Central Texas police chief, 3 officers indicted, placed on leave

Former Chief Kevin Ratliff (left) and Officer Grant Harden. (Mugshots courtesy of Marble Falls Highlander)
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LLANO, Texas (KWTX) The Llano police chief and three of his officers are on administrative leave after charges of misconduct led to grand jury indictments.

Former Chief Kevin Ratliff and Officer Grant Harden were indicted in connection with the May 2, 2017 arrest of a Llano man during which the officers are accused of committing one count of official oppression by trespass, one count of official oppression by false arrest and one count of tampering with a government document, the indictment says.

That leaves half the force on the streets out of a department that is authorized for eight, the city manager said.

“We’ve got it covered because we got some back up from the sheriff’s office,” he said Monday by phone.

Ratliff, Harden and former Sgt. Jared Latta and former Officer Aimee Shannon, all were indicted on Jan. 29 on official oppression charges in connection with the incident, and Harden also was indicted for tampering with a government document.

The indictments grew out of an incident during which Harden is accused of unlawfully forcing Corey Nutt from inside his trailer home and arresting him but failing not to include necessary detail on the arrest report.

The public intoxication charges against Nutt later were dropped later.

Official oppression is a class A misdemeanor, according to the Texas Penal Code, punishable by a jail term of as much as a year and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000.

Tampering with a government document is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days-two years in a state jail facility and/or a fine up to $10,000.

Llano County District Attorney Wiley McAffee said he does not anticipate any additional charges in the case.

McAffee said Ratliff’s trial already is set in May.

Shannon is accused of being present during the unlawful arrest and threatening to employ a stun gun on the victim in her capacity as a Llano police officer.

Ratliff and Latta each are accused of knowing the arrest was unlawful and aiding it.

Ratliff, Latta and Shannon were placed on administrative leave with pay after a complaint charging official misconduct was lodge with McAfee’s office.

Harden already was on paid leave when he was indicted and, in addition, was also indicted on separate charge connected to an April 25, 2016, traffic stop for official oppression by assault and official oppression by unlawful arrest in that case.