Man charged with assault on a peace officer

Jeremy Callen Sheehan

A Victoria County man was found guilty Tuesday evening of assaulting a deputy and attempting to take his gun.

After returning their verdict, jurors were asked to return that evening to decide a punishment for Jeremy Callen Sheehan, 24. He could be sentenced to probation or as many as 20 years in prison.

The verdict came after about three hours of deliberation.

Jurors found Sheehan guilty of assault of a peace officer, a second-degree felony, and one count of attempting to take a weapon from an officer, a state jail felony. They found him not guilty of another count of attempting to take a weapon away from an officer, which stemmed from an accusation that Sheehan also tried to take the deputy’s Taser.

During his opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Arnold Hayden told jurors Sheehan had reached for a Victoria County deputy’s gun and Taser in May 2018 as the two struggled in a Placedo trailer.

On the stand, Placedo water board President Adrienne Hernandez said she called 911 after noticing a light inside a trailer owned by the board and suspecting a burglary.

Hayden said testimony from the assaulted deputy and other members of law enforcement was most valuable.

Sheehan’s attorney, Jerry Clark, declined to answer questions about the trial.

In a brief opening statement, Clark asked jurors to keep an open mind before making a decision.

Hayden said Deputy Randy Williams, who was dispatched to check out the trailer, found Sheehan lying in bed inside. After recognizing Sheehan was wanted, the deputy attempted to arrest the man alone.

For almost 10 minutes, Hayden said, Sheehan and Williams struggled inside the trailer as Hernandez and other bystanders waited outside, worrying.

During that struggle, the prosecutor said, Sheehan reached for the deputy’s firearm and Taser.

Hayden said Sheehan also inflicted a “serious blow” to Williams’ head that left the man’s ears ringing into the next day.

The struggle ended after the arrival of the Williams’ backup, Deputy Cali McDowell, who rushed to the scene after suspecting something might be wrong, Hayden said.

That suspicion began after she realized Williams had gone silent after asking dispatchers over the radio for information about Sheehan, he said.

McDowell arrived to find Sheehan wearing a single handcuff and wrestling with Williams, Hayden said. With McDowell’s help, Sheehan was then arrested.

“It took everything Randy Williams had to subdue the defendant,” said Hayden, adding Sheehan was “hopped up on something” at the time.

Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached jwilcox@vicad.com or 361-580-6515.

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

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