Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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April 3, 2014

Death reopens assault case

Corsicana — The death of 52-year-old Hope Selman Monday at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas has brought new attention to an alleged assault that took place almost exactly five months earlier.

On Monday, Selman was transported from Corsicana to a Dallas hospital, where she died.

Five months ago, on Nov. 3, 2013, Selman was the victim in an alleged assault at a home in the 100 block of North 19th Street, according to Police Chief Randy Bratton.

Although police responded to the 4:30 a.m. call the alleged victim refused to go to the hospital.

“On Nov. 5, her condition worsened and her family took her to Navarro Regional Hospital where she was transferred by air ambulance to Baylor, and admitted and treated there for her injuries for several days,” Bratton said.

Investigator Rex Givens filed a case with the district attorney's office regarding the original complaint. On Dec. 4, Israel Romero, 55, of Corsicana was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, serious bodily injury. He remains in the Navarro County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bond, and there's also an Immigration and Naturalization Services hold on him, according to the sheriff's office. The trial is still pending.

However, with the death of Selman, it's possible he may face more serious charges.

“We're waiting on the autopsy and medical records from Dallas to determine if any additional charges will be brought before the grand jury,” Bratton said. “Of course, it's up to the District Attorney's office to see if any murder charges or any other charges are applicable. It might take several weeks before we get that information.”

Selman and Romero were not related, although they were acquaintances, Bratton said. Apparently, the Nov. 3 gathering was just friends. Police said they woudn't characterize it as a party.

“Several people had been over there socializing,” Bratton said. “He wasn't a relative or a close friend. He had been visiting the house that night with others.”

It's unclear why Selman initially refused treatment.

“It's not uncommon for people to refuse medical treatment as long as they think they're OK,” he said. “She was conscious and talking. Sometimes people don't realize they're hurt as badly as they are.”

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