ROCKDALE, TX — The man in custody and charged with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, in relation to Saturday morning's early shooting in Milam County, was magistrated Sunday morning.
The suspect in the early Saturday morning shooting in Milam County is being held at the Milam County Jail. Israel Ballester went before Justice of the Peace Greg Hoelscher Sunday and had his bond set, the next day after the shooting on County Road 326 in Rockdale.
"On one charge of murder and two charges of assault with a deadly weapon. We read him his rights and gave him a choice whether he wanted a court-appointed lawyer or not," Milam County's Precinct 1, Justice of the Peace, Greg Hoelscher said.
Justice of the peace Greg Hoelscher says Israel Ballester has an attorney, but JP says he can still request one at any time during the process. His bond amount totals $600,000 dollars.
"We set his bond at $400,000 for the murder and $100,000 a piece for each assault with a deadly weapon charge," Hoelscher added.
The Milam County Sheriff's Office responded to the shooting early Saturday, just after 1am, where 3 men were shot, leaving one dead.
"Rockdale PD, they were the first on scene, they were able to get there and assist and attempt life saving measures on one subject, then fire and ems were out there as well, and then a helicopter came out there to transport one," Sheriff of Milam County, Mike Clore said.
Sheriff Clore says there was a dispute over a fence line and tempers started to flare. He believes the disagreement had been going on for a couple of weeks. Prior to the shooting, from Friday night until Saturday morning, Sheriff Clore says, there were two prior disturbance calls, leading up to this third call, which was a shooting.
"The first two were just normal disturbance calls, they were nothing escalated. There was nothing aggressive, just people couldn't get along and it was over a fence and a bull. They let their tempers flare, I guess. I believe there may have been alcohol involved. We saw some signs of some alcohol consumption there, but nothing too major." Sheriff Clore said. "The first two didn't lead anybody to believe this would have happened. It was your typical everyday disturbance of people that didn't get along," Sheriff Clore added.
Of the three male victims, one died at the scene and two were hospitalized. At last check, Sunday evening, one has been released from the hospital and the other, who was in ICU Saturday suffering from a collapsed lung, has since been taken out of ICU and is in stable condition.
According to a Facebook post by Sheriff Clore, Saturday morning, the victim's families have been notified. The post says Dalton Shaw passed away, James Braden Eudy was transported by air and Brandon Fenton Carl by ground, both to separate hospitals. Sheriff Clore went on to reveal "All involved do not appear to be full time residents of Milam County. The sheriff’s office was assisted by Rockdale Police Department, TX Highway Patrol, Rockdale Fire Department, Precinct 4 JP and AMR Medical Response."
The investigation is ongoing.