Bertram police chief faces felony perjury and oppression charges after Burnet County Grand Jury indictment



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Chief James Jay (“JJ”) Wilson faces several indictment charges, alleging official oppression, aggravated perjury and misuse of official information.




Editor's Note: Bertram Police Chief JJ Wilson offered comments in response to the indictments against him in the Friday, Oct. 5 issue of The Highlander. In that same issue, 33rd/424th Judicial District Attorney Wiley ("Sonny") McAfee also offered a statement from the DA's office.

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

The 424th Judicial District Grand Jury indicted Bertram Police Chief James Jay (“JJ”) Wilson Oct. 2 on charges of felony aggravated perjury, felony misuse of official information and misdemeanor official oppression, court documents stated.

The charges stemmed from three incident allegations in Burnet County in connection with a dispute over hay ownership, the release of criminal background information and a sworn statement in a drug-related arrest, according to the grand jury indictments.

Wilson, who has been the police chief for three years, turned himself into the Burnet County Jail on Oct. 2 and was released the same day on combined personal recognizance bonds on charges of oppression and information misuse totaling $100,000; along with a surety bond on the perjury charge which totaled $1,000.

Conditions of his bond include no firearms or ammunition possession, substance abuse testing and no contact with individuals named in the indictments.

Bertram City Mayor Adam Warden offered a statement which read that Wilson had “served the city of Bertram professionally and ethically,” indictating he offered continued support for the embattled chief.

During his tenure, he has given the city no reason to doubt his integrity and has become a valuable part of the Bertram community,” according to the mayor's statement. “We will certainly follow the pending Burnet County case but do not anticipate a change in his position or responsibilities at this time.”

Indictment documents stated that three counts of official oppression involved an incident in August 2017 where Jeremy Nicholas alleged Wilson threatened to have his truck impounded if he did not return hay bales to a Burnet County woman. A second accuser Cade Moore alleged the chief threatened to have his commercial license revoked if the two men did not deliver the hay to the woman.

Another indictment alleged that in October 2017 Wilson “unlawfully” arrested a drug suspect.

The allegation of the “false statement under oath,” stated that (the suspect) began to act irrational towards the officers and appeared to become more aggressive with each passing moment as the officers attempted to question the narcotics suspect,” according to the court documents.

The indictment alleged Wilson falsified a sworn statement in an affidavit to gain probable cause in the resulting public intoxication arrest.

The indictment involving the misuse of official information charge alleged that Wilson in May 2018 released criminal history information of Jeremy Collins to a woman for non-governmental purposes.

A Bertram police officer at the time alleged that he experienced an encounter with Wilson involving the release of Collins' information.

Find an update to this story in the Friday, Oct. 5 issue of The Highlander.

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