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Prosecutors ask jurors to sentence convicted Smith County constable to 2 years in state jail

Jurors found him guilty after more than four hours of deliberations.

TYLER, Texas — Prosecutors on Friday asked for the maximum punishment for suspended Smith County Constable Curtis Traylor-Harris convicted of stealing several items during an eviction. 

Traylor-Harris was found guilty Thursday of property theft by a public servant. Jurors convicted him of the charge after more than four hours of deliberations. 

The punishment phase of the trial began Friday morning with three witnesses from the state, while defense said their main witnesses wouldn't be ready until Monday. 

The prosecution rested its case Friday, and the defense will present evidence Monday starting at 9 a.m. 

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

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.

The state asked for the lengthiest sentence of two years in a state jail facility. The range of punishment for a state jail felony, like theft by a public servant, is 180 days to two years in jail and fines up to $10,000.

Starting with the prosecution's witnesses, Traylor-Harris' pretrial supervisor testified that Traylor-Harris violated his bond conditions. 

Video surfaced on YouTube about how he was out of the county with a firearm, which were both against his bond conditions. Photos were also shared on Facebook later.

Kevin Petty, a deputy with the Smith County Pct. 5 Constable's Office, testified about a traffic stop he made in which Traylor-Harris was the driver on May 20, 2021. 

Petty said he didn't know he was pulling over the constable. The body camera footage showed the deputy heading on US Highway 69 northbound and the vehicle was heading southbound. 

Petty turned around and headed southbound toward the car. He pulled over a white BMW. The driver, later identified as Traylor-Harris, was driving 83 mph in a 65 mph zone. 

Petty asked Traylor-Harris if he was on duty since he was in uniform but he didn't answer the question directly. Traylor-Harris in the video said, "Are you giving me a ticket or what?" and Petty walked back to his vehicle to give him a ticket.

Petty returned to the vehicle to ask Traylor-Harris if he has insurance or not. Petty confirmed the insurance had expired and Petty gave Traylor-Harris a ticket for speeding and lack of insurance. 

Harris sent an email to Petty’s supervisor saying, “I thought officers don’t write other officers tickets."

Aaron Robledo, a K-9 officer for Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, testified about a time Traylor-Harris was pulled over with a student in his vehicle. 

Robledo was doing routine patrol on the night of March 12 this year at around 1 a.m. He noticed an unknown white Sedan on campus and asked security if they recognized the vehicle in front of the female dorms, which they did not. 

He said he saw a dark figure, which appeared to be a juvenile, run to the vehicle that drove off.

The license plate said "constable" with a tag number under it. He stopped the vehicle and approached it. The rear passenger, who was picked up from the campus, exited the vehicle. He tells the passenger to step in front of the officer vehicle and that person was a student. The driver was Traylor-Harris and he gave the officer both his officer ID and driver license. 

The chief of security came to the traffic stop and told the student he needs to stay on campus and go back to his dorm. Traylor-Harris insisted there was no reason for the stop. Robledo said he was trespassing and is not allowed back on campus.

Traylor-Harris told the officer to, “shut the f*** up, I don’t have to listen to you. Monday you will not have your job."

Traylor-Harris said he picked up the student because he was a family friend and the student’s grandmother just passed away. But Robledo said he already knew the student’s grandma had been passed away for a while and that Traylor-Harris was lying.

Just before 11 a.m., court was dismissed and proceedings will resume on Monday at 9 a.m.

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