Woman cleared in fatal shooting
Lilah Moffett killed her boyfriend with his own gun in October. Mud creates path for electricity to travel from power lines directly to poles. Austin Energy saw about 10,000 customer outages as a result of 50 power pole fires.
A woman will not face charges for the death of her boyfriend in October at a home near Elgin.
A Travis County grand jury last week issued a no bill in the case of Lilah Moffett, 43, who shot and fatally wounded Billy Jack Hysinger, 34, on Oct. 16. Her attorney, Ben Florey, said Friday that his client had acted in defense of herself and her two sons in a violent fight instigated by Hysinger.
“We are very thankful to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office for helping us verify the sequence of events that occurred that day,” Florey said.
Sheriff’s officials released little on the homicide investigation in October, saying only that the shooting was a culmination of disputes between the couple that had occurred for years.
Deputies received reports of the incident about 1:15 p.m. at a home in the 8100 block of Sigrid Drive, about two miles south of U.S. 290 between Manor and Elgin, spokesman Roger Wade has said. Hysinger was pronounced dead from his injuries the next morning at University Medical Center Brackenridge.
Moffett was never arrested or charged in his death.
Her attorney said she was badly beaten and bruised when she walked in to the sheriff’s office shortly after the incident, telling deputies that
By Claudia Grisales
About 25,000 Central Texans were left without power early Friday as a mixture of lingering dust from dry weather and a steady flow of overnight drizzle wreaked havoc for local electric utilities and their customers.
The mud helped trigger power surges and smoldering fires atop dozens of power poles, leading to the outages.
“It was the perfect, unfortunate weather occurrence,” said Austin Energy spokesman Ed Clark. “It was just the right amount of mist and moisture to bring that buildup of dust into a flowing state.”
Austin Energy saw about 10,000 customer outages as a result of 50 power pole fires, the most recorded by the electric provider in more than a decade, Clark said.
The good news, Clark said: Most of the outages were shortlived, lasting an hour or less.
At the peak about 7 a.m., about 7,000 Austin Energy customers were without power, and the utility had as many as 17 crews tackling power pole repairs, Clark said. And Austin wasn’t alone. Bastrop-based Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative saw six pole fires triggering 4,100 outages, said spokesman Will Holford. Bluebonnet’s outages began Thursday afternoon and continued until midday Friday.
Johnson City-based Pedernales Electric Cooperative saw 5,500 outages, said spokeswoman Anne Harvey.
Oncor electric utility, which provides power in Williamson County and northeastern Travis County, said it had 5,000 outages caused by “equipment failure” in the Pflugerville area, according to its website.
That mud on the poles caused problems for the insula- tors, the 6- to 7-inch electrical devices connecting power lines to the top of the wooden poles. Clark said the mud created a path for electricity to travel from the lines directly to the poles, triggering power surges that caused the outages.
Crews were then faced with the painstaking process of replacing the insulators, Clark said, and in some cases rewiring power lines to utility poles.
With 140,000 power poles located over 437 square miles and connecting 2,300 miles of line, keeping them dust-free can be virtually impossible, he said.
For example, trying to manually water down a power pole could send electricity along the water line to the source, Clark said. While there are insulator covers, the cost “would be an expense beyond calculation,” he said.
“The main thing is there is no way to prevent a dust-up on poles,” Clark said. “What you are always hoping for is a good, strong rain and we haven’t gotten one in a good, long time.”