FROM STAFF REPORTS
Former Bertram Police Chief James “J.J.” Wilson agreed to a guilty plea in the 424th District Court on June 6 for three crimes. Judge Evan Stubbs sentenced Wilson to four days in jail on each of the two counts of official oppression and five years’ probation on one count of abuse of official capacity, according to a media release from the District Attorney’s office.
Three other charges against Wilson — misuse of official information, aggravated perjury, and a third count of official oppression — were abandoned.
The plea agreement also includes a $500 fine, $50 in restitution for hay bales related to the official oppression indictments, and the permanent surrender of Wilson’s peace officer license.
Wilson was indicted October 2, 2018, on charges stemming from an August 2017 case near Briggs. According to the District Attorney’s release, a person reported that a man driving a trailer for him had lost numerous hay bales from a flatbed trailer. The two found the missing bales on the side of the road in different locations. As they were pickup up bales on Farm-to-Market 2657, Wilson pulled up in a marked Bertram Police Department vehicle and approached them. Another truck driven by a woman also pulled up on the scene.
Wilson told the two that the hay bales nearly caused the woman to wreck, and, to settle the incident, five bales would have to be given to the woman.
The person refused, and Wilson threatened to impound the truck and trailer and write a ticket, which Wilson claimed would hurt the driver’s commercial driver’s license.
The person then complied because of the threat but later called the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, which initiated an investigation.
Wilson awaits a scheduled arraignment hearing August 22 in the County Court at Law for a driving while intoxicated charge. Wilson crashed his Bertram police vehicle October 24, 2018, while off duty. Wilson and the city later agreed he would resign as chief after paying damages for the patrol vehicle.
The media release added that, during the plea, Wilson “apologized to any Burnet County employees that he may have hurt by his actions or remarks, and he apologized to the District Attorney and the Chief Investigator of the District Attorney’s Office for the lies he told at the beginning of the investigation.”