Affidavits show conflicting accounts of 2015 incident involving Whitehouse police
WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - Court filings show two very different accounts about a May 2015 incident involving a former Whitehouse police chief and several officers.
An officer's estranged wife accused then-Whitehouse police chief Craig Shelton of assaulting her on May 14, 2015. The Smith County District Attorney dropped those charges last year, citing problems with the victim's testimony.
See: Charges dismissed against Whitehouse Police Chief due to false testimony
The incident also prompted several whistle-blower lawsuits, currently pending in civil court.
Affidavits taken from the alleged victim and Shelton have been filed in the federal case of Jessica Johnson versus the City of Whitehouse.
Both affidavits were taken during the Smith County Sheriff's Office investigation into the allegations.
Related: Whitehouse officers include Smith County in whistleblower lawsuit
According to a June 1, 2015 affidavit, Shelton says he was "riding around to kill some time" with then-city manager Kevin Huckabee, and a city IT representative, Larry Cagle. Shelton's affidavit says the three decided to buy mango-margaritas from a gas station during their ride.
Shelton says he only had one 24-ounce that can he's not even sure he finished. The Smith County representative taking the affidavit asked if he was concerned about open container laws, but Shelton did not reply.
Also in the affidavit, Shelton states he considers himself "off duty" at 4:40 p.m. on May 14, 2015, though he was wearing a Whitehouse PD red-collared shirt at the time. He also said in the affidavit he wasn't wearing his gun when he entered Johnson's home.
He said he had been helping Johnson and her estranged police officer-husband by donating furniture and praying with them through trying times. According to the affidavit, Shelton went to the house with the other two city employees, he says, to warn Johnson that her husband may be watching her phone and computer, covertly.
Johnson's affidavit, taken 29 days earlier on June 1, 2015, says the visit took a dark turn. Johnson's affidavit says Shelton motioned to her to come to a back bedroom, where he "grabbed her arms and said he just wanted a kiss." Johnson's affidavit goes on to say all three employees were carrying a 40 oz can of a "peach margarita type beer" and she could smell the alcohol. Johnson's affidavit describes repeated forceful actions by Shelton towards Johnson, including touching her chest, grabbing her head, and groping other private areas.
"I kept telling [Shelton], 'no don't do this,'" Johnson's affidavit reads. "Each time he tried to pull me back in, his gun would dig into my side."
Text message photocopies attached to Johnson's affidavit, presumably between Shelton and Johnson, show a "Craig" contact saying "Sorry,"
"I hope we are ok," "Really sorry, call me want to explain."
Shelton's affidavit does not mention details of exactly what happened inside Johnson's house. When questioned by the sheriff's office representative, Shelton responds that he'd like to plead the fifth on those details.
There are three other pending lawsuits arising from the May 14, 2015 incident, including one filed by Johnson's husband, Leland Johnson, and Whitehouse officers Curtis Dinger and Scott Bradley.
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