Prosecution and defense attorneys said later they expect a pretrial hearing in the cases, which are set for jury selection April 29 and trial April 30.
Crabtree, 52, and his son, Todd Allen Crabtree, 28, face multiple felony charges arising from a confrontation last October in which they are alleged to have held a state game warden at gunpoint.
Their pretrial hearing in Judge Lauren Parish’s 115th District Court was set for 4 p.m. Thursday, but attorneys and the Crabtrees left the courtroom shortly after 5:30 p.m. when the lawyers emerged from meeting in private.
Lloyd Crabtree’s lead attorney, Longview lawyer Clifton (“Scrappy”) Holmes, told The Mirror after the private meeting that attorneys had been “in conference with one another most of that time, working on discovery issues”—the process by which the defense seeks to make the prosecution disclose certain facts and documents.
Holmes also said he expected Judge Parish to schedule another pretrial hearing.
Upon coming into the courtroom at the Upshur County Justice Center, where two of his assistant district attorneys had been waiting for the hearing to begin, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd had told reporters, “The proceedings are concluded for the day. That’s all I can say.”
The next day, Byrd told The Mirror, “Nothing I can say right now other than there will be another pretrial (hearing).”
Apparently participating in the discussion Thursday with Holmes and Byrd were Byrd’s law partner, David Moore, and Todd Crabtree’s attorney, Longview lawyer John Moore. Holmes said recently the Crabtrees will plead not guilty.
The defendants remain free on bond after the county Grand Jury indicted them Jan. 25.
Lloyd Crabtree was indicted on five felony charges, while his son was indicted on three.
The charges stem from an Oct. 6 incident in which two armed men disarmed and detained Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Upshur County Game Warden Shane Bailey “while the officer was making a routine check for hunting law violations on private property in Upshur County,” department spokesman Mike Cox said in a January press release.
Bailey called for help on his cell phone, “and soon numerous local and state officers came to his assistance and ended the situation with no shots fired,” Cox added.
The elder Crabtree, still a commissioner when the incident allegedly occurred, was indicted on three counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer; one count of taking a weapon from a peace officer; and one count of unlawful restraint with a deadly weapon, Cox said.
Todd Crabtree was indicted on one count each of aggravated assault on a peace officer; taking a weapon from a peace officer; and unlawful restraint with a deadly weapon, the press release said.