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Commissioners add 7 to monument committee; 2 speakers temporarily banned from court

Denton County commissioners on Tuesday appointed seven members to the county advisory committee to discuss the Confederate monument on the Denton Square.  

Only one of the 10 seats on the committee remains open after County Judge Mary Horn appointed local activist Willie Hudspeth and former Denton City Council member Mike Cochran last week. 

Commissioner Ron Marchant appointed Denton resident Paul Meltzer, who is a former City Council candidate, and Carrollton resident Tim Trylovich. Commissioner Hugh Coleman appointed Fred Rogers and Howard Watt, a former municipal court judge and longtime Denton resident. 

Commissioner Andy Eads selected Flower Mound resident Mark Bowlin, whom he described as a University of North Texas graduate and historian. He also chose Denton resident John Baines, whom he called a "civic leader." 

Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell only named one person: Lewisville resident Roni Cade. She said she wasn't ready to name the final candidate. 

Discussion about the direction of the committee among activist and commissioners continued to reach tense moments on Tuesday. Horn ended up temporarily banning two people from speaking during public comment after a brief disturbance. 

Denton resident Jessica Luther became vocally upset when Eads expressed disappointment at the tone of speakers' comments Tuesday. 

Eads felt that commissioners had reached broad-reaching guidelines for the committee that everyone could agree on. While Eads was talking,  Luther shouted back from her seat in the audience.  

Horn ordered her out and said she would be banned from Commissioners Court for six months. Luther was escorted out by Denton County sheriff's deputies. 

Hudspeth brought up the fact that Gerald DeMarsh Sr., an 86-year-old Denton resident, said the N-word in court several weeks ago. Hudspeth asked why DeMarsh wasn't banned for his offensive language. 

"Good point," Horn said before banning DeMarsh for six months as well.

JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.