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Former Smith County constable convicted of theft gets probation

He was officially removed from the office of Smith County Pct. 1 constable following the sentencing for his theft by a public servant conviction.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the sentence.

Former Smith County Pct. 1 Constable Curtis Traylor-Harris has been sentenced to five years' probation for stealing while serving an eviction notice at a Tyler home last year.

Jurors reached the verdict Monday on the sentence after three and a half hours of deliberations. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

The judge said if he breaks that probation, he would go to a state jail facility for two years. 

He was officially removed from the office of Smith County Pct. 1 constable following the sentencing.

Traylor-Harris was arrested in November 2021 on official oppression and property theft by a public servant for theft accusations while issuing an eviction notice along with Pct. 1 Sgt. Derrick Holman and former Pct. 1 Chief Deputy LaQuenda Banks.

At the start of the trial, Traylor-Harris pleaded not guilty to the charge of property theft by a public servant in the 241st District Court on Dec. 6. Jurors found him guilty on Thursday.

The oppression charge has not been tried at this time.

According to arrest documents, Banks' body camera footage, which was turned on accidentally, shows Traylor-Harris, Holman and Banks stealing objects from a Tyler residence in late January last year during the eviction.

The stolen items included watches, ammunition, cash, Oakley sunglasses, Ray-Ban sunglasses, makeup and a safe containing antique coins, quarter collection, military medals, a diploma, a birth certificate and a social security card, the affidavit read.

Prosecutors have asked for the maximum sentence of two years in a state jail facility, while the defense asked for six months in state jail and parole.

Holman and Banks’ charges of theft and official oppression remain pending.

Traylor-Harris waived his Fifth Amendment right and took to the witness stand. He apologized to the Poster family (who was getting evicted on Jan. 26, 2021) and the citizens of Smith County in his opening remarks.

“I wasn’t ready for that role. And it cost me," Traylor-Harris said. "I want to apologize to the citizens of Pct. 1 and Smith County."

Traylor-Harris admitted to lying to the jury and court about the exact details of the events that happened during the eviction. When he testified on Thursday, he said he didn’t see her take the Ray-Ban glasses and now he said he did see her take them.

Traylor-Harris testified about the programs he created and his community service/outreach. He said he wants to get his teaching certificate and work as a logistics driver at Amazon while getting his certification.

His lawyer asked for the minimum sentence of six months in state jail and parole. Traylor-Harris’ mom said on the witness stand that her son would follow the rules of parole.

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