DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — It took 71 years and a future Eagle Scout, but Burnet County finally paid tribute to a constable killed in the line of duty.
Marshall Jett, a Boy Scout with Troop 284, unveiled a monument April 13 at the Burnet County south annex in Marble Falls honoring former Burnet County Precinct 4 Constable William “Oscar” McCarty. A gunman killed the 57-year-old constable April 11, 1942, when McCarty responded to a disturbance at a movie theater in Marble Falls.
Jett’s father, Chris Jett, serves as the current Precinct 4 constable.
“I chose this as my Eagle project as a memorial because he deserves better dying in the line of duty and get some sort of recognition for his service other than just being in the history books,” the younger Jett said.
More than 50 people attended the ceremony including several members of McCarty’s family. Lee Buchanan, the former constable’s grandson, shared his appreciation for the Boy Scout’s efforts. Buchanan told the crowd he remembered walking hand in hand with his grandfather as the elder pointed out plants growing in the man’s garden. The next time Buchanan saw his grandfather was after a man had shot the constable.
Buchanan wiped tears from his eyes as he talked about McCarty.
“I was honored to be his grandson,” Buchanan said. “My mother told me many times how much her father loved her and how much he loved all of his grandchildren. I would like to thank (Constable) Jett and Marshall for all the hard work they have done to make this possible.”
Constable Jett told the crowd McCarty was just doing his duty when he responded to a disturbance about 9:30 p.m. at the theater those seven decades ago. McCarty encountered a man who became confrontational.
The man, Robert Felder, drew a weapon, and he and the constable exchanged fire. One of Feldman’s bullets struck a bystander in the hand while the other hit McCarty in his heart. The constable died about 10:15 p.m. that same night.
Felder fled but later surrendered to Burnet County deputies. He as sentenced to 25 years in prison after his trial June 25, 1942.
Constable Jett added that his predecessor didn’t have all the items current law enforcement has such as ballistic vests, radio communications and 911. But they all share some common characteristics.
“The things that today motivate someone to chose a law enforcement career haven’t changed: a sense of duty to protect the innocent, a desire to see justice done and, above all, a love of community and a desire to serve your fellow man,” the current constable said.
The monument for McCarty is located outside the front door of the Burnet County Courthouse Annex, 810 Steve Hawkins Parkway.
With his Eagle Scout project behind him, Marshall Jett said he still has some things to take care of before he earns the organization’s highest rank.
“Paperwork. I have lots of paperwork left,” he said.