Suspended constable denied PR bond request, family speaks in his defense

Attorney requests Curtis Traylor-Harris be declared indigent following suspension
East Texas News at 6.
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2022 at 7:36 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Suspended Smith County Pct. 1 Constable Curtis Traylor-Harris was back in court Thursday morning, where his attorney asked for the suspended constable to be declared indigent.

Attorney Andrew Dammann requested the indigency status following Traylor-Harris’ suspension last week in a civil court case. Dammann argued Traylor-Harris met the indigent standard since he’s no longer receiving a paycheck from Smith County.

Dammann also asked Judge Jack Skeen Jr. for public recognizance bonds in both the theft case and official oppression case against Traylor-Harris.

“That’s denied,” Skeen said. “The court’s not going to grant this defendant a PR, personal recognizance bond, in either case. Bonds are continued at half a million dollars in each case, so you’ll be going on back over to jail.”

Dammann refused to comment after the hearing, but did stand alongside Traylor-Harris’ brother-in-law, who is acting as the suspended constable’s spokesperson.

“They’re attempting now to break him and to break his character and to break his spirit,” said Benet Embry. “And now they’ve already suspended them as well.”

Brother-in-law Benet Embry stands alongside Traylor-Harris' attorney.
Brother-in-law Benet Embry stands alongside Traylor-Harris' attorney.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

Embry also addressed Deputy Constable LaQuenda Banks’ bodycam video released in the civil court case -- which shows the alleged theft that landed Traylor-Harris and two of his deputies behind bars.

“If anybody watches the 13-minute recording, they don’t see him stuffing nothing in his shirt that will see him ordering anybody to do anything,” Embry said. “They see him basically searching the house, finding narcotics, finding weapons, finding ammunition, and things of that nature.”

On the witness stand last week, Texas Ranger Chris Baggett said he believed Traylor-Harris instructed Banks to take the items from the residence before they picked through them back at the constable’s office. The video shows Traylor-Harris in the room with Banks as she stuffs items in her uniform. She also indicates in a conversation with another deputy that Traylor-Harris told her to put the items in her pocket.

“Let’s let the laws of the land prevail -- the fair laws of the land prevail,” Embry said. “Let’s let him go ahead and have his day in court before he’s crucified right down here on the square.”

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