EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
A former Burnet police officer is now facing a first-degree murder charge after he shot and killed a man in the early hours on March 27.
On April 23, a Burnet County grand jury indicted Russell Butler on the murder charge as well as three counts of aggravated assault by a public servant, also first-degree felonies, in the death of 25-year-old Brandon Michael Jacque.
On March 27, officers responded to the 300 block of South McNeil Street in Burnet at about 1:40 a.m. after a call about loud music. According to officials, when the officers arrived, they observed a red car at the scene and approached it. The vehicle allegedly began backing up and an officer ordered the driver to stop.
At some point, the car drove over Butler’s foot and the officer fired his gun, killing Jacque. A female passenger in the vehicle was uninjured. Officials said Butler performed first aid on Jacque before emergency medical services arrived.
Butler, who was a sergeant with Burnet Police Department at the time, was treated and released from Seton Highland Lakes after the incident. He was then placed on administrative leave, but, according to reports, was dismissed April 23 for violating the department’s use of force policy. Butler had been with the department for three years.
According to the murder indictment, Butler, on March 27, “did then and there, with intent to cause serious bodily injury to an individual, namely, Brandon Jacque, commit an act clearly dangerous to human life, that caused the death of said Brandon Jacque, by shooting him with a firearm.”
The indictment also charged Butler with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant for his actions against Jacque and a third aggravated assault by a public servant charge regarding the female passenger.
If convicted, Butler faces up to 99 years or life in prison.
Jacque was laid to rest April 2. He leaves behind a daughter, his parents, grandparents, a brother and sister, as well as nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and many friends. He graduated in 2011 from Burnet High School, where he competed in football, baseball, and track.