The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

July 13, 2006

Van Zandt deputy indicted by grand jury

Palestine — The Van Zandt County sheriff's investigator accused of shooting and beating his ex-wife last month and also firing shots at law enforcement officials has been indicted by an Anderson County grand jury on a host of felony charges.

James Finch, 38, of Athens was indicted last week on three counts of aggravated sexual assault; two counts of attempted capital murder; aggravated kidnapping; burglary of a habitation;aggravated assault; and endangering a child, according to Stanley Sokolowski, assistant district attorney for Anderson County.

Finch is currently being held at the Anderson County Jail iin lieu of bonds totaling $5.7 million, according to jail records. He is being housed in a single cell, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor, who said the suspect is no longer on "suicide watch," but is being regularly monitored by jailers.

Authorities have said Finch shot, badly beat and sexually assaulted his ex-wife at her mobile home in the 400 block of CR 321, approximately 3 miles south of Frankston off of FM 19, during the wee morning hours of June 24.

Before and during a two-hour standoff with law enforcement officials, authorities say Finch "pistol whipped" his ex-wife; fired a total of 11 shots from a small caliber pistol – one of which struck the woman in the foot; sexually assaulted her; and "slammed her" around her mobile home.

Finch's ex-wife was hospitalized following the incident, but is currently recovering from injuries which include multiple contusions to her head and the gunshot wound to her foot, according to authorities.

Authorities say Finch fired at least two shots in the direction of officers before being shot three times with a 12-gauge shotgun by an Anderson County sheriff's deputy. The suspect spent several days at a Tyler hospital recovering from gunshot wounds to his abdominal area and hands before being arrested and booked into the local jail.

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