Deputies Sentenced for Civil Rights Crimes

The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:

(Sherman, TX) United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced Wednesday that two former Cooke County Sheriff’s deputies have been sentenced for civil rights violations in the Eastern District of Texas. JUDD DAVID JONES, 29 of Gainesville, received 54 months in federal prison and JODY MARLIN LYONS, 30 of Gainesville, received 18 months in federal prison. They were sentenced today by United States District Judge Ron Clark.

U.S. Attorney Orwig was pleased with the sentence, “It is unacceptable for a peace officer to violate the law they have sworn to uphold or another person’s civil rights.”

According to information presented in court, on April 17, 2003, Jones was employed as a Deputy for the Cooke County Sheriff's Office when he used unreasonable force against an individual by kicking the person in the head and chest while in custody, resulting in bodily injury to that person. On November 14, 2002, Jones was also employed as a Deputy Sheriff when he used unreasonable force against another individual by striking the person in the head while in custody, also resulting in bodily injury. Jones pleaded guilty to two charges of civil rights violations.

Lyons admitted to conspiring with Jones by denying that he had knowledge that Jones had violated the civil rights of several individuals. Lyons admitted that on April 17, 2003, he made false statements to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with the November 14, 2002, assault by Jones, by stating that he transported the individual to the Cooke County Jail without incident, when he knew that Jones struck the individual prior to the transporting him to jail. Jones admitted that he made a false statement again on October 2, 2003, when he denied to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the same individual had been physically assaulted by Jones on November 14, 2002. Lyons pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements and making false statements.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Ernest Gonzalez prosecuted the case.