Central Texas Grand Jury Declines To Indict Ex-High School Coach

Christopher Garrett (File)

HILLSBORO (March 30, 2012)—The Hill County Grand Jury has declined to indict Christopher Garrett, 39, the Whitney ISD teacher and coach charged in April 2010 in connection with a spring break party at which students claimed they were served alcohol and who later was charged with having sexual intercourse twice with a 17-year-old female student in the bedroom of his home.

Garrett, who no longer teaches at Whitney, had been charged with having an improper relationship with a student.

Special prosecutor Charles Breaux, a Corsicana lawyer who was charged with overseeing the case, presented the issue to the grand jury last week and the jury declined to indict Garrett.

The Hill County District Clerk confirmed the no bill was handed down on March 22.

The charges against Garrett for providing alcohol to a minor are misdemeanors and were not a part of the grand jury deliberations.

Those charges are at the Hill County Attorney's office and are under investigation now.

Police, in an affidavit that was issued at the time of the arrest, said the victim, a 17-year-old high school girl, reported to officers she had been provided with beer "to a level which impaired her ability to resist or provide consent."

She told investigators Garrett had sex with her on the evening on March 15 and again in the morning on March 16 "while she was intoxicated by beer" that Garrett provided, the affidavit said.

Garrett and Nicholas Bird, 24, who also worked as a teacher and coach in the Whitney ISD, were originally charged in late April 2010 after two Whitney High School students and one former student alleged they were partying at a teacher's house outside Whitney over spring break and were offered alcoholic drinks while there, according to arrest warrant affidavits.

All three - one male and two females -- were younger than 21, according to affidavits provided to News 10 by Hill County Justice of the Peace Martis Ward.

Bird was released from the Hill County Jail after posting a $1,500 bond and Garrett was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Both Garrett and Bird were suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Associated affidavits indicate Whitney police interviewed Garrett and Bird about the incidents on March 15 and both men denied any fraternization with the students.

A second affidavit says Garrett was interviewed by Whitney police Chief Jake Sullivan and during that interview, Garrett denied that Wear and the two girls had been to his house.

He said the only time female students had been to his home was to babysit, and he said the two girls named in the affidavits had never been there to babysit.

A third affidavit indicates when interviewed about the incident, Bird told Sullivan he had been at the Garrett home on March 15, but said when he was there he was alone with Garrett.

Security logs indicate Bird was at White Bluff at the same time the juveniles were logged in there.

Garrett was Whitney High School's offensive coordinator and head baseball coach.

Bird coached middle school athletics.

Garrett also taught social studies and Bird also teaches remedial science at Whitney High School.