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Deputies not indicted for courthouse incident

Phillip Allen Jones
provided image

Two Hunt County Sheriff's Deputies have been cleared of allegations they assaulted a handcuffed jail inmate outside of the Hunt County Courthouse.

The Hunt County grand jury Friday issued "no bills" on charges of official oppression naming Deputies Joshua Richardson and Stuart Blane Roberts, concerning the Nov. 20, 2014 incident.

A "no bill" means the grand jury concluded its investigation without finding sufficient evidence to issue indictments, or "true bills," in the case.

Sheriff Randy Meeks said Tuesday his department had completed an  internal investigation into a video which depicted deputies pushing an aggravated robbery suspect to the ground while handcuffed. The sheriff's office investigation, as well as the results of a separate investigation by the Texas Rangers were submitted to the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office and were presented to the grand jury today.

The video depicted Phillip Allen Jones, who was handcuffed at the time, being wrestled to the ground outside the courthouse by the two deputies.

Jones was arrested on several felony charges, including drug possession and aggravated robbery charges, in November of 2014. Jones was later transported to the courthouse with several other inmates. During his visit there, a man who knew Jones initiated a conversation with him. A deputy instructed the two men not to talk, escorting Jones' acquaintance outside.

The video then depicts the deputy grabbing Jones and forcing him outside, where he and another deputy wrestled Jones against a car and then the ground.

Following the confrontation, both deputies received medical attention. Jones was charged with two counts of assaulting a public servant.

Jones was scheduled to plead guilty this week to multiple charges, including two counts of aggravated robbery, although the hearing was reset for Sept. 17.