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