Bonds reduced in high-profile game warden case
Feb 03, 2013 | 1871 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A former Upshur County commissioner and his adult son, accused of holding a state game warden at gunpoint in an incident last October, were released from Upshur County Jail Wednesday after a judge lowered their bonds, said Upshur County Disrict Attorney Billy Byrd.

Ex-Pct. 3 Comm. Lloyd Allen Crabtree, 51, and Todd A. Crabtree, 28, were released about 6 p.m. on bonds of $150,000 for the elder Crabtree and $100,000 for his son, Byrd said.

115th District Judge Lauren Parish had entered an order Wednesday granting the defendants’ request to lower their original bonds of $1.5 million each.

A hearing which had been scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 31) on reducing the bonds was canceled. The Crabtrees’ attorney, Longview lawyer Clifton (Scrappy) Holmes, had moved to lower the amount, contending it was excessive because “they were from this county and they weren’t a flight risk,” Byrd said.

However, Judge Parish imposed several conditions on the men’s release, including that they must surrender all their firearms and ammunition to a Texas Ranger at the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Gilmer by 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, the district attorney told The Mirror Wednesday night.

The Crabtrees must also forfeit any passports they may have, and turn them in to the Upshur County District Clerk’s Office, Byrd added. In addition, among other conditions of their release, they cannot go within one mile of any peace officer involved in the charges against them, nor have any contact with them, the district attorney said.

The Upshur County Grand Jury indicted the Crabtrees Jan. 25 on multiple charges arising from the alleged incident last Oct. 6 in rural Upshur County.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Shane Bailey was disarmed and detained by two armed men while he was making a routine check for hunting law violations on private property, according to a news release issued Friday by the deparment.

Lloyd Crabtree, who was still a county commissioner at the time of the alleged incident, was indicted on three counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, which Byrd said involved threats to shoot three officers; one count of taking a weapon from a peace officer; and one count of unlawful restraint with a deadly weapon.

Todd Crabtree was indicted on one count each of all of those three offenses.

No shots were fired in the confrontation.

The Crabtrees had turned themselves in Jan. 25 after Holmes notified them of the indictments, said the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in a press release.

Judge Parish had set the original $1.5 million bonds, and Byrd said Wednesday night “I respect the judge’s decision” to lower them, but had no further comment.

No trial date has been set.

Lloyd Crabtree left office as commissioner at year’s end, having been defeated for reelection to a third term by Frank Berka in last May’s Republican primary.
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