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Ex-Upshur commissioner, son released on reduced bond amounts

By Christina Lane
Jan. 30, 2013 at 11 p.m.

An Upshur County district judge lowered bonds Wednesday for a former commissioner and his son, who were each being held on $1.5 million bonds, facing multiple felony charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer.

District Judge Lauren Parish lowered former Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree's bond to $150,000 and his son Todd Crabtree's bond to $100,000, said District Attorney Billy Byrd.

The Crabtrees' attorney, Clifton "Scrappy" Holmes, said bond for the men was posted Wednesday evening and they were released.

"We are very appreciative of that conduct," Holmes said regarding the bond reduction.

There are multiple conditions to the reduction, Byrd said. Conditions include that the Crabtrees must surrender all weapons and firearms to Gilmer's Department of Public Safety within 24 hours; surrender their passports; make no contact with people involved in their cases as well as not go to within a one-mile radius of their homes, he said.

The Crabtrees were taken into custody Friday and held over the weekend in the Upshur County Jail on multiple felony indictments stemming from an October incident in which they allegedly disarmed a state game warden and held him at gunpoint.

Byrd said Lloyd Crabtree's bond remained higher than his son's because he was charged with assaulting three peace officers while Todd Crabtree was charged with assaulting one.

Byrd said he could not comment on why Parish chose to reduce the bonds, but added there will not be a hearing today.

"My main concern is that we were one trigger pull away from multiple capital murder charges against multiple peace officers," Byrd said.

An Upshur County grand jury this past week returned five felony charges against Lloyd Crabtree, 51, and three against his son. Both sets of indictments include first-degree counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.

The indictments stem from an Oct. 6 incident in which Game Warden Shane Bailey allegedly was disarmed and detained at gunpoint by two men while the officer was making a routine check for hunting law violations.

The incident occurred on a wooded tract of land owned by Lloyd Crabtree that abuts the Sabine River south of Big Sandy, Byrd said at the time.

The game warden used his cellphone to call for help, and numerous local and state officers came to his assistance. According to Byrd, those officers also were threatened. The situation ended with no shots fired and the Crabtrees behind bars.

Crabtree ended eight years representing Pct. 3, the county's southwest quadrant, on Dec. 31.



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