The Williamson County District Attorney’s Office is awaiting direction from the Travis County District Attorney’s Office on how to proceed with two separate but related charges between the two entities against former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody for evidence tampering.
In an announcement docket on April 28, the attorneys representing Chody and former general counsel to the Williamson County Attorney's Office Jason Nassour asked the Williamson County DA team how it plans to move forward since the Travis County DA Office too has indicted Chody and Nassour in connection to the death-in-custody case of Javier Ambler.
An announcement docket is when a criminal defense attorney representing defendants may communicate with the prosecutor handling the case and receive discovery information they are entitled to under the law, according to the Williamson County website.
Prosecutors from the Williamson County DA’s Office said they hope to have a better understanding of which case will go first and whether one of the cases is dismissed for a later time in about 30-60 days, as the Travis County DA’s Office is still in the process of gathering and providing discovery.
Defense attorneys argued at least one case should be dismissed due to potential for double jeopardy—an instance of prosecuting someone twice for the same offense.
“I think having to defend the same charge in two different venues at the same time implicates the multiple prosecution prong of the double jeopardy clause, and would be fundamentally unfair to Mr. Nassour and Mr. Chody,” Nassour's attorney David Botsford said.
The prosecutors did not comment on that claim and only they would work with Travis County on determining a timeline and plan for how cases will move forward.
The presiding judge over the Williamson County case Sid Harle, of the Fourth Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, and the attorneys agreed to a July 23 date where a decision would be made.
Chody and Nassour were both indicted for evidence tampering by a Williamson County grand jury on Sept. 25 and then again for evidence tampering by a Travis County grand jury in March.
The cases center around Ambler, a Black man, who died in March 2019, after WCSO deputies engaged in a 22-minute car chase into Travis County; Ambler ultimately crashed and then was tased four times by WCSO deputies until he was unresponsive.