Man accused of shooting two deputies to get mental evaluation

Submitted photo by Roseanna McAlexander

A DeKalb, Texas, man accsued of shooting two Bowie County Sheriff’s Office deputies last month has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Bryan Lee Batchelor, 48, appeared before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell for a pre-indictment hearing Thursday with Bowie County Public Defender Shoaib Daredia. Daredia, who was appointed during the hearing to represent Batchelor, immediately requested a mental evaluation, “due to the nature of the charges.”

“The state is in agreement with that,” said First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd.

Bowie County deputies were called to a 4640 Farm to Market Road 44 East shortly after midnight Sept. 17, according to a probable cause affidavit. Batchelor was allegedly threatening members of the DeKalb Volunteer Fire Dept. with a “long gun” when they responded to a call regarding a burning house. The person who reported the fire told 911 operators that Batchelor had talked recently of burning the house down and of an alleged desire to harm law enforcement.

When deputies arrived, Batchelor allegedly drove his truck into a nearby pasture. Batchelor allegedly wounded two deputies with gunfire and a third by ramming his pickup into his patrol car, disabling it. In all, Batchelor is credited with rendering three patrol cars inoperable and sending three deputies to local hospitals. None of the deputy’s injuries were life threatening. Batchelor was shot by deputies and treated for non-life threatening injuries for several days at a Texarkana hospital. He is now being held in the Bowie County jail. According to court records, Batchelor’s wife filed for divorce about a month before the house fire brought firefighters and law enforcement to his property.

Batchelor’s bail is currently set at more than $3 million. Tidwell scheduled Batchelor to return to court next month.

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