 children who are likely to remain in the Pasadena area, Kealy said.

The priest said someone had asked him whether the parish office's doors will remain open to those in need.

"Come Monday," he said, "I am sure we will be."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: evacuees; hurricane; katrina; urbanbarbarians
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No good deed will go unpunished.
1 posted on 10/30/2005 11:52:44 AM PST by Ninian Dryhope
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To: Ninian Dryhope
Notwithstanding the FACT that a very large proportion of Katrin evecuees are felons and other assorted categories of nere do wells, many home robberies are perpetrated by workmen who have been in the property doing just this type of job. That is one reason why I call in help only reluctantly and keep a sharp watch both during and for a period after they've been around. Just seems like common sense to me.
2 posted on 10/30/2005 11:59:06 AM PST by TCats
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To: TCats
I was not aware that people from Beaumont, Texas had to Evacuate for Hurricane Katrina.
3 posted on 10/30/2005 12:02:45 PM PST by H. Paul Pressler IV
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Anyone who knows of the man who kidnapped E. Smart and how he had done some work around the Smart house prior to the kidnapping should think about that whenever they do a good deed. Or pick up illegal help from Home Depot.

Unfortunately, caution and common sense must take precedent over charity in this day and age.


4 posted on 10/30/2005 12:06:16 PM PST by synbad600
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To: H. Paul Pressler IV

One was from Louisiana, two from Beaumont. I just assumed all were dislocated by one or the other hurricanes from the tenor of the article.


5 posted on 10/30/2005 12:06:18 PM PST by TCats
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Jimmy Hoang Le, 18, from left, Stephanie Jacobo 18, both from the Beaumont area, and Roosevelt Smith Jr., 43, of Louisiana, have been charged in the death of Betty Blair of Pasadena.

6 posted on 10/30/2005 12:06:29 PM PST by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Absolute scum. No reason to waste air on this trio at all.


7 posted on 10/30/2005 12:07:36 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (The problem with being a 'big tent' Party is that the clowns are seated with the paying customers.)
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To: TCats

I try to use only those contractors I've been referred to by friends and then if they retire I call and ask them who NOT to use . . they usually know who the scumbags in the business are.

I'm in need of a chimney sweep since my regular sweep is in Iraq . . . can't really call him to ask.


8 posted on 10/30/2005 12:07:40 PM PST by WIladyconservative (Save us from future Freepathons - set up a monthly donation!)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Betty Blair, 77, who was found strangled Friday in her home, was the widow of former Pasadena school board president Robert Blair, who died last spring.

9 posted on 10/30/2005 12:07:55 PM PST by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Jacobo is a pretty good looking gal. Too bad she got mixed up with the creeps. Now she will not be able to raise her child. There pictures of the three crooks and the murdered lady at the source.


10 posted on 10/30/2005 12:08:14 PM PST by Ninian Dryhope
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To: Ninian Dryhope
No good deed will go unpunished.

You beat me to it. That's the first thing I thought when I read this.

11 posted on 10/30/2005 12:08:20 PM PST by FormerNavyBrat
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To: H. Paul Pressler IV

That would have been Rita.


12 posted on 10/30/2005 12:08:43 PM PST by Ninian Dryhope
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To: TCats

"No good deed goes unpunished."


13 posted on 10/30/2005 12:10:10 PM PST by StoneGiant (Power without morality is disaster. Morality without power is useless.)
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To: TCats

10-4 on that. I'm a big time DIYer, and that's part of the reason.


14 posted on 10/30/2005 12:10:36 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: Dubya
Jimmy Hoang Le, 18, from left, Stephanie Jacobo 18, both from the Beaumont area, and Roosevelt Smith Jr., 43, of Louisiana, have been charged in the death of Betty Blair of Pasadena.

Try them and then hang 'em high. Where is the leadership in this nation?

15 posted on 10/30/2005 12:10:51 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: hollywood
The car was located through OnStar, an onboard electronic tracking system.
16 posted on 10/30/2005 12:13:13 PM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Ninian Dryhope
Let them touch those things for once.


17 posted on 10/30/2005 12:15:14 PM PST by maggief
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To: Ninian Dryhope
Rowell said her husband had "a bad feeling" earlier in the week when he saw one of the men working in the yard. "He said he was going to talk to Miss Betty about being more careful," Rowell said.

