Ex-Burnet police officer indicted on murder charge in shooting

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON

Former Burnet Police Sgt. Russell Butler was booked into the Llano County Jail after a Burnet County grand jury indicted him April 23 on one count of murder and three counts of aggravated assault by a public servant in the shooting death of 25-year-old Brandon Michael Jacque. Courtesy photo

Former Burnet Police Sgt. Russell Butler was booked into the Llano County Jail after a Burnet County grand jury indicted him April 23 on one count of murder and three counts of aggravated assault by a public servant in the shooting death of 25-year-old Brandon Michael Jacque. Courtesy photo

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.

daniel@thepicayune.com

12 Responses to “Ex-Burnet police officer indicted on murder charge in shooting”

  1. Goodforyou! says:

    I hope he gets life with no chance of parole! Another thug with a gun, running the streets; No more Mr. Butler! Hope they judge/jury gets this one right! He should be held accountable! I wonder if previous complaints about him will finally come to light!??

    • Questionsfromtheotherside says:

      I guess some form of the truth will be brought forward at the trial. Doesn’t an officer have the right to defend themselves if threatened with a deadly weapon? If the officer gave verbal commands to stop, and the driver continued to go resulting in the officer getting run over, maybe he had good reason to fire his weapon.

      • Cindy says:

        Obviously the Texas Rangers do not agree with you. If he was defending himself he wouldn’t be charged with MURDER!

  2. Les says:

    Former officer Butler is NOT going to like prison. Even if he is separated from the general population, there will be people getting to him to make his life miserable as long as he lasts.

  3. belinda says:

    It is my understanding that law enforcement has the option if their life is in danger. Why did the deceased try to run. Just turn down the music.
    Another reason our society is out of control, this kid did not have any respect for authority.

    • Cindy says:

      You have no clue what your talking about.

    • RaineyDaze says:

      Instead of attempting to slaughter Brandon’s name and character like Butler did to him and the hearts of the ones who loved him… u should pay attention to facts, use ur brain and speak the truth…instead of fabricating some sort of justifiable cause for what was done to Brandon….bc there isn’t one. According to report sworn by X-officer Butler, the vehicle was pulling forward at a SLOW RATE OF SPEED, and he ran in front of it and shot a man…who “flees” at a SLOW rate of speed going TOWARDS the person?? And how endangered was Butler if HE ran in front of the moving vehicle?? And once again…just stating the obvious…. I feel Brandon did not HEAR the commands since the MUSIC WAS LOUD…which once again was reported, and the windows were up to, so I’m sure that helped clarify the officers voice, right?….wouldn’t u think that loud music inside a car with rolled up Windows, more than likely be why Brandon didn’t adhere to orders?? Instead of blaming Brandon and falsifying his intentions, I feel if Butler would have done his job correctly, and FOLLOWED RULES as to which he swore an oath to do, he would have pulled his vehicle clearly behind the car, with the lights on, making himself visible, and if Brandon would have started to pull forward then, Butler could have safely used the SIREN and the LOUDSPEAKER to give the commands, and be protected inside of his vehicle? Maybe then a kind hearted, hard working, and always quick to hold the door and say “yes ma’am”, good ol’ country boy would not have had to die over a repeatedly forceful, non protocol following, badge using bully due to his own negligence and lack of respect for authority. Just sayin’…

    • Heather Williams says:

      Wow..for 1 he never seen the guy approacb let alone heard him say turn any music down so how did he disrespect authority..for 2…wth r u saying that if some1 does not respect authority they deserve the death penalty in the streets wiithout a trial or a judge??? U have serious issues

  4. Luis B.Barrera says:

    Lots of factors here. Obviously the investigators who are law enforcement felt they had enough evidence to charge Mr.Butler. Hopefully justice will prevail.

  5. Tgm says:

    Some little girl lost her daddy, a mother and father lost their son, a family is going to forever greive the loss of their loved one and it could habe so easily been such a different outcome had someone in charge thought before acting.. This effects more than who was there that awful night. Families on both sides will lose in the end to some degree especially if this officer is found guilty of his charges.. I’m sure now he wishes he would have reacted differently with alternative options at his fingertips…

  6. Casey says:

    Actually, Brandon didn’t see or hear the officer. The officer did not have the lights on his cruiser on (was responding to a noise complaint) the officer did not tap on the car window. He yelled for him to stop backing up but Brandon didn’t hear him because the conversation he was having with passenger & the music. (HELLO NOISE COMPLAINT)He was backing up as the officer was walking up. This also happened on a part of town that is called “dark side” by many people. Because there is zero street lights. According to the passenger they had no idea the officer was present until being blinded by the flashlight, and witnessing 3 bullets come threw the windshield. Brandon probably died so confused. I knew that boy personally and you wouldn’t be saying things like “he had no respect for authority” if you did as well. If the Rangers thought this was a situation where the officer thought he was defending himself, he would not be facing a murder conviction, now would he? They don’t easily indict their own. Brandon was murdered clear and simple. If you ran my foot over, &I shot you even thinking it was “self-defense” I would be tried and convicted. Burnet may actually see justice. Rest in peace brother! Give Caleb a kiss for me!

  7. CURTISS COTT says:

    It’s a shame that this sort of extreme abuse by authority isn’t a rarity

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