(Williamson County)

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody was indicted and arrested on a felony charge for destroying video evidence related to the Javier Ambler case.

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.


Javier Ambler died in the custody of Williamson County sheriff's deputies in March 2019. (Facebook)

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.

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.

(Pexels)

Social media bots may have influenced the 2016 election, but experts at The University of Texas are more worried about social media influencers changing the outcome of this year's presidential race.

Keep Reading Show less
(Charlie Harper III/Austonia)

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin estimate there is a 38% chance the COVID-19 pandemic is growing locally, down from an estimated 100% chance yesterday.

What accounts for this 62% overnight drop?

Keep Reading Show less
(Jordan Vonderhaar)

Half of Austin City Council's 10 seats—Districts 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10—are up for election this November, and nineteen candidates are competing for a spot on the (virtual) dais.

Keep Reading Show less
(Emma Freer/Austonia)

With three more full days of voting left this election, Travis County has surpassed its November 2016 turnout.

Keep Reading Show less
(Capital City Bakery/Instagram)

Halloween season is rapidly coming to a close but there is still time to celebrate. Austin is making the most out of the holiday with themed cookies, cakes, coffee, cocktails and more. If you're not too scared, you might still have time to try them all.

Keep Reading Show less

Rainey Street Residences is a 48-story, 409-unit apartment complex proposed at the corner of Rainey and River streets.

Two original Rainey Street bungalows, home to longtime bars Craft Pride and Javelina, could be replaced by a proposed 48-floor apartment complex.

Keep Reading Show less
(Emma Freer)

With three more days left to vote and amid concerns about misinformation, local leaders convened Wednesday to encourage Austinites to support Proposition A, which would raise the city's property tax rate to help pay for Project Connect, a $7.1 billion plan to overhaul public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less