Mr. Rowell will have a tough time with this. Because he is a responsible man who cares about others, he will be haunted by the thought "Why didn't I do what I thought about?" It is too bad. The fact that he was concerned and in our politically correct time did not act on his concerns, will haunt him. I wish I could talk to him, and assure him that this is not his fault.

It is very dangerous to try to help those who have no desire to help themselves. I recall talking to a friend of mine, after he got out of the hospital, from being stabbed in the chest by a homeless man. He had been trying to assist the fellow by giving him small jobs to do.

After he had recovered, I talked to him, and he said: "Bob is such a nice guy, when he is not drinking". In the same year, he had a house that he was proud of, that had been built in the wilderness at great effort, burned to the ground because a vagrant that he allowed to live there became careless.

I gave up on trying to advise him.

18 posted on 10/30/2005 12:16:38 PM PST by marktwain
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To: Ninian Dryhope
Jacobo is a pretty good looking gal. Too bad she got mixed up with the creeps. Now she will not be able to raise her child. There pictures of the three crooks and the murdered lady at the source.

Why do you assume she "got mixed up" with "the creeps", as opposed to being a creep herself, or even the ringleader of the creeps? Just because she's female and not ugly?

19 posted on 10/30/2005 12:17:00 PM PST by SauronOfMordor (I do what the voices in lazamataz's head tell me to)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Absolute scum. No reason to waste air on this trio at all.

Guess which one will get the death penalty.
Guess which one will get a prison sentence.
Guess which one will get off lightly.
20 posted on 10/30/2005 12:17:50 PM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

You won't read about this on any liberal board, that's for sure. No reason to make those poor victims (i.e. the perps) suffer more than they already have.


21 posted on 10/30/2005 12:20:05 PM PST by Wyoming Cowboy
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Three hurricane evacuees were charged with capital murder Saturday in the strangulation of Betty Blair, a 77-year-old church leader, mother of three daughters and the widow of former Pasadena school board President Robert "Bob" Blair.

----Sickening. That poor woman.


22 posted on 10/30/2005 12:20:35 PM PST by WasDougsLamb (Just my opinion.Go easy on me........)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

I'm so glad they are 18.

At least there is a chance of the death penalty.


23 posted on 10/30/2005 12:22:03 PM PST by I still care (America is not the problem - it is the solution..)
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To: gcruse
"Guess which one will get the death penalty.
Guess which one will get a prison sentence.
Guess which one will get off lightly."

Nailed it. That's why I'm opposed to the death penalty.

24 posted on 10/30/2005 12:23:38 PM PST by manwiththehands
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To: synbad600

Keep your eyes on them and don't let anything of value lying around. Use only bonded contractors. You may get the homeless guy or illegal cheaper, but remember that you get what you pay for!


25 posted on 10/30/2005 12:23:47 PM PST by Clemenza (Gentlemen, Behold!)
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To: gcruse

Guess which one will get the death penalty.
Guess which one will get a prison sentence.
Guess which one will get off lightly.

Astute observation. Let's watch and see.


26 posted on 10/30/2005 12:23:49 PM PST by I still care (America is not the problem - it is the solution..)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Bad news for them. Murdering an old woman in the county that sends more people to death row than any other in Texas.


27 posted on 10/30/2005 12:25:08 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (http://www.navyfield.com)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

Several families in my parish took in Katrina evacuees. I said it was dangerous, foolish thing to do and this terrible story just confirms that. If you want to help give money, volunteer in a shelter but don't take strangers into your home.


28 posted on 10/30/2005 12:25:10 PM PST by thathamiltonwoman
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To: gcruse
Guess which one will get the death penalty.
Guess which one will get a prison sentence.
Guess which one will get off lightly.

The woman might get off with a life sentence but neither male suspect has a good chance of escaping death row.

29 posted on 10/30/2005 12:26:07 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (http://www.navyfield.com)
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To: SauronOfMordor; Ninian Dryhope
Ted Bundy was a good looking man, but would you want your daughter dating him? John Dillinger was another murderous thug of fine appearance, with an education to boot.

Besides, to me she looks like a Subic Bay tart, and a thug to boot. "Hitting it" would be the last thing on my mind as far as what I would like to see done to that b-tch.

30 posted on 10/30/2005 12:27:07 PM PST by Clemenza (Gentlemen, Behold!)
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To: maggief

Bump!


31 posted on 10/30/2005 12:43:09 PM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Ninian Dryhope

OMG.

Words fail me.


32 posted on 10/30/2005 12:45:29 PM PST by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve..)
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To: Travis McGee

The car was located through OnStar, an onboard electronic tracking system.


