Bertram police chief in patrol unit crash faces DWI charge on heels of grand jury indictments



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Connie Swinney/The Highlander
Authorities impounded a Bertram police vehicle Oct. 24 after the unit was involved in a crash on FM 1431 east of Marble Falls.



Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

An embattled police chief will face a driving while intoxication charge, after he was arrested following a crash of his Bertram patrol vehicle Oct. 24 on FM 1431 East in Burnet County.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, Bertram Police Chief James Jay (“JJ”) Wilson, who was recently indicted on felony perjury and misdemeanor official oppression charges, posted a $1,500 surety bond and was released from the Burnet County Jail on the DWI charge.

The crash incident was reported around 8:20 p.m. Oct. 24 in the 5800 block of the roadway, about five miles east of Marble Falls, according to the incident report log of the Burnet County Sheriff's Office.

Wilson's Bertram Police unit Chevrolet Tahoe left the roadway for an unknown reason.

The Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the scene and is investigating.

On Oct. 2, a 424th Judicial District Grand Jury indicted the police chief on charges of felony aggravated perjury, felony misuse of official information and misdemeanor official oppression, court documents stated.

The charges stemmed from three allegations in Burnet County in connection with a dispute over hay ownership, the release of criminal background information and a sworn statement in a drug-related arrest, according to the grand jury indictments.

Wilson defended his actions and referred to the indictments as a “witch hunt” against him by the 33rd/424th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

The DA maintained his office conducted the investigation in a professional manner and with witness testimony before a grand jury.

Shortly after the indictment, the Bertram mayor issued a statement that he stood by the chief, and Bertram City Council members took no action at a subsequent meeting with regard to the chief's status with the city.

Conditions of Wilson's bond related to the indictments included no firearms or ammunition possession, substance abuse testing and no contact with individuals named in the indictments.



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