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Man in gun threat case now faces 99 years with new charges

James Vance

The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office filed additional charges against James Vance, 39, after officials say he fired on deputies Saturday, March 26, when they attempted to arrest him for holding three people at gunpoint. Burnet County Sheriff’s Office photo

The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office filed additional charges against 39-year-old James Vance, who was arrested early March 27 after reportedly holding three people at gunpoint. He now faces two counts of first-degree aggravated assault on a public servant after deputies say he shot at them when they attempted to arrest him.

If convicted of the new charges, he could face up to 99 years in prison.

He was previously charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, all second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

At about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26, deputies responded to a call that Vance was pointing a gun at people in the Deer Springs neighborhood east of Burnet. Earlier that same day, three people told deputies that Vance had held them at gunpoint in two different situations on March 24 and 25 because the suspect feared there was a conspiracy to kill him. 

All were able to get away safely from the suspect. 

According to a BCSO media release, three deputies responding to the Deer Springs call set up at the intersection of Texas 29 and Deer Springs Drive and waited for additional units. As they waited, the deputies spotted Vance’s vehicle approaching. After seeing the deputies, the driver reversed direction.

When deputies began giving commands to the suspect, he responded by opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle, according to a media release from District Attorney Sonny McAfee. 

Two deputies returned fire. Vance then left the vehicle and fled into a nearby wooded area.

Additional local and state law enforcement converged on the area to assist in the search for the suspect. Officers found Vance at a home on Mesquite Lane. He surrendered without further incident and was unarmed at that point.

Vance was transported to Ascension Seton Highland Lakes Hospital in Burnet with superficial injuries. None of the deputies involved in the shooting were injured, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

After Vance’s release from the hospital, deputies took him to the Burnet County Jail, where he was first booked at about 3 a.m. Sunday, March 27, on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

According to jail records, on Monday, March 28, deputies added two charges of aggravated assault on a public servant. Vance is being held in lieu of more than $1.2 million in bonds.

The three deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine in all officer-involved shootings, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, Texas Rangers, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens, and the Burnet and Marble Falls police departments assisted in the incident and ongoing investigation. 

editor@thepicayune.com