A Texarkana man who became a fugitive when he failed to show for jury selection at his own trial in May was in court Monday for the first time since his arrest.
Demontrous O’Keith Witcher, 31, was dressed in jail clothes and handcuffs when he was brought before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell at the Bi-State Justice Center on Monday. Witcher was wearing women’s clothing when he was arrested Dec. 10 by Texarkana, Texas, police at the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant and at the time he allegedly shoplifted ladies perfume from a local retailer in February 2016.
Tidwell reminded Witcher of the resources and time wasted when he failed to appear for jury selection May 9.
“I was sitting here at the Bowie County courthouse with a couple hundred people from Bowie County, who were going to give you your day in court, like you had asked me for the day before,” Tidwell said. “Everybody showed up. Except for one person. You.”
Tidwell told Witcher he will remain in jail until trial. Court staff said Tidwell does not have an available trial date until mid-June.
Witcher has several theft cases and a charge of possessing a prohibited item in a correctional facility pending in Bowie County. A felony charge of failure to appear and bail jumping is expected to be filed soon, Tidwell said.
Witcher was scheduled to be tried in May for allegedly shoptlifting more than $1,100 in ladies perfume from Ulta Beauty in Texarkana, Texas. Witcher was allegedly caught on surveillance video stuffing his purse with store merchandise for which he never paid.
Tidwell scheduled Witcher to return to court for a pretrial hearing early next year.