Man who shot Bowie County deputies sentenced to 50 years

Submitted photo by Roseanna McAlexander

NEW BOSTON, Texas: A DeKalb, Texas, man who pointed a gun at firefighters, shot two deputies, injured a third deputy and survived being shot himself, received a 50-year sentence Thursday as part of a plea agreement.

Bryan Lee Batchelor, 49, appeared with Chief Public Defender Rick Shumaker at a hearing Thursday morning at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.

First Assistant District Attorney Mike Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter told Tidwell that the plea arrangement includes 50-year sentences on each of three counts of aggravated assault on a public servant and a 10-year sentence for evading arrest or detention in a vehicle. All of the sentences will be served by Batchelor concurrently.

When Batchelor heard Shepherd mention the 10-year sentence, he said he hadn’t been told he be serving a 10-year term on top of a 50-year one. Shumaker explained to Batchelor that he will serve all the terms at the same time.

Batchelor was also ordered to pay $234 in court costs for each of the four felonies for a total of $936.

As the hearing came to a close and in the presence of at least a dozen members of the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, Tidwell remarked on the respect he has for those who serve their communities in public service.

“You made a decision that night that not only affected yourself and your family but those people whose responsibility it is to protect the public,” Tidwell said. “When they kiss their families goodbye they never know how the day is going to end.”

Fortunately, all of the deputies injured by Batchelor’s gunfire and reckless driving have recovered from the injuries they suffered Sept. 17, 2017. Deputies responded to Batchelor’s home, which was fully engulfed in flames, after Batchelor pointed a long gun at DeKalb firefighters who arrived to extinguish the flames.

When he saw patrol cars approach, Batchelor drove his truck into a nearby pasture. Batchelor wounded two deputies with gunfire and a third by ramming his pickup into the deputy’s 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 until he can be transported to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. 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.

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