This story has been updated to include information from two press conferences on Monday afternoon.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been indicted and arrested on a felony charge for destroying video evidence related to the death of Javier Ambler, a Black man who died in custody last year, according to local reports.
Chody was booked at the Williamson County Jail on Monday and later released after posting $10,000 bond.
Williamson County Jail records show Chody was arrested on Monday.(Williamson County Jail)
Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick and Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore opened a joint investigation in June, after the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE reported that Ambler's death had been recorded during a taping of the A&E reality show "Live PD," which has since been canceled, and later destroyed.
"This is a search for the truth and is necessary because even now we have not obtained the information we seek from Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, despite his public statements pledging cooperation," the district attorneys wrote in a press release issued on June 19.
Ambler, 40, died in March 2019 after WCSO deputies chased him for failing to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic. During the chase, Ambler crashed his car multiple times. The deputies then tased him "four times as he gasped that he had a heart condition and could not breathe," according to the Statesman.
Live PD host Dan Abrams said that producers destroyed their video footage of Ambler's death in accordance with show policy.
Moore said during a press conference on Monday afternoon that her office is investigating whether there is evidence to support a charge of evidence tampering in Travis County.
Chody is up for reelection this November against Democratic candidate Mike Gleason. During a separrate news conference on Monday afternoon, he accused Dick and Moore of pursuing a political agenda before the election.
"I did not tamper with evidence," Chody said.
I'll be holding press conference today at 3:30 pm. https://t.co/4qqMHf4Bmy— Williamson County Sheriff Chody (@Williamson County Sheriff Chody)1601318809.0
Former Williamson County attorney Jason Nassour was indicted on the same charge, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Under Chody's leadership, WCSO has come under scrutiny for rewarding deputies who used force against civilians with steakhouse gift cards. The Texas Rangers are currently investigating five use of force cases involving WCSO deputies.
Want to read more stories like this one? Start every day with a quick look at what's happening in Austin. Sign up for Austonia.com's free daily morning email.
- Austin Police Department changes get unanimous City Council ... ›
- List of proposed changes to Austin Police Department after protests ... ›
- Live PD footage of Javier Ambler's death during Williamson County ... ›
- Black man who died after traffic stop in Williamson County heard ... ›
- Williamson County judge violated his own stay-at-home order - austonia ›
Austin’s iconic Nau’s Enfield Drug hopes see to the business return to its heyday amid pandemic woes
First dates over frosty milkshakes. Family outings for juicy hamburgers.
Nau's Enfield Drug, which opened in 1951, has been a lot of things to a lot of people over its long history in Austin.
The Texas Department of State Health Services will allocate 332,750 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 212 providers this week, with the bulk assigned to hub providers that are focused on widespread community distribution events. Six of those providers are in Travis County.
With the latest allocation of 16,450 sent to Travis County this week, the county will have received 104,275 doses of the vaccine. Local public health officials estimate that there are 285,000 area residents who fall in the 1A and 1B priority groups, meaning that around 37% of them should have access to doses seven weeks into the rollout process.
Here's where the latest allotment is going:
- UT professor played role in Pfizer and Moderna's COVID vaccines ... ›
- A 'handful' of ineligible people got the COVID vaccine in Austin ... ›
- Austin Public Health prepares for COVID vaccine distribution ... ›
- Texas widens COVID vaccine access, but Austin doses are limited ... ›
- Austin healthcare offering COVID-19 vaccine waitlists - austonia ›