UPDATE: Judge sets trial for October 1; Rust free on existing bond

UPDATE: The court reconvened approximately thirty minutes later.

Judge Jack Skeen Jr said after consulting privately with both sides, the court would set Rust's case for trial on October 1 at 10 a.m. Rust will continue to be free on his existing bond until that time.



UPDATE: Judge Jack Skeen Jr said the cases were set to go to trial on Monday, September 17.

Special prosecutor Lance Larison said he was not ready for trial and did not know if he could ethically go forward as the prosecutor in this case, at which point the defense asked for a break to discuss the new developments.


UPDATE: Special prosecutor Lance Larison told Judge Jack Skeen Jr. that He and the defense had come to an agreement in the form of a set of written sanctions signed by Rust. Larison said Rust resigned four days later which avoided certain legal issues.

"I think resignation was the right thing for him to do," Larison said.

Larison said Rust forfeited $7,698 dollars as restitution for deputy constables' use of county vehicles along with signing a document admitting culpability in the alleged illegal security business.

Larison said Rust agreed to voluntarily enter a one year probation, during which Larison has the ability to re-charge Rust based on any abuse of the terms of probation. He said Rust has signed a waiver of his right to a jury trial.

Rust's attorney John Haring said he believes Larison is fair and has done a good job resolving the case to the benefit of all parties involved.

"It should satisfy everyone, including the citizens of Smith County," he said.

Haring noted that none of Rust's four deputy constables who were originally arrested in this case are subject to any legal punishment as of yet, and that Rust has cooperated fully with everything that's been asked of him.

Haring assured Judge Skeen that Rust would comply with his probation while appreciating the opportunity to continue to provide for his family.

Judge Skeen asked several questions of Larison, noting that the proposed disposition of Rust's case involves no adjudication and would be akin to a pre-trial diversion, rather than the probation being used as a legal sentence for a guilty plea in court.

"So he's serving probation on this misdemeanor count and the two felony counts are dismissed," Skeen said. "This court has not ever approved a pre-trial diversion."

"I do not consider pre-trial diversion an appropriate disposition in this case," he said. "We have two felony indictments and one misdemeanor indictments and you have every right as a prosecutor to pursue the case the way you want but this court has a responsibility not to dismiss these charges unless it's warranted."

Skeen went on to discuss his opinion that the proposed disposition was inappropriate.

He said he was surprised the motions included nothing about Larison wing unable to prove a portion or all of the case.

"I am denying the motions to dismiss," Skeen said. "So that's where we are."



TYLER (KYTX) -- Former Smith County constable Dustin Rust will learn whether a district judge is willing to grant a motion to drop the charges against him today.

Rust is accused of mis-using county resources in the course of operating an illegal security operation while serving as constable.

Rust's hearing was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

We have a crew in the courtroom providing updates as they happen.


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