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Texas Police Chief Sentenced and Jailed for Evidence Tampering

Last fall, Jeremiah Shults was the Chief of Police for Rosebud, Texas, a small Texas town a stone’s throw from Temple down in Central Texas and about two hours drive, going south on I-35, from Dallas. Everything changed for Chief Shults early in October 2010, when he was indicted for evidence tampering – a serious crime for anyone, but especially when it’s a charge against the community’s top law enforcement official.

Evidence tampering is a felony.  It carries not only the possibility of a monetary fine, but incarceration between 2 and 10 years in a Texas prison.

Police Chief Resigns, Turns Himself In to Authorities

Chief Jeremiah Shults promptly resigned, and turned himself into authorities on November 1st, where his stay was brief as the ex-Chief was summarily released on $10,000 bond. Afterwards, Shults focused his efforts on defending himself in a criminal trial that concluded this past April.

The jury didn’t fully see things Shults’ way, and returned a verdict of guilty to Shults having moved beer cans at the scene of an accident, which constituted tampering with evidence. However, after hours of deliberation, the jury did not find the ex-Chief moved the seat of the vehicle in question and acquitted him on the second count of evidence tampering.

After Jury Verdict of Guilty, ex-Chief Chooses Judge for Sentencing – Gets Jail Time, Probation, and Fine

The ex-Chief chose to have the judge impose sentence instead of the jury, and last week Jeremiah Shults stood in a Marlin, Texas, courtroom to face a Falls County District Judge who sentenced the former top cop to 10 years probation and 180 hours of community service, as well as a fine of $2500.00.

So, the Falls County Judge tossed the book at the ex-Police Chief, and then gave him probation — with some taste of jail time now: Shults has also been ordered to serve 120 days in jail on weekends.

Which means that if the ex-Police Chief keeps his nose clean for the next decade by not violating probation, he’ll only have to be behind bars every weekend for the next 15 months. Why did the judge do this? The weekend jail time lets Shults keep his current job, providing for his family as a computer tech.

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