Hmmm…Flawed Evidence?

Posted in Criminal Justice, Williamson County at 12:16 am by wcnews

Just another day in Williamson County, Prosecutor: Flawed police case cancels ex-officer’s trial.

Because of a “flawed investigation” by the Georgetown Police Department, prosecutors will not be able to try former police Sgt. Jimmy Lewis Fennell Jr. on three felony counts, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said Friday.


Bradley said prosecutors were not able to try Fennell on three more serious felony counts in the indictment — aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping and improper sexual activity — because of a flawed investigation by Georgetown police. If convicted, Fennell could have received two 99-year prison terms on those charges.

“The Georgetown Police Department is going to have to answer some questions from the community after the case, but it is not fair until after this case is concluded to discuss it,” Bradley said. “More will be understood after sentencing, once I am able to explain what happened to the evidence and prevented us from prosecuting on the other charges.”

Round Rock-based defense lawyer Keith Lauerman said it is rare to hear of discord between prosecutors and police in Williamson County. Bradley and his prosecutors “usually give (police) full support,” he said.


Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Right Project, said the district attorney’s decision not to pursue the other charges indicates a double standard in the county — which has a reputation for being tough on crime.

“If you are in law enforcement and you get caught, you will be treated differently than when you aren’t in law enforcement, that’s what this case is saying,” Harrington said. “If you are going to apply the law harshly, then it should be done across the board.”

Harrington said the case should be used to send a message to other officers that “they, too, need to respect the law and will get punished for breaking the law.”

Or course we’ll have to wait until next Friday to find out, but it looks like Bradley is essentially going to get the deal he originally struck with Fennell.

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