Grayson County deputies mourn the loss of their own Chad Key

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- Six charges were filed today against the man authorities say was driving drunk when he hit and killed Grayson County Deputy Chad Key on Saturday night.

28-year-old Ricky Trent Stanley of Whitesboro is now charged with murder, intoxication manslaughter, DWI and other charges in the death of Deputy Chad Key.

Stanley is being held in the Fannin County Jail on a total $3.7 million dollar bond.

People who knew Key have only great things to say about him. Today, deputies are mourning the loss of a man they say was like family to them.

A deep sense of sadness today at the Grayson County Justice Center as officers returned to work without one of their own.

"Well there's a hole there and it's going to be tough. It's going to be hard to live with it," Sheriff Keith Gary said.

"The mood of the jail now of course is suppressed. All of us, of course, have lost a good friend and we're feeling that," Jail Administrator Roger Braziel said.

Around 10:30 Saturday night, Fannin County deputies and DPS troopers were pursuing a suspect in a high speed chase.

Deputy Chad Key and other Grayson County deputies were called out to assist in directing traffic.

Key was asking drivers to slow down when a pick-up truck came out of nowhere, ramming into him.

"It's just, it's sad to say but, with such impact that some of his clothing was lost, his wedding band was found down the highway," Gary said.

Sheriff Gary was at the hospital.

"I can't say enough good things about him. He would have been one of our very best deputies," Gary said.

Key recently graduated from the Grayson College police academy, where he finished in the top of his class.

The husband and father of three split his work day between the Grayson County Jail and his real passion of being a sheriff's deputy, which he had only been doing for 77 days.

"He would put in a full day: eight hours here in the jail, then he would go out and work four more hours at night," Gary said.

Ricky Trent Stanley, the suspected drunk driver accused of hitting and killing Key, has two previous DWI convictions and was out on bond from a third DWI arrest in August.

Sheriff Gary says Stanley was one court date away from possibly going to prison.

Grayson County deputies say they're now performing their duties with Key weighing heavily on their minds.

"He had good presence about him. He was a sweet-spirited man. He felt like he would treat everybody with the same respect they would treat him," Braziel said.

A fund has been set up at Landmark Bank locations for the Key family.

Deputy Key's funeral is set for Thursday morning at First Baptist Church in Sherman.

Sheriff Gary says law enforcement officials across Texas have been contacting him today to say they plan to attend Key's funeral to pay their respects to the fallen officer.


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