(KBMT) - Newton County Sheriff Eddie Shannon turned himself in at the Tyler County Sheriff's Office Friday morning after a warrant for his arrest was issued Thursday. He posted bond and was released in less than an hour.
12News was the only station at the jail when the sheriff bonded out. He declined to answer questions as he and his attorney left the building.
Sheriff Shannon has been indicted on one count of terroristic threat on a public servant. A Newton County Grand Jury handed up the one-count indictment Thursday afternoon.
The charge is a third-degree felony. If convicted, he could be sentenced to from 2 to 10 years in prison. He will face a $10,000 bond when arraigned on the charge.
Investigators with the Texas Rangers have been looking into accusations against the Sheriff for about a month.
According to 12News file stories, Sheriff Shannon is accused of making a terroristic threat against the county judge and commissioners. Newton County District Attorney Courtney Tracy told 12News in June that she is the one who contacted the Texas Rangers after receiving the complaint. She said that she then immediately recused herself because the Sheriff is a fellow elected county official.
Tyler County Assistant District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy was appointed as special prosecutor while Trinity County Judge Joe Ned Dean will be overseeing the case.
Shannon's attorney Blair Bisbey denies the allegation, calling it absurd. Bisbey said the Sheriff's former secretary made the accusation.
Bisbey released the following statement to 12News on Thursday:
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.
Sources told 12News that the sheriff made the threat after a commissioners court meeting in which he was questioned about budget matters. Our sources say that the sheriff threatened to shoot them all and then not investigate the crime.
Shannon has been sheriff since 2012.