Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been indicted by a grand jury in Travis County on evidence tampering charges related to the death of 40-year-old postal worker Javier Ambler in 2019.
Chody now faces charges in both Travis County and Williamson County for his actions related to the destruction of footage from the “Live PD” camera crew that captured Ambler’s death. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Chody and the county’s former general counsel, Jason Nassour, were both indicted on Thursday. The two men were later released on $15,000 bail.
Cameras for the now-canceled A&E series were following deputies from Chody’s office during the 22-minute chase after Ambler, which began when he failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic and concluded with deputies tasing Ambler while he begged for his life. The chase crossed county lines, leading to charges in both jurisdictions.
Williamson County district attorney Shawn Dick told the American-Statesman that prosecutors will “work collaboratively,” with the possibility that they will be folded together down the line.
“Essentially, there were acts committed in Travis County, there were acts committed in Williamson County,” Dick told the paper. “I think both grand juries in both communities have said there is probable cause to believe that in each community, a crime was committed.”
Specific details of Chody’s alleged wrongdoing have not been released, and Chody has denied the charges against him.
“Live PD” was canceled by A&E in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis officers last year.
Host Dan Abrams expressed regret back in June about the destroyed footage related to Ambler’s death, attributing the decision to a “Live PD” policy that footage is deleted after a few weeks to prevent law enforcement from “attempting to use Live PD video to prosecute citizens seen on the footage.” Abrams said no formal requests to preserve the footage were made until June 2020, over a year after the incident took place.