Conspiracy added to charges against former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody in Javier Ambler case

Photo of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office
Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody had conspiracy to tamper with evidence added to his charges in the Javier Ambler case. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody had conspiracy to tamper with evidence added to his charges in the Javier Ambler case. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Travis County District Attorney's office announced a new charge against Robert Chody on Nov. 9, adding conspiracy to tamper with evidence to the list of charges against the former Williamson County Sheriff.

Chody was initially indicted in Travis County on March 31 with evidence tampering charges in the case of Javier Ambler II, who died in 2019 after being tased by Williamson County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Travis County. Chody was charged alongside Jason Nassour, former general counsel to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, who has also been reindicted on conspiracy charges.

“These cases were reindicted to better clarify conduct that we believe violated the law,” said Dexter Gilford, director of the Civil Rights Unit at the Travis County DA's office, in a statement.

Chody and Nassour are alleged to have intentionally destroyed audio and video recordings of the events leading up to Ambler's death. The recordings in question were made in connection with "Live PD," a documentary series on the A&E network that shadows law enforcement officers during nighttime patrols. The reindictment on conspiracy charges further alleges that Chody and Nassour entered an agreement with Big Fish Entertainment LLC to destroy the unaired footage, knowing it related to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Ambler died in March 2019 following a car chase with Williamson County Sheriff's Office deputies, who pursued him after he failed to dim his lights to oncoming traffic, according to Williamson County documents. The chase ended in Travis County, where Ambler crashed his vehicle and was tased four times before becoming unresponsive. While his death was initially ruled a "justifiable homicide," his case received renewed attention in 2020 during local and national protests for Black Lives Matter.


Two sheriff's deputies, James Johnson and Zachary Camden, were also indicted in Travis County in the Ambler case. Both received second-degree manslaughter charges earlier this year.

Chody and Nassour are set to be tried by a Travis County jury. The Travis County and Williamson County district attorney's offices will jointly prosecute the case.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.



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