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2011-04-21

Murder & mayhem in Kendall County

By Bethany Heinesh Exclusive to the Courier

In recent weeks, the quiet Hill Country community of Kendall County has been disrupted by gunshots, two probable murders and a seriously wounded victim.

After more than three years without a homicide, the Kendall County Sheriff's Office responded Saturday, March 26, to the reported murder of Ravis Clark, 55. Clark's bullet-riddled body was discovered in his bed in the early morning hours at his residence in the 300 block of Headwaters Ranch East.

Investigators have already arrested a suspect in the shooting death.

Gilbert Atkinson, 43, a Blanco County resident, was booked into the Kendall County Jail for first-degree murder last weekend and is being held on a $1 million bond.

According to reports, Atkinson was a close friend of Clark's and the two have a long and complicated history, which includes heavy drug use.

Atkinson and Clark purportedly got into a verbal altercation about a romantic relationship Clark was having with his friend's wife, which led to violence when Atkinson reportedly shot Clark with the man's own rifle, which was taken from the kitchen.

Atkinson notified police of Clark's death, telling investigators he left his friend in good health the Wednesday before his death and went to check on him when Clark didn't return phone calls.

When several of his statements appeared contradictory, Atkinson was asked to take a polygraph test. He allegedly confessed to the murder right before the test was about to be administered.

A Kendall County Grand Jury is expected to hand down an indictment in the upcoming weeks.

On Saturday, April 2, one week after Clark's death, at approximately 5:40 pm, KCSO deputies were summoned to a residence in the 100 block of Glenn Oaks Drive when a woman called 9-1-1 and reported she had just shot her father.

Deputies discovered that the homeowner, Bradley Kuebel, 72, had been shot in the lower back by his daughter after an argument at the residence.

Beverly Passafuma, 51, was arrested at her home, which she shares with her father, without incident. The Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun she used during the assault was also recovered.

The father and daughter have a long, documented history of violence against each other and investigators speculate the latest incident may have pushed Passafuma over the edge.
After retrieving her gun from her bedroom, she allegedly opened fire on her father.

Kuebel was transported by AirLife to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he remains in critical condition after undergoing several surgeries.

The suspect is currently being held at the Kendall County Law Enforcement Center for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, her bond set at $25,000.

If Kuebel does not survive the shooting, Passafuma's charges will be elevated to first-degree murder.

The following day, Sunday, April 3, at approximately 1:46 pm, KCSO deputies responded to a report of yet another homicide.

After arriving at a residence in the 200 block of Mountain Springs Drive in the Mountain Springs Farms subdivision, emergency personnel discovered homeowner, Robert Morris, 66 dead at the scene. He had been shot multiple times.

Morris' wife declared her son shot her husband without provocation, and then fled the scene in a silver Honda sedan.

The son was identified as Joel Morris, 39, who has since been charged with first-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond at the Kendall County Jail.

Reports indicate Joel entered his parents' house and shot his father several times.

This case also involves a long, documented history of disputes between the suspect and victim.

Apparently, Joel Morris' parents had experienced ongoing problems with their son and, at one point, had even filed a protective order against him.

After disregarding the protective order, Joel Morris spent time in jail.

Responding law enforcement personnel located and stopped the suspect in the 200 block of FM 1376 after observing Morris attempting to get rid of a Glock .40 cal handgun. The weapon was recovered a short distance from where the arrest occurred.

Robert Morris was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Larry James, who has since ordered an autopsy by the Bexar County Medical Examiners Office.

For more information on the three cases, contact Chief Deputy Matt King at the Kendall County Sheriff's Office at 830-249-9721.