Van Zandt County sheriff, 2 others in office indicted
CANTON, Texas (KLTV) - A grand jury has returned a criminal indictment for the Van Zandt County sheriff and two others in his office.
Sheriff Steve Hendrix, Chief Deputy Jerry Wood, and Blake Snell were indicted on Friday.
According to a statement from District Attorney Tonda Curry, her office received written evidence of an incident of excessive use of force against an inmate in November. A Texas Rangers investigation began in December.
On Jan. 10, then Chief Deputy Craig Shelton admitted he had struck a handcuffed individual in the face without justification.
“Once the Rangers’ investigation was completed there was probable cause to believe that other officers at the Sheriff’s Department had witnessed the incident but were not truthful when interviewed by the Ranger,” Curry said. “With this information I determined that the appropriate course of action was to bring in a Special Prosecutor.”
The three are charged with Class B misdemeanor false statement to a peace officer.
Hendrix said in a January interview he did not expect charges to be filed. Hendrix did not return Monday morning phone calls for comment.
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