Former sheriff, chief deputy arrested

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Two former high-ranking Wood County law enforcement officers were arrested and bonded out last week. Former Wood County Sheriff Jim Brown and former Chief Deputy Miles Tucker were indicted for various offenses stemming from a shooting incident over access to an oilfield lease on Brown’s property northwest of Quitman two years ago. Winston and John Forrester were both allegedly shot by Jerry Boone on the property.

Brown was indicted on two misdemeanor counts of official oppression with bonds issued for $1,500 on each count. The former sheriff was also indicted on a state felony charge of abuse of official capacity over $2,500 and under $30,000 with a $20,000 bond. The indictment claims “Wood County Sheriff, did with intent to harm another, John Winston Forrester, did unlawfully then and there intentionally and knowingly misuse government property, services, personnel and any other thing of value belonging to the government that had come into custody and possession of James Brown by virtue of James Brown’s office and employment, by using the services of Officer Dustin Moffett and a Wood County Sheriff’s vehicle to obstruct and prevent access by John Winston Forrester to a tract of property owned by James Brown, and the value of the use of the services and vehicle misused was $2,500 or more but less than $30,000.”

Tucker had more indictments added to those from two months ago when he was arrested on two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of official oppression. At that time he had bonds of $50,000 each on the tampering charges and $1,500 on the official oppression.

Tucker faces a new charge of aggravated perjury, a third-degree felony and two new charges of class A official oppression, following indictments filed on Oct. 25. He further has a state felony charge of abuse of official capacity which had a $15,000 bond. Tucker turned himself in Wednesday.

He allegedly broke several laws to arrest a person who had cut a lock to gain access to a well in which he had the rights to, then tried to cover up evidence afterward.

As for the new indictments, the perjury charge accuses Tucker of swearing before District Judge Tim Boswell, “I have seen nothing which provides for accessibility or the right to cut a lock or chain of a private land owned by the defendant.” However, the indictment states Tucker was advised by special prosecutor Tom Burton that the person did have the right to access his property.

One of the new oppression indictments states Tucker kept the same person from using the mineral interest owned by the person by using others to obstruct access to a well.

The second oppression indictment states Tucker unlawfully arrested the person on a charge of criminal mischief.

Tucker is scheduled for a Nov. 17 court appearance in Judge Jeff Fletcher’s 402nd District Court.

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