Ex-Central Texas cop acquitted of evidence tampering

Christopher Cato (left) and Ronald Schmidt. (Jail photos)
Christopher Cato (left) and Ronald Schmidt. (Jail photos)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 3:28 PM CST
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A former Gatesville police officer was acquitted Wednesday in state district court on a tampering with evidence charge.

Christopher Cato was found not guilty by a jury in 52nd State District Court on two counts, first tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, a 3rd degree felony, and one count of failing to report a felony, a Class A misdemeanor, according to documents filed in the Coryell County District Clerk’s office.

Jurors returned the verdict after about an hour of deliberation.

“It’s unfortunate that Christopher Cato and his family had to go through this,” Cato’s attorney, James Stapler, said.

“Justice ultimately prevailed, but it was a long and expensive effort both financially and emotionally for my client,” he said.

The Coryell County Grand Jury issued sealed indictments against Cato and another officer, Ronald Schmidt, in December 2018 after the former officers were accused of “line of duty” incidents related to a May 2017 investigation.

The indictments showed that both officers were investigating a case involving the reported sexual assault of a minor child.

Charges against Schmidt were dismissed in December.

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