Jury reaches guilty verdict in trial of man who beat police officer with tire iron

Jury reaches guilty verdict in trial of man who beat police officer with tire iron
Jimmy Harris, Jr. (Source: Gregg County jail)

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The verdict is in for a man accused of beating a former East Texas police officer with a tire iron, then stealing his car and fleeing from police. A Longview jury found Jimmy Harris Jr. guilty on counts of aggravated robbery and evading police with a vehicle.

Harris sat cool and emotionless, as closing arguments were delivered.

For victim Ronald Walker and his family, there was some concern that Harris' defense, with him testifying, might succeed in getting him off the hook.

"There was, especially when he got up there to testify, trying to say somebody else did it. It wasn't me. There was a little bit of concern there at the beginning," said Walker's daughter Sherry Behrens.

Harris is accused of beating the former Longview police officer with a tire iron in October 2016, then stealing his car. Family members say they are just thankful that Walker is alive.

"I feel very happy for my father, that he's still here with me," Sherry says.

Several Longview police officers came in support of Walker, and some testified about seeing Walker's car and trying to pull it over which resulted in a chase.

The jury went out shortly after 10:30, and after a short deliberation, the verdict was in.

"We the jury find the defendant Jimmy Edward Harris, guilty of aggravated robbery on count one paragraph B according to the indictment. We the jury find the defendant Jimmy Edward Harris, guilty of evading arrest or detention with a vehicle," read 124th district court Judge Alfonso Charles.

"It was the right call. Exactly the right verdict. It's what needed to happen," Behrens says.

Later in the day Thursday, the jury sentenced him to two live sentences for the crime. 


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