Chock one up for the benefits of "privacy invading technology" ;)


33 posted on 10/30/2005 12:47:31 PM PST by BlueStateDepression
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To: I still care

And if not, they have 60 long years to look forward to with Big bubba...Hope they dont like to sit...


34 posted on 10/30/2005 12:53:04 PM PST by Xenophon450 (In a world of spoonfed emotion, intelligence can save.)
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To: Dubya

They ought to be - all three of them - tied to posts and die by garrote for their complete betrayal of another human being culminating in their robbery of Mrs. Blair's life.

No jail. No warehousing of their worthless carcasses for the next fifty or sixty years. Let them pay for the life they took with their own lives forfeiture.


35 posted on 10/30/2005 1:04:10 PM PST by PresbyRev
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To: SauronOfMordor

She actually looks a lot like Jimmy - look at the eyes and the nose. I bet she's his sister or a relative and Jacobo was a name acquired from a marriage.


36 posted on 10/30/2005 1:08:13 PM PST by livius
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To: PresbyRev

I agree with you.


37 posted on 10/30/2005 1:14:03 PM PST by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Dubya

Harris County (Houston) will not forgive this one.
God rest this poor lady's soul and comfort her family.


38 posted on 10/30/2005 1:20:45 PM PST by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: Ninian Dryhope; texascowgrl
There have been countless stories about the grief caused by hurricane evacuees to the well meaning people who have tried to help them. Many people, myself included, have been housing hurricane evacuees ... but they are friends or relatives.

FEMA has prohibited at least one Sheriff [and probably all the others as well] from doing criminal background checks on the evacuees.

Certainly we all want to help these people; but, please, be very careful not to endanger your own safety in the process.

Draw the line at inviting someone unknown to you [or to someone you trust] into your home. Your first obligation is to your own safety and the safety of your families.

Find another way to help ... through your church, or through the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptists, or some other organized group.

39 posted on 10/30/2005 1:35:06 PM PST by caryatid (Stand still and look until you really see ...)
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To: COEXERJ145
Murdering an old woman in the county that sends more people to death row than any other in Texas.

Is it, perhaps, the county that has more murderers to send to death row, as well?

40 posted on 10/30/2005 1:47:12 PM PST by caryatid (Stand still and look until you really see ...)
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To: livius
... bet she's his sister or a relative and Jacobo was a name acquired from a marriage.

or a different father ...

41 posted on 10/30/2005 1:49:48 PM PST by caryatid (Stand still and look until you really see ...)
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To: caryatid
Is it, perhaps, the county that has more murderers to send to death row, as well?

It is but when the cases go to trial, they also send a huge number to death row. Remember, not all murders are capital crimes.

42 posted on 10/30/2005 1:53:14 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (http://www.navyfield.com)
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To: FormerNavyBrat; Ninian Dryhope
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

-- Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens was an observant man.

43 posted on 10/30/2005 2:02:18 PM PST by magslinger (At the end of the day the only truly educated people are autodidacts.)
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To: Dubya

Thanks for the pics. They confirm what I suspected from the get-go!


44 posted on 10/30/2005 2:06:09 PM PST by Continental Soldier
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To: Dubya

Three bullets, three problems solved.


45 posted on 10/30/2005 2:21:48 PM PST by thoughtomator (Ninety-nine Republican Arlen Specters aren’t worth one Democratic Zell Miller)
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To: Continental Soldier

Your welcome. It takes pure scum to do what they did to that lady.


46 posted on 10/30/2005 2:22:36 PM PST by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: caryatid

Very possible.


47 posted on 10/30/2005 2:35:17 PM PST by livius
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To: BlueStateDepression

No doubt. Ya gotta give the devil his due.


48 posted on 10/30/2005 7:17:15 PM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: SauronOfMordor
"Why do you assume she "got mixed up" with "the creeps", as opposed to being a creep herself, or even the ringleader of the creeps?"

Because 18 year old mothers of infants are not usually ringleaders of 43 year old men, in my experience. Your mileage may vary.
49 posted on 10/30/2005 8:20:24 PM PST by Ninian Dryhope
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To: gcruse

Guess which one will get the death penalty.
The one who did the killing

Guess which one will get a prison sentence.
The one who assisted in the killing.

Guess which one will get off lightly.
The one who just happened to be there when it happened and who will testify against the other two.


50 posted on 10/30/2005 8:22:36 PM PST by Ninian Dryhope
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