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Benny Holmes, the pastor of New Beginnings Church in Baytown, Texas, was apparently napping in his office when he awakened by a disturbance. It turned out to be the sound of Lee Marvin Blue breaking in, apparently because he thought the church would be an easy mark to burglarize. But Blue (if that is his real name,) hadn’t counted on the pastor being armed . . .

According to the story by USA Today, after waking up, Pastor Holmes grabbed his 9mm pistol and contronted the thug, who was “carrying a large box filled with electronics taken from the church.” The Pastor told the burglar to put down the box, but “Blue allegedly made a quick motion.” That’s when the Pastor opened fire, striking Blue in the shoulder.

“Blue has no fixed address and has a record that includes car burglaries and public intoxication, records show,” according to the story in the USA Today.

This isn’t the first time that Pastol Holmes has worked on the side of the (law enforcement) angels.

Local officers knew Benny Holmes because he planned his own sting operation in September to catch a thief who was stealing packages off porches in the area, including his own. He caught Laurie Ferguson, 52, and held her at gunpoint until police arrived to arrest her, and Baytown officers later found at least 30 stolen items stockpiled in the woman’s closet.

“We had several UPS packages that were in front of people’s homes and they were mysteriously disappearing,” Baytown police Detective Luzette Watkins said. “Pastor Holmes happened to have the camcorder set up in front of his house. He actually caught the lady and restrained her until police could arrive.”

Blue was airlifted to a local hospital where he is in stable condition. Once released, he’ll be able to deal with the burglary charge pending against him. You probably won’t be surprised to learn this isn’t the first time Blue has encountered law enforcement in an official capacity – he apparently “has a record that includes car burglaries and public intoxication.” I guess his rap sheet just grew a little longer. Hopefully, he learned a valuable lesson here: don’t mess with a Texas pastor.



DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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  1. Baytown’s a gritty working class suburb n the east side of Houston. Think Camden, NJ, but without the charm. There are lots of honest, hardworking people who live there, but there are a great many others who live there who are, well, other.

    I have in-laws who live there and on the couple of times per year we trek over for a cookout, we take shotguns in addition to our EDC guns. Anything is possible while travelling in and around that town, and we wouldn’t want to be subarmed.

    • Houston reminded me of Flint in all the wrong ways. I know it’s not that bad, but it sure felt like it at the time.

  2. How do examples of human-trash such as this, rate an airlift to the hospital at our expense? The only concessions he should’ve gotten were prayers for his soul as he bled out.

    • Anaxis, that was my only take away from this article as well. Breaking out the chopper for a ride across town? For a criminal suspect wounded during the commission of a felony?? What if a law abiding citizen had a severe car wreck out in the boondocks, while this chump was getting his flight?

      Some enterprising Texas legislator should propose a bill. I’ll bet Gov. Abbott would sign it. When it comes to doling out medical care at a crime scene, the victim should always receive treatment first.

      • Heh, yeah, my roommate isn’t dodging calls from a collections agency trying to get compensation for a hospital who did a CAT scan without consent or anything. It’s not like the current White House put a system into place to award excessive medical expenditures without traditional recompense.

        They put him on a helicopter because they knew exactly who to charge for a helicopter ride. He or his victim could have had a skinned knee, that chopper was on its way to rack up a tab. Maybe someone stubbed a toe. We can’t be too careful, not where tax money is concerned.

        • If you think some one got put on a helicopter because the ems service could bill more for the call you have no idea how pre-hospital medicine is billed. The ems only collects for the supplies used and the distance to the landing zone. I worked out side of Baytown for a few years and my parents still live in the area. From Baytown to the nearest trauma center (Houston) it’s 25 min with no traffic. Baytown ems is an over taxed fire based system. I have no idea why the decision to fly the person was made, but I would bet what little money I have it was not for collection reasons. While I don’t know the circumstances of your friends medical predicament, I do know you know nothing about pre-hospital medicine. If you did, you would know that the unaffordable health care act plays no role in prehospital payment.

        • You’re confusing EMS with first responders. First responders are volunteers who get compensated for supplies and mileage. EMTs are career individuals who get to bill for their time. Those who are helicopter certified demand even higher payouts. When that aircraft left its point of origin, someone had already been billed.

        • Vol EMS can be any level of training. EMR, EMT. etc. I have a Nurse Prac and a PA with a Doctoral degree as Vol EMS on my Vol FD/EMS. We operate as EMR service which in the screwed up world of EMS in Iowa kind words are about all the treatment that can be administered to the patient They haven’t even figured out that t tourniquets work.

          “First Responder” is a stupid ass newage term that means anything other than 1st one there. Most Vol EMS or Fire don’t get reimbursed or paid for diddly squat. Frequently have to pay for their own training and equipment.

          Chopper service doesn’t bill anyone until there is a patient loaded. Can send them home empty even if on your LZ. The price of the damn things is OUTRAGEOUS. (Even a ambulance is though). Like the ride was billed at way over $10000. The deal is driven by the availability of Fed reimb $. If the Feds quit printing fack money there will be no EMS choppers.

          Can’t blame the EMS service for sending him on the chopper for Obamas brother’s little booboo. The bird was there for “OH MY GOD GUNSHOT” call, the “patient” isn’t going to pay ANYONE and the Feds will reimb someone. Eventually. Might as well be the chopper service and the local EMS guys can go back in service and take care of real people that might actually deserve EMS care.

        • With all due respect; as long as there are helicopters around for shuttling wounded people to hospitals, I fail to see how it should be up to their crew to make the determination of who is “worthy” or not.

          With cheap, quick DNA identification becoming available, we may get to a point where ambulance services are rendered only to prepaid “clients.” Which, I guess, is neither here nor there. But until then, the name of the game for responders, have to be to get the wounded to a hospital, and leave it to the legal system to sort out who was at fault later.

    • Well, anaxis, we have a weird concept in this country, sometimes referred to as presumed innocence. We don’t hand out a sentence until after we take you to trial, give you the chance to answer for yourself, and a jury of your peers determines your guilt.

      At the scene of a gunfight, the facts are often different than they initially appear. Until those facts are sorted out in a court of law, we’re going to make every reasonable attempt to treat the injured.

      You can thank the authors of the Bill of Rights for this, in case you’re ever involved in a DGU, you get shot, and the only story the cops hear is the from the thug who shot you.

  3. Would it be ‘victim blaming’ to point out the differences between Reverend Senator Clementa and Pastor Benny?

    • It would be.

      However, since the victim was to blame for making the Charleston shooting possible, that’s A-OK.

      • Since Rev. Sen. Pinckney’s decision caused eight others to not have the option of arming up, I don’t think it’s out of line.

    • I hate that phrase. The example I use (because it’s a situation I could willingly create): if I leave my BMW running, unlocked and unattended, outside a gas station in downtown Detroit at two in the morning, who is actually to blame when it’s not there when I come out of the store?

      • In a lot of states, leaving an unattended vehicle running, even if you lock the doors, will earn you a citation.

      • as a former Detroiter, that is why you slip $5 to the crack head outside the store to watch your ride.

  4. Yea and AMEN! My pastor friend carried a gun for years in Indiana-he crossed the border many times a day to Illinois and finally quit from the hassle. But he may be the toughest 68 year old around(he does boxing videos on You-tube). Praise the LORD and pass the ammunition!

  5. Camden, NJ? In Camden, the Pastor would’ve been arrested for having a gun and GASP! using it in self defense.

    • Do you do a lot of 6AM breakfast meetings, pre-surgery hospital visits at 7AM, and committee meetings that drag on near midnight? Then you would be silly not to take naps in your office. Those are typical duties of pastors.

  6. Why does a shoulder wound require an airlift? There’s a hospital a mile down the road, and half a dozen more within five miles of the church. And if he needed a major trauma center, Houston is only 10-20 miles down the freeway.

    • Hey, maybe he’s indigent/uninsured and the ambulance company can just bill the jail for it.
      After all, it’s only tax dollars.

    • “Why does a shoulder wound require an airlift?”

      Maybe the flightcrew was short a few hours for that month?

  7. “You probably won’t be surprised to learn this isn’t the first time Blue has encountered law enforcement in an official capacity – he apparently “has a record that includes car burglaries and public intoxication.””

    I wasn’t surprised. I read it four paragraphs earlier.

  8. “…he apparently “has a record that includes car burglaries and public intoxication.” I guess his rap sheet just grew a little longer. Hopefully, he learned a valuable lesson…”

    Your ability to put those sentences back-to-back is interesting…

    Learning lessons doesn’t seem to be a thing he does…

    • I didn’t spend eight years at Evil University without learning a thing or two about bathos.

    • According to another article, the pastor prayed with the thug until the ambulance arrived. I think he’s reached the point where only Jesus can save him.

  9. The story of this event should have been affectionately called

    “The Paster Blaster or how NOT to to be victims of Christian Pacifism”.

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