Weatherford Democrat

June 11, 2013

Blotter: County man charged with abusing girl


Weatherford Democrat

By CHRISTIN COYNE

A Parker County man was arrested last week on accusations he repeatedly sexually assaulted a young girl he was supposed to be watching for the girl’s mother. 

James Burt Opitz, 41, is being held on a charge of continous sexual abuse of a child under 14 years old, a first degree felony.

The child’s mother told deputies that she found a nude picture of her elementary-school-age daughter on an electronic gaming device. 

When the girl was taken to a therapist, she reported being repeatedly sexually assaulted by Opitz over a period of months, according to a probable cause affidavit. 

The girl’s mother reported to deputies that the man had sexually abused her, as well, when they were children.

Opitz remained in the Parker County Jail Monday with bond set at $100,000. 

 

Exchange theft suspects arrested

A man and woman suspected of returning empty video game packaging to Target in exchange for cash were arrested Friday and charged with theft. 

Julie Ann Vanwinkle, 38, and Matthew Brewer Lewis, 31, face misdemeanor charges for theft after a store employee called police around 10:30 a.m. and reported that he had detained Vanwinkle after she returned an empty Xbox electronic game package purchased at an earlier date for a refund of $65. 

According to Weatherford police, Lewis was reported to be waiting outside for Vanwinkle and was charged as an accomplice, as well.

The store was the victim of two similar thefts earlier that week, according to police.  

Later that morning, an employee reported to police that a known man and woman purchased Xbox games on May 21 and returned one of the games on June 1 and another on June 3 for a total of $119. However, no arrests were made regarding those reports of theft. 

 

Firefighters limit fire damage to home 

A house in the 2700 block of Annetta Centerpoint Road in Annetta North sustained significant smoke and water damage Monday after a fire spread from the kitchen to the attic.  

Firefighters were able to limit fire’s damage to the three-bedroom house and save some of the family’s property and personal items, ESD No. 3 Chief Pat English said.

Firefighters, responding from departments in Hudson Oaks, Weatherford, Aledo and Willow Park, faced difficulty accessing the fire, which had spread to the attic by the time they arrived, according to English. They ended up unscrewing a portion of the metal roof and pulling it back to extinguish the fire. 

Hannah Egger said both she and her husband and the four children living in the house were not at home at the time of the fire. 

She was told the fire likely started as an electrical issue in the kitchen, Egger said. However, Assistant Fire Marshal Lanny Padgett declined to comment on the suspected cause of the fire. 

The Red Cross also responded to the scene to assist.