YEAR IN REVIEW: Top DeSoto News Stories From 2017

DeSoto 2017 Year In Review
DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan accepts the "Women in American History Award" during the opening ceremony the 117th Daughters of the American Revolution State Convention in Houston

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like it or not 2017 made history. Focus Daily News takes a look back at the events and stories that had a major impact on the Best Southwest Cities of Dallas County. Below readers can explore a variety of high profile DeSoto news stories from 2017.


DeSoto Woman Shoots Husband During Domestic Dispute

Sharon Hennington-Taylor

Publish Date: May 17
DESOTO—The murder rate in DeSoto rises to three as the summer begins. Just days after local law enforcement celebrated the speedy closure of the murder case of 81-year-old T.G. Grady, DeSoto police were called to another horrific scene.

At approximately 6:11 p.m. on April 30, 2017 9-1-1 dispatchers at the Southwest Regional Communications Center (SWRCC) received a chilling call from Sharon Hennington-Taylor.

“I just shot my husband,” she told operators.


Dairl Butler, III

BREAKING NEWS: Police Release Identity Of DeSoto Murder Suspect

Publish Date: January 17
DESOTO—Quick detective work led to the arrest of a person DeSoto detectives believe to be the shooter in a Friday night murder.

Sunday morning, police apprehended 20-year-old Antonio Chandler and charged him with the murder of 18-year-old DeSoto resident Dairl Butler III.



Friends, Family Remember DeSoto Shooting Victim With Candlelight Vigil

DeSoto Shooting Victim
Extended family and friends surround the parents of Dairl Butler III at Les Zeiger Park in DeSoto. Butler was fatally shot in DeSoto Friday during an attempted robbery.

Publish Date: January 20
DESOTO—More than 100 family and friends gathered Thursday night to pay tribute to the life of Dairl Wayne Butler III, despite the chilly weather.

Butler, 18, was fatally shot Friday, in the 1300 block of Essex Drive in DeSoto. Since then, DeSoto police have arrested their chief suspect Antonio Chandler. Now family and friends attempt to lay Butler to rest and gain some sense of normalcy.


Police Investigate DeSoto Driveway Murder

DeSoto Driveway Murder
Home surveillance cameras caught images of a man who appears to be holding a gun.

Publish Date: April 17
DESOTO—Police are investigating the Friday night murder of an 81-year-old DeSoto resident in his own driveway.

According to preliminary reports, at 4:43 am Saturday, April 15, 2017 DeSoto officers were on scene at a shooting in the 400 block of Summertree Lane. The victim identified as T.G. Grady, was later declared dead at the scene.


DeSoto Driveway Murder Suspect Milton Davis III In Custody

milton davis III mugshot

Publish Date: April 24
DESOTO—It took less than a week for DeSoto police to close the most heinous murder case in recent history. Friday, April 14, 81-year-old T.G. Grady was murdered in his vehicle while parked in front of his Southwest DeSoto home.Today, after numerous tips, police took Milton Davis III into custody at a DART train station in Dallas.

Davis was first arrested by Dallas Police and then transported to DeSoto Tri-City Jail. He was processed and is now in custody at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center. At press time he is facing a capital murder charge and a $500,000 bond.


Former DeSoto Mayor Carl Sherman Sr. Announces Bid For Texas House

former desoto mayor carl sherman
Carl Sherman files candidacy paperwork for Texas House of Representatives, House 109.

Publish Date: December 6
DESOTO—Wednesday Carl Sherman Sr. announced his intention to run for the District 109 seat long held by Representative Helen Giddings. This comes on the heels of Giddings’ announcement last week to retire after 26 years in the Texas House of Representatives.

“I am so grateful for the outpouring of support encouraging me to run for House District 109,” said Sherman in a statement. “After much prayer and consultation with God, my family and team of supporters, I am excited to announce my intent to file for the Texas State House of Representatives District 109 – Democratic Primary.”


DeSoto ISD Trustee Pulls Double Duty As Dallas NAACP President

Hooper takes the role of Dallas Chapter of the NAACP with much experience.

Publish Date: January 4
DESOTO—Aubrey Hooper spent the last few hours of 2016 adding a very important job to his resume. He had no doubt as to whether he was up for it – he knew he was.

Hooper was sworn in Saturday afternoon as the newly elected Dallas NAACP President. The DeSoto resident and DeSoto Independent School District Board Member was elected during the chapter’s biennial election in November.


DeSoto ISD Considers Change In School Start Time

DeSoto ISD change in school start time
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, delaying start times for middle and high school students can help fight sleep deprivation since the youngsters naturally have trouble going to bed before 11 p.m.

Publish Date: February 14
DESOTO—In recent weeks, DeSoto ISD administrators began considering a start time change affecting students. This has garnered the attention of many parents throughout the district. During this week’s school board meeting, a public hearing was held to get community input on changing the high school start time from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The recommendation came on the heels of a number of studies from University of Oxford, Hanover Research and the University of Minnesota.


DeSoto ISD Debates Terminating DeSoto Coach Peterman

Todd peterman
DeSoto H.S. Alum and recent Hall of Honor Inductee Ro Parrish speaks with Coach Todd Peterman during the DeSoto Eagles Tailgate Takeover in January 2017 celebrating state championships by varsity track and football teams.

Publish Date: April 26
DESOTO—Speculation continues to grow surrounding the fate of DeSoto H.S. Head Football Coach Todd Peterman. Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting was packed with parents, students and former athletes, many in support of renewing Peterman’s contract.

There are many theories being circulated as to why Peterman’s employment is being debated. One of the most inflammatory, is that the championship winning coach is being pushed out due to race.


DeSoto ISD Breaks Ground On Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy

Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy

Publish Date: July 21
DESOTO—School district and municipal officials gathered Monday to break ground on the newest elementary campus in DeSoto.

DeSoto Independent School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Harris was joined by School Board President Carl Sherman Jr. Including other members of the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees: Karen Daniel, Kathy Goad, Aubrey C. Hooper and Sandre Moncriffe. As well as city officials including Mayor Curtistene Smith McCowan and Mayor Pro Tem Rachel Proctor.


Todd Peterman Remains DeSoto H.S. Football Coach

Publish Date: May 8
DESOTO — Following weeks of unconfirmed reports, DeSoto ISD Trustees renewed the contract of Desoto High School Head Football Coach Todd Peterman. During Monday night’s meeting, school board members went into two separate private executive sessions to discuss teacher contract language and procedures.

After the aforementioned closed sessions, Board President Carl Sherman Jr. reconvened the public portion of the meeting. Without further comment or debate the board announced that all considered personnel contracts had been approved.

Coach Peterman included.