STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
LLANO — A Llano County grand jury handed down more indictments in February against the Llano police chief and a police officer stemming from a May 2017 arrest.
The officer also faces new indictments from a June 2017 arrest to add to his list of legal woes.
Llano Police Chief Kevin Ratliff was indicted Feb. 27 on two counts of official oppression, a class A misdemeanor, and one count of tampering with a government record to defraud or cause harm, a state jail felony.
In January, a grand jury indicted Ratliff on the two counts of official oppression. This indictment includes those but tags on a tampering charge.
The incident that led to the indictments involved the arrest of Cory Nutt on May 2, 2017. Prosecutors allege the chief unlawfully trespassed on the suspect’s property without a warrant and eventually approved of Nutt’s jail detention and a report that omitted the officer’s actions.
The same grand jury in February also indicted Llano Police Officer Grant Harden on two counts of official oppression and one count of tampering with a government document in relation to the same incident. He previously had been indicted on one count each of official oppression and tampering with a government document.
Harden’s indictments also allege he trespassed on Nutt’s property and subjected him to “mistreatment” and accuse Harden of “committing or misrepresenting facts of the arrest.”
Ratliff and Harden were placed on leave from the department in January.
Ratliff’s attorney, Austin Shell, said the additional charge against Ratliff does not alter the defense of his client.
“The new allegation does not change our position at all. We have filed a motion for a speedy trial so we can get this matter resolved and set before a jury trial as soon as possible,” Shell said. “The chief behaved in a way we expect our law enforcement to behave. He did nothing wrong.”
Two other Llano police officers, Aimee Shannon and Jared Latta, also face charges in connection with the May 2017 arrest.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in the 33rd/424th Judicial District Court on May 29.
Since December, a grand jury has charged Harden in indictments connected to three different arrests:
• Also on Feb. 27, a Llano County grand jury unveiled a third incident involving Harden that resulted in two counts of official oppression. Prosecutors allege that, during an April 25, 2016, incident, Harden unlawfully arrested Brooke Carta for resisting arrest, subjected her to “mistreatment,” and searched her vehicle without following “due course of law.”
• On Dec. 5, a Llano County grand jury indicted Harden on two counts of tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, one count of tampering with a government document, and three counts of official oppression. Prosecutors allege that, during the June 20, 2017, incident, Harden was involved in an effort to “alter or destroy or conceal” an video/audio recording of an alcohol-related arrest involving Jenny Cambiano and Enrique Gonzalez and subjected Cambino to “excessive force.”
Harden’s attorney, Travis Williamson, could not be reached for comment.