Former Smith County, TX Constable Found Guilty Of Theft
The trial of suspended Smith County Pct. 1 Constable Curtis Traylor-Harris ended Thursday evening in the 241st District Court with the Jury finding him Guilty.
Traylor-Harris was charged with official oppression and property theft by a public servant in November 2021 for the alleged January 2021 theft during an eviction. The trial began on Tuesday and the state rested its case on Wednesday.
The defense called an expert witness to the stand for testimony on Thursday as well as called Traylor-Harris to the stand.
Roy Burkett, the owner of the moving company that moved victims items during the eviction, was called first, and testified that he saw Tyler PD officers take items from the home. The defense then called Texas Ranger Investigator Chris Baggett to the stand for cross examination. But to the shock of everyone, the defense called the defendant to the stand as their last witness.
“I had nothing to do with the theft,” said Traylor-Harris.
Traylor-Harris was first asked about his law enforcement experience prior to being a constable and testified that he came into a backlogged office with limited staff. He was then asked about the events of the day and went over the Laquenda Banks bodycam footage with both the defense and prosecution on the stand.
The Sentencing Phase Is Underway.
The jury returned a guilty verdict at 5:45 p.m. Thursday of theft of property valued between $750 and $2500 by a public servant. The district attorney’s office said they are looking for the maximum sentence of two years in prison for this case. The punishment phase of this case is set to continue on Monday.