Texas Sheriff indicted for tampering with evidence of death of man in custody

On Monday, the grand jury indicted a Texas sheriff on charges of destruction or hiding video in an investigation into the death of a black man in police custody last year.

Williamson County records show that Sheriff Robert Chody is facing a third-degree felony charge, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Texas Sheriff indicted for tampering with evidence of death of man in custody
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody (credit: Williamson Co. Sheriff’s Office)

He was booked and arrested at the same police station where he is the sheriff. A $ 10,000 bond has been established.

In June, Williamson County prosecutors announced an investigation “involving possible adulteration of evidence” following the death of Javier Ambler in March 2019.

Javier Ambler, 40, died after Williamson County sheriff’s delegates repeatedly used stun guns against him, despite his pleas that he was sick and unable to breathe.

Court records show that Chody was indicted on charges that, while an investigation into Ambler’s death was ongoing, the sheriff “destroyed or concealed” recordings “with the intention of damaging his ability as evidence in the investigation.” Prosecutors could not be reached immediately for comment but scheduled a press conference in the afternoon.

The video from Ambler’s death police camera shows the 400-pound breathless man telling police that he wants to meet his demands, but he can’t because he has congestive heart failure.

“I’m not resisting,” shouts Ambler. “Sir, I can’t breathe.… Please.… Please.”