CHEROKEE COUNTY —
A Winnie man accused of stabbing a resident of the ShadyBrook subdivision near Lake Palestine was captured under a pile of blankets Friday morning following a 24-hour pursuit that involved a tracking dog from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
During the pursuit, Shawn Anthony Reep — whose driver's license indicates he will be 31 next month — abandoned his vehicle and ran away into the woods, reports show.
Reep is alleged to have stabbed victim Joseph Lee Johnson in the abdomen on Thursday. Immediately afterward, Reep received a severe head wound when a neighbor of Johnson's hit him with a “display sword,” the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department reported.
Johnson was taken by helicopter ambulance to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler where he underwent emergency surgery for his stab wound. As of Thursday night, the victim was said to be recovering in ICU and in stable condition.
The extent of Reep's injuries, meanwhile, remains unknown. Reep offered no resistance when he was captured in the ShadyBrook area around 10:30 a.m. He was found hiding under a pile of blankets on a bed in a small travel trailer in that area.
This case has parallels with that of suspected Jacksonville convenience store bandit Kendall Deshun Lucas.
Lucas dodged authorities, tracking dogs, and a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter for a full 24 hours earlier this week before disappearing into the woods after a Loop 456 and Highway 79-area foot chase.
Jacksonville Police captured Lucas at an apartment early Thursday.
The Cherokee County stabbing took place before 1:30 p.m. Thursday, reports show. Reep and two friends ventured to a residence in the 600 block of Elizabeth Drive in the ShadyBrook subdivision near Lake Palestine, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Capt. John R Raffield said in a release.
The nature of Reep's dispute with Johnson was not immediately disclosed by authorities Friday.
But by the time victim Joseph Lee Johnson pulled into his driveway, Reep and the two men were there waiting for him, according to reports.
Reep approached Johnson as he was exiting the vehicle. The two exchanged words, and Reep is alleged to have stabbed Johnson at least once in the abdomen, Raffield said.
Johnson was then taken by someone to the nearby house of a neighbor for help. The neighbor called for sheriff's deputies and Emergency Medical Service.
Reep reportedly then forced his way into the neighbor's home and threatened him with the same knife with which he had harmed Johnson, prompting the neighbor to grab the aforementioned "display sword" and strike Reep on the head with it.
The suspect, now bleeding profusely from the head, chased the neighbor from his home and down the street, but could not manage to catch him.
By the time law enforcement arrived in the area, Reep and his two cohorts had fled from the residence in the suspect's car, reports show.
The suspect abandoned his car three-quarters of a mile away and fled into the woods. The other two men remained near the vehicle and were questioned by authorities at the scene.
Reep, meanwhile, currently has a parole warrant for his arrest, and additional charges are pending, according to the sheriff's department.
In addition to the stabbing, Reep was sought by warrant on a probation violation charge, stemming from a previous conviction for second-degree manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance in Rusk's 2nd District Court.
Reep initially was sentenced to deferred adjudication and ten years probation on that charge, to which he pleaded guilty.
But in March 2004 he violated that probation and was remanded to prison until August 2010. He was then paroled until Jan. 16, 2013, court records show.
Reep has had several other convictions. These include charges criminal trespass in Rusk County Court, a Class A misdemeanor for which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to deferred adjudication and six months probation in August 2000.
There is also a six months probated sentence he received in Rusk County County in August 2000 on a Class A misdemeanor trespassing charge, court records show.
Additionally, Reep pleaded guilty to Driving While Intoxicated in December 2000 and to Assault Causing Bodily Injury-Family Violence in March 2011.
On the March 2011 charge, Reep pleaded guilty in Smith County's County Court At Law 3 to a Class A misdemeanor charge of Assault Causing Bodily Injury and was sentenced to 300 days — nearly a year — in jail.
But he was out by January, which is when he pleaded guilty in Rusk County court to Class A misdemeanor Deadly Conduct and was sentenced to two months in jail.