Defendant in State Game Warden Hostage Case Pleads Guilty
AUSTIN – A former Upshur County commissioner arrested in October 2012 for holding a state game warden at gunpoint has pled guilty to the third-degree felony offense of taking a firearm from a peace officer and further admitted in his plea that he could be found guilty of aggravated assault on a public servant.
In 115th Dist. Court, visiting judge William Porter sentenced Lloyd Allen Crabtree to 10 years in prison, but placed him on probation for five years. In addition, Crabtree was ordered to publicly apologize to the game warden and other law enforcement officers who responded to the scene last year.
Crabtree also will have to pay a $1,000 fine, take an anger management class, pay court costs and other fees as well as perform 240 hours of community service. While on probation he will have to submit to monthly drug tests and will be barred from drinking alcohol. As a convicted felon, he will be prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition.
The charges to which Crabtree pled guilty stem from an Oct. 6, 2012 incident in which the game warden was disarmed and detained by two armed men while the officer was making a routine check for hunting law violations on private property in Upshur County.
The game warden used his cell phone to call for help, and soon numerous local and state officers came to his assistance and ended the situation with no shots fired.
“We appreciate the support we received during this ordeal from all the other law enforcement agencies that helped out, as well as the local community,” said Lt. Col. Danny Shaw, assistant director of TPWD’s Law Enforcement Division.
“Texas game wardens will continue to serve the people of the state in all 254 counties. Our men and women will remain on the front line in protecting our natural resources and assuring public safety. For more than 120 years Texas game wardens have been committed to doing the right thing, not just what they have the right to do.”
Crabtree’s son, Todd A. Crabtree, 28, was indicted last January on three felony charges: One count of aggravated assault on a peace officer (first degree felony); one count of taking a weapon from a peace officer (third degree felony); and one count of unlawful restraint with a deadly weapon (third degree felony).The charges against him are still pending.
Initially, the father and son had been held at the Upshur County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million bond each.
The incident last fall was investigated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Internal Affairs Unit and the Texas Rangers.