Key decisions loom in case of man accused of killing local DPS trooper

Dabrett Montreal Black. (Jail photo)
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FAIRFIELD, Texas (KWTX) Decisions could be made soon about where a man accused of gunning down a local Department of Public Safety trooper during a traffic stop will be tried and whether he’ll face a possible death penalty.

Dabrett Black, 33, of Lindale is accused of killing Department of Public Safety Trooper Damon Allen, 41, of Teague on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

Allen was sitting in his patrol unit when the driver of a car he had pulled over for speeding on Interstate 45 south of Fairfield opened fire with a rifle, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Freestone County District Attorney Brian Evans said Tuesday he anticipates some decisions during a status hearing on September 26.
In March a defense motion seeking to move the trial was granted.

Evans said the judge overseeing the case has cast a wide net of possible venues from the Brazos Valley up to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

He said before the September hearing, he expects those counties that information has been requested from will respond to the judge.

Evans also said he was still trying to determine if he will seek the death penalty.

He said there is still evidence that is part of the discovery process that his office needs to investigate.

Black is charged with capital murder in the death of the 15-year DPS veteran.

In July 2017, four months before the deadly shooting, Black led authorities on the 105-mile-per-hour chase, during which he intentionally rammed a Smith County deputy’s vehicle.

The deputy had to be freed from the wreckage before he was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Black was charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault of a public servant and reckless driving, but was released from jail after posting bonds totaling just $15,500.

And that wasn’t the first time he had a violent run in with authorities.

Black was arrested in March 15, 2015 in Smith County after a sheriff's deputy was attacked while trying to restrain him after responding to an assault call.

The deputy suffered a broken nose and two black eyes during the nearly two-minute beating and six stitches were required to close his wounds.

Black was named in two felony complaints in connection, but under the terms of a plea agreement a year later, an assistant prosecutor recommended a one-year jail sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor assault in lieu of the two felonies.

The assistant signed off on the deal without the district attorney’s approval, a violation of office policy.

Black, who previously listed a Killeen address, was arrested in August 2014 for possession of a controlled substance and possession less than two ounces of marijuana.

In December 2014, the possession of a controlled substance charge was dismissed and Black was sentenced to three days in jail and was ordered to pay $200 in court costs, according to online records.