The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Bond has been set at $200,000 for a Port Arthur man charged with shooting his girlfriend twice in the head and beating her early New Year’s morning.
Police received a 911 call from an 11-year-old girl reporting a disturbance and assault at about 3:28 a.m. Jan. 1 at Valley View Estates apartments, 5801 Twin City Hwy., Port Arthur Police Sgt. Scott Gaspard said.
When officers arrived they found the victim, 33-year-old Jennifer Grogan Watson, suffering from at least two gunshot wounds to the head. Watson is the child’s mother, he said, and a second child, age eight, was visiting the home at the time of the incident.
“She (victim) was conscious and alert and gave information that her boyfriend had assaulted and shot her,” Gaspard said.
Police found a .22 caliber handgun at the scene that had been broken in half. Police believe when the older model gun quit firing that the suspect then beat the woman with the pistol until it broke.
Police had reason to believe the suspect, identified as Ervis Chapman Jr., 32, of Port Arthur, was headed to Houston after the incident. His vehicle either broke down or ran out of gas on Interstate 10 in Wallisville and with assistance from Texas Department of Public Safety and Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, Chapman was located at a Crawdad’s convenience store on I-10 and FM 565 at about 10:15 a.m., he said.
Investigators applied for and received a warrant for Chapman’s arrest which was served while he was in Chambers County. The warrant was issued by Jefferson County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 8 Tim Gilliam III with bond set at $200,000. The arrest warrant was issued for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon which is a first degree felony.
Chapman made a statement to police and was transferred to Port Arthur Police Department. He is being held in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.
The assault suspect stared straight ahead and made no comments to media outside the police station Tuesday afternoon.
Gaspard lauded the bravery of the victim’s daughter who is currently with her father and was not harmed during the incident.
“She is a brave, brave, brave girl,” he said. “She came in and visited with investigators and seemed strong with a good family background and had a sibling with her.”
At one point during the altercation the child looked out for the mother and tried to assist as well as keeping the other child in the apartment safe.
Police do not know a lot about the relationship between the victim and suspect but believes they had been a couple only a short period of time.
Gaspard could not release details of Chapman’s criminal history but did say the assault suspect has a significant criminal history as well as past violent history.
In 2006 Chapman was indicted for a Jan. 6, 2006 felon in possession of a firearm charge, according to The News archives.