Retired Judge Kevin Henderson (top, center), formerly of Williamson County Court at Law No. 1, presided as visiting judge during a pre-trial hearing in the animal cruelty civil case against Burnet County Precinct 3 Commissioner Billy Wall on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Screen-captured image
Another settlement has been reached in the animal cruelty civil case against Burnet County Precinct 3 Commissioner Billy Wall, this time in Burnet County Court at Law.
During a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 8, Wall again agreed to forfeit 79 head of cattle to the county for sale at auction. Proceeds will go toward reimbursing the county’s estimated expenses of $63,088.94, an amount that could increase by $1,000 a day until the sale. Wall will have to make up the difference if the amount raised by selling the herd does not equal the cost to the county.
Wall’s attorney, Eddie Shell, also stipulated the settlement include no finding of cruelty to animals. All parties agreed.
A court date was set for 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, if the settlement falls through. As part of the settlement, Wall will not be able to appeal the deal, which is exactly what he did when the first settlement was reached in October.
The Tuesday hearing was conducted via Zoom with retired Judge Kevin Henderson, formerly of Williamson County Court at Law No. 1, presiding as a visiting judge. Three Williamson County attorneys acted as prosecutors. Burnet County Court at Law Judge Linda Bayless and County Attorney Eddie Arredondo both recused themselves from the hearing.
The brief proceedings lasted less than 30 minutes. Williamson County prosecutor Joe Register said he would draw up an agreement for Wall’s and Shell’s signatures, probably by the end of the day. The settlement should be in force no later than Monday, all agreed.
“I’m going to sign it if it comes in with everyone’s signature on it,” Judge Henderson said.
The settlement will be filed in Burnet County and forwarded to Henderson for his final ruling.