NEWTON COUNTY - The attorney for Newton County Sheriff Eddie Shannon tells KFDM News he's confident the sheriff will be exonerated of a felony charge of terroristic threat handed up Thursday afternoon by a grand jury.
The grand jury indicted Shannon on the Third Degree Felony charge of terroristic threat. If convicted, he could face punishment ranging from probation to between 2 and 10 years in prison.
In June, our media partner KJAS reported that Shannon had attended a Commissioners Court meeting in which he became frustrated with the court. KJAS said a source told them Shannon had gone back to the Sheriff's Office and reportedly threatened to shoot the county judge and commissioners. Shannon's attorney, Blair Bisbey, called the accusations "absurd."
The Texas Rangers investigated and Tyler County Assistant District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy was appointed Special Prosecutor.
The attorney for Shannon says Shannon will continue to serve as sheriff to the best of his ability.
However, KFDM News checked with the Newton County Judge Truman Dougharty. He told us he'll check with the special prosecutor before deciding what action, if any, to take on the sheriff's job status. The county judge did not want to comment on the indictment.
In a statement to KFDM News, attorney Blair Bisbey said, "We are disappointed that the grand jury reached what we consider an erroneous decision. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so we have no way of knowing what influenced that decision, but we do have complete faith in our system of justice and are confident that once we have the opportunity to present all the facts in open court in a public trial, that Sheriff Shannon's innocence will be obvious, and that he will be exonerated from these unfortunate accusations. In the meantime, he will continue to serve the people of Newton County to the best of his ability as their elected sheriff."