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Second suspect sought in stabbing death recorded during 911 call

Thursday, August 28, 2003

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas law officers who arrested a 21-year-old suspect in the stabbing death of a construction worker that was recorded during a 911 call are also seeking a second man in connection with the attack.

Jeromy M. Jolley was held on a murder warrant after his arrest Wednesday in Selden, south of Stephenville, by Erath County sheriff's deputies and a Fort Worth fugitive officer.

Juan Gallegos' cellular phone recorded the Aug. 1 attack and the voices of Gallegos and two other men. Police released a computer-enhanced copy of the tape on Aug. 14 in hopes the suspects' voices would be recognized.

"The publicity and the release of the tape assisted in identifying the suspects," homicide Sgt. J.D. Thornton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Thursday's editions.

A man can be heard on the tape repeatedly accusing Gallegos of "brake-checking" him -- a term for tapping on one's brakes to get a following car to slow down -- and then the sounds of Gallegos being stabbed. Police, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, interviewed several people who identified the voice on the tape as Jolley.

Police traced Gallegos' cell phone calls to determine that he had called 911, apparently after being involved in a minor collision on Loop 820 shortly after 5 a.m. Aug. 1 while en route to a job in Wichita Falls.

The body of Gallegos, 32, was found in the parking lot of a Fort Worth cafeteria. His pickup truck, with fresh damage on the rear section, was found burning three days later about three miles away in a ravine at Haltom City.

Homicide detectives interviewed the suspects' friends and associates, according to the affidavit, with one interviewee telling the law officers that he heard that the suspect was drunk when he caused a rear-end accident, then stabbed Gallegos. That witness told police that he heard that Gallegos was left along the side of the road and that the suspects pushed his truck into a creek bed, the affidavit stated.

An internal investigation was begun by Haltom City police to determine whether a dispatcher responded appropriately when she did not dispatch emergency workers in response to Gallegos' 911 call. A police spokesman, detective Jeff Gray, said the 911 dispatcher received only map coordinates of the phone tower through which the cell phone call was routed.

Gray also said the dispatcher did not realize what she was hearing during the call.

Cell phone records led police investigators to people who police believe stole the phone and other items from Gallegos' truck after finding it abandoned.

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