State Trooper killed by armed parole violator released by Cherokee County, Texas.
TEXAS PENAL CODE § 39.02 ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY.
(a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s
office or employment; or
(2) misuses government property, services, personnel,
or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has
come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of
the public servant’s office or employment.
Rusk, Texas: North East Texas mourns the loss of decorated DPS trooper James Scott Burns, shot and killed the night of April 29, 2008 by ex-Kilgore, TX police officer Brandon Wayne Robertson during a high speed chase through Marion County, Texas. Robertson was under MANDATORY SUPERVISED PAROLE in Smith County, Texas. Nonetheless, Cherokee County Texas had Brandon Robertson in their custody 3 weeks prior on April 7, 2008, but chose to ‘cash out’ for bond on the parolee’s TWO charges of felony possession of narcotics and felony possession of a gun, instead of following the letter of law and notifying the offender’s Parole Officers in Smith County. Brandon Robertson had the same legal rights and lack thereof as a prisoner sitting in TDCJ despite his early parole. And on the outside, he certainly didn’t have a Travel Permit that allowed him to SPEED through Cherokee and Marion Counties and back again each week.
Brandon Robertson was bonded out at $7500 each for both felony citations in Cherokee County Texas on April 7, 2008. Somebody at the courthouse told the Bondsman/woman that this was perfectly legal. And of course the Bondsman/woman, the Justice of the Peace, 2nd Judicial District Judge and arraigning Municipal Judge are all daughter, uncle, brother and father in Rusk, Texas. One would think these people had been sued enough not to listen to the legal advice of the district attorney’s office.
The dirty little secret is: Category I Parolees, such as Robertson, during traffic stops and arrests are not entitled to Bail until the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole reviews the charges via the revocation process. They pretty much have to grab their ankles and spread their butt cheeks during routine traffic stops. Parolees have no “rights to bond” per se, or rights of Due Process when it comes to physical searches. A process not implemented in Cherokee County Texas even though Brandon Robertson was traveling county to county (in violation of his parole) dealing crystal meth to every Small Town Tom, Dick and Harry and Naked Trucker. And Cherokee County decided to set and keep $15000 worth of bond instead of notifying Brandon Robertson’s Parole Officers of his incarceration. In turn, the Parole Officers would have 5 days to review the charges against Robertson, while Robertson sat in jail waiting for a TDCJ hearing. Quite simply, Cherokee County Texas had no legal jurisdiction to set bail for the release of the armed convict after the DPS cited him.
East Texas Trooper, James Burns slain by released parole violator
Brandon Wayne Robertson, age 37, had been on parole for multiple felony drug and theft convictions, as well as unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon in Gregg County, TX. Doing the world a favor, Robertson committed suicide Thursday May 1. The dirtbag piece of human debris killed himself after an extensive statewide manhunt immediately after his cold blooded murder of Trooper James Burns. The trooper’s slaying was witnessed by travelers trying to assist the fallen lawman; a description of Robertson’s vehicle was broadcasted throughout the region as authorities closed in on Robertson’s whereabouts. Huddled up somewhere near his crystal meth lab in the woods of Cass County, Texas, Brandon Robertson shot himself before his capture.
Remember, the city of Jacksonville, Texas police department can help federal and state authorities locate and detain felons wanted in other states when they pop up in Cherokee County, but the Sheriff’s department can’t keep an absconding parolee from a neighboring county in their jail 5 days for a TDCJ Parole Board review. “The US constitution” told them they had to let Robertson out on bail, even after Elmer Beckworth and Todd Staples (R) co-opted the State legislators with the “Faye Bell Harris Amendment.”
The same week parolee Brandon Robertson was arrested and released, the city of Jacksonville, Texas police department touted in the local newspaper The Daily Progress how they arrested two men from out of state affiliated with the “House of Israel” (a supposed Jacksonville based offshoot of the Republic of Texas group); one named Stephen L. Jackson, age 49 of Missouri found in the databases to be wanted on 2 counts, one federal/ one state.
From the Daily Progress April 8, 2008: “[Stephen] Jackson was found to have an outstanding ATF warrant and a warrant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri for unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. He was held in the city jail overnight, and was transferred into the custody of ATF agents Tuesday afternoon.”
Jacksonville, TX Police Chief Reece Daniel publicizes how his investigators turned evidence against Jackson over to the ATF. Evidently the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department cannot do the same when it comes to parole violators from neighboring Smith County, Texas who are carrying guns, drugs and cash for bail money on their person.
Trooper James Burns leaves behind a grieving family and community. His funeral was held Saturday May 3, 2008. Murdered on the roadside by an ex-con armed with a shotgun who was recently released from Cherokee County jail – on his way back down the road with a pat on the back- for once being a good Rusk County cop and “never really doing anything wrong before” turning to selling crystal meth, stealing and killing people in a drug induced hysteria. All of which is a parole violation. They probably let him keep his gun, too.
[Trooper James Burns' patrol vehicle, courtesy Longview, TX News-Journal]
James Scott Burns was the 83rd Texas State Highway Trooper to be killed in the line of duty. The ultimate tragedy and blame lies in what neighboring county, Cherokee County TX could have done days earlier in the month of April, when Brandon Robertson was in Cherokee County’s custody. His illicit drug trafficking was temporarily postponed by fellow DPS troopers to the south, patrolling Rusk, Texas. Robertson was stopped, his vehicle searched and he was then arrested for drug possession AND UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF A WEAPON BY A FELON by two Department of Public Safety officers. Robertson was transported and booked in the Cherokee County jail in Rusk, Texas on April 6th. His parole officers were not notified, instead Cherokee County decided to collect $15000 worth of ‘cash-out bond’ for Robertson’s charges and keep Smith County and the Parole Board in the dark. A typical move for small towns trying to generate revenue.
According to an interview with arraigning Rusk, Texas municipal Judge Forrest Phiffer by Longview News Journal reporter Randy Ross, parolee Brandon Robertson was stopped at 9:40 a.m. on April 6 by the DPS and charged with “possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a felon. He [Robertson] was released the next day on two $7,500 bonds, according to sheriff’s office records.”
View the archived newspaper paper article titled “Suspect arrested weeks before troopers’s shooting” published May 8, 2008 by the Longview/Marshall, TX News-Journal: http://www.news-journal.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/05/08/05082008_trooper_suspect.html
Suspect arrested weeks before trooper’s shooting
By RANDY ROSS firstname.lastname@example.org
Published May 8, 2008
A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped and arrested Brandon Wayne Robertson about three weeks before officials believe the convicted felon fatally shot Trooper James Scott Burns.
According to the Department of Public Safety, Robertson was stopped about 9:40 a.m April 6 on Texas 135 in Cherokee County. Officials did not immediately say what initiated the stop.
Robertson was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was released the next day on two $7,500 bonds, according to sheriff’s office records.
A call to the bondsman was not immediately returned, and it was unclear who contacted him.
Judge Forrest Phifer, who works for the municipal court in Rusk, Wales and Cuney, said he set the two bonds at an amount typical for the charges. He said he could not set an “oppressive amount” without violating the U.S. Constitution.
Phifer said that he thought the trooper who arrested Robertson said there were no problems during the traffic stop and that the firearm was found in the trunk of the vehicle. He added that he didn’t recall information that would have indicated that Robertson posed a risk that justified a higher bond.
Officials say Robertson fatally shot Burns after Burns pulled Robertson over in Marion County the night of April 29. Robertson was found dead May 1 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to law officers.
Jennifer Lynne Petrick, 36, was found with Robertson and arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and probation violations. Petrick remains in Cass County jail on a $5,000 bond, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators say Petrick was in the car driven by Robertson on the night of the killing.
(c) 2008 Cox Newspapers, Inc. – Longview News-Journal
The next morning, the Cherokee County district judge, the sheriff’s office and district attorney passed on prosecuting parolee Brandon Robertson for his illegal narcotics plus his gun and allowed Robertson to post bail. They didn’t even bother to confiscate his vehicle. As a Class I felon on parole, Brandon Robertson was subject to random searches from his parole officers. During a traffic stop, the DPS would call for back up after identifying the parolee as such, as they did on April 6 in Cherokee County, for two DPS officers to be present while they searched the offender’s vehicle. Caught with drugs and a gun, that parolee A.K.A. Brandon Robertson would automatically have his right to bail denied according to the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole. Robertson would be transported to the nearest county holding facility and the Sheriff, required by Texas Law, would notify the offender’s Parole Officer (named in the DPS database). All those things occurred, except the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department notification to Smith County of Brandon Robertson’s incarceration. Hence, Brandon Robertson was out making his DRUG MULE deliveries throughout East Texas while he was in violation of parole for the 5th time AND simultaneously out on 2 Felony bonds. His Smith County Parole Officers would have issued a warrant for his arrest by April 11, 2008 had he not voluntarily turned himself in. He apparently was set on not going back to jail alive.
“But that wouldn’t make a crackheaded thug like Brandon Robertson become agitated and non-complicit in the next traffic stop by authorities.” He was an “ideal” prisoner according to Cherokee County, so just because he was going back to prison didn’t mean he would pull a gun on the next law enforcement officer in his path of self destruction… Naaaw. For God’s Sake, the maniac killed himself to avoid going to prison. Cherokee County Texas in typical fashion would rather blame the United States Constitution and recite fictitious legal requirements for accepting $15000 bail from an armed convict on his way back to prison.
Cherokee County authorities never even notified Robertson’s parole officers in Smith County. In a matter of hours, Brandon Wayne Robertson was back on the highway to deal drugs, armed with a 20- Gauge COPKILLER. They literally just let the guy drive off. No hearing, no phone calls to a Parole Officer, no formal arraignment, just a deputy escort right out the front door.
22 days later, Brandon Robertson killed a Texas State Trooper who chased him through Marion County Texas transporting more illegal drugs into the region.
ex-con and ex-police officer Brandon Wayne Robertson
Brandon Robertson was well-known by local law enforcement, having previously worked for the Overton, TX and Kilgore, TX police departments between 1990 and 1999 and with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department (notorious for its internal corruption problems) for several years. Robertson turned to transporting and selling crsytal methamphetamine, or “ICE” to supplement his law enforcement salary until authorities arrested him. He had served 4 months of a 4 year sentence in TDCJ for multiple crimes until he was paroled in April 2007. Parole is a privilege not a right, an opportunity granted to prove rehabilitation dictated by the State Legislature. However, Brandon Robertson’s early release on good behavior is not the issue: The issue is Cherokee County Texas setting bond on a parole violator and not notifying Smith County of his arrests. Brandon Robertson would have and should have been transported to the county responsible for his MANDATORY PAROLE SUPERVISION. And while the offender remained behind bars, a parole hearing would have decided his right to bail. Not a “City Judge” from Rusk Texas trying to generate “cash bonds” for the county to pocket. Cash money generated from the sale of illegal narcotics going into the coffers of Cherokee County Texas.
Any attempt to lie for the record by Cherokee County Texas authorities is the normal operating procedure. A parolee with a gun in his possession is an automatic incarceration for however long it takes to have a Parole Hearing or district court hearing to ascertain bail requirements. Elmer Beckworth, Sheriff James Campbell and other locals in Cherokee County recently championed the preventable death of Faye Bell Harris of Jacksonville, TX and the need to “deny bail” to at-risk offenders. A needless death of a woman begging the Cherokee County district courts for help, even though her estranged husband Michael Harris continued to threaten, trespass and eventually shot gun her dead in her front yard in front of her children. Now after redundant and fictitious legislation has passed since 2006, i.e. Proposition 2, Proposition 6 and Proposition 13 reported by local Cherokee County media as “Elmer’s Law has passed unanimously…”
…why, now for some reason Cherokee County Texas cannot deny bail or even notify the appropriate parole officers of a felon with a gun and crystal meth who is stopped by the DPS in their own county. The birthplace of the Faye Bell Harris Amendment or as locals call it, “Elmer’s Law” will not assess a parolee with illegal drugs, a major drug habit, “a shotgun in the trunk” and now going straight back to prison when his Parole Officers find out about his arrests. Why- Cherokee County Texas couldn’t imagine Brandon Robertson as the slightest danger to society.
Cherokee County can’t even put into effect the laws sponsored by its State Representative, State Senator, district attorney, sheriff, Postmasters, attorneys and other fools and liars willing to sign on to the actions of violent offenders in their own custody.
On April 6, 2008, three weeks before the slaying in Marion County, Brandon Wayne Robertson was stopped and arrested in Cherokee County Texas by a patrolling DPS trooper. Again, Robertson was busted for felony drug possession (crystal meth) along with a concealed weapon and transported to the Cherokee County Texas Sheriff’s Department. TDCJ parolee and ex-cop Brandon Robertson spent one comfortable evening in Cherokee County jail and was released the very next day by Cherokee County authorities on two $7500 bonds. Robertson was arraigned on April 7, 2008 by Cherokee County even though he was on parole with multiple felony convictions. Despite his cited parole violations and criminal status as a convicted felon, Robertson was freed to go back to transporting his drugs in and around Rusk and Cherokee counties, while his case was postponed indefinitely.
Brandon Wayne Robertson’s connections to his former employers in the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and those within Cherokee County, TX are all too apparent. These two adjoining East Texas counties are the choice for local crystal meth traffickers, often disgraced former peace officers such as Robertson, who have cut deals with their former employers to continue manufacturing and distributing narcotics into the region.
Hopefully, this debacle of Cherokee County Texas allowing an armed and dangerous parole violator out of jail to go out and take the life of a DPS officer, a father, brother, husband and dedicated East Texas lawman, hopefully this will finally open the eyes of the US Attorneys’ Offices operating in the region. It is long past time to hold Cherokee County accountable for brazenly operating against the intent of the law. Knowingly and willingly letting an armed and dangerous parole violator out THE NEXT DAY on a measly 2nd Degree Felony charge should be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
How does a felony charge of drug and weapons possession of a parolee justify only a $7500 Bond? That means Robertson only had to put up a couple of hundred dollars to a Bail Bondsman for felony possession. An inquest into the shooting of Trooper James Burns is pending by the Department of Public Safety and concerned citizens of Trooper Burns’ hometown Linden, Texas in Cass County. Concerned citizens and media types interested in the truth should not focus on Robertson’s girlfriend who may or may not have helped him evade arrest for 2 days. They should focus on how Cherokee County Texas views the judicial and legal system and how they collectively wipe their asses on the letter of the law. Interested parties should focus on how a municipal judge repeats every lie that is fed to him by his attorney, the Cherokee County District Attorney. The lie being that “excessive bond would be unconstitutional” in an arrest, booking and ‘receiving’ of a parolee caught with drugs and a gun. The fact is Cherokee County simply wanted to purloin Brandon Wayne Robertson’s bond. So they avoided notifying Robertson’s parole officers; a parole Robertson had been absconding for several months.
Cherokee County, TX pretends it never happened and never saw Brandon Robertson in their neck of the Piney Woods. Cherokee County wasn’t interested in a parolee’s travel permit status that would have barred him from legally traveling to their good little Christian community to peddle crystal meth to truckers and bored cops. Instead, they would rather lie through their teeth about the Judicial Process of parole revocation. Brandon Robertson was only buying himself time with the two Felony bonds he posted in Cherokee County on April 7, 2008. A drug addict parolee facing going back to prison would logically have made him more dangerous to the next DPS Trooper or sheriff deputy that cited him for absconding his parole conditions, according to Cherokee County’s own actions.
As far as Brandon Robertson taking his life to avoid prosecution, had his parole supervision been in Cherokee County, Texas, he’d be back out on bail the very next day after blasting his way out of a speeding ticket. Hell, the District Attorney’s office could split the guy’s Life Insurance Policy and move into the deceased’s house. Good riddance to Brandon Robertson and his ilk. The sun won’t be shining where he’s going. Unfortunately, his type of bad seed has become all too common in East Texas.
The media should blame Brandon Robertson first for being a dirty stinking crackheaded police officer, and that he went on to become a bonafide drug dealer. They should blame Cherokee County Texas secondly for keeping this drug addict on the streets to kill a peace officer with a wife and 5-month-old baby girl. Where was “Elmer Beckworth’s Law” when it came to denying this violent repeat offender’s bail? Where was Cherokee County’s legal expert when it came to denying bond to a felon with a 20-Guage shotgun and SPEED in his system and snortin’ it in all in his vehicle? And simply calling in the TDCJ authorities to incarcerate a crystal meth user on parole? Cherokee County Texas is both criminally and civilly negligent in giving Brandon Robertson a ‘get out of jail for $15000 worth of drug money’ card.
Sounds like Rocket Science to the crystal meth capital of East Texas.
Our condolences go out to Trooper James Scott Burns’ widow and family. We hope that Mrs. James Burns and family file a successful Wrongful Death suit against Cherokee County Texas and prevail. God knows the law would be certainly on her side, regardless of a sympathetic US District Judge trying to keep a corrupt small town Racketeering Project going for decades to come. Don’t forget to subpoena the DPS officers who arrested Brandon Robertson on April 6, 2008, Mrs. Burns. We are certain they would have a story to tell on how Cherokee County authorities conspired to deliberately drop the ball. The EDITOR would recommend one of the fine Federal Civil Rights attorneys practicing in the Northern East Texas Federal District who advertise on this blog.