The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

March 19, 2014

Former area council member arraigned

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — A former member of the West Tawakoni City Council has pleaded not guilty to causing a hit and run accident in which a Quinlan woman was killed one year ago.

Laura Denise Bailey, also known as Laura Denise Beckett, also pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempting to cover up evidence in connection with the March 2013 crash which killed Jackie Lynn Blaylock.

Bailey, 42, was arraigned on one indictment each of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury/death and tampering/fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair an investigation, during a hearing in the 354th District Court. Judge Richard A. Beacom accepted the pleas and scheduled a tentative trial date for June 30.

The indictments were returned by the Hunt County grand jury in January, at which time Bailey was still a member of the West Tawakoni City Council.

The indictments allege Bailey was driving at the time of the accident on March 17, 2013, then drove away from the scene without leaving identification or offering aid to Blaylock, “when it was then apparent that Jackie Lynn Blaylock was in need of medical treatment.”

Bailey was also alleged on March 18, 2013 to have “intentionally and or knowingly altered, destroyed or concealed evidence of a crime: namely a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban, with intent to impair its availability as evidence in the investigation.”

A West Tawakoni Police Department officer found Blayock’s body on the morning of March 17, 2013, on the shoulder of East State Highway 276 near the intersection of Shore Line Drive. Blaylock, a mother of two children, appeared to have been struck by a motor vehicle. Evidence recovered at the scene resulted in a possible description of the vehicle as a 2000-2003 Chevrolet pickup,  damaged headlight on the right side and a one-foot piece of trim missing from under the headlight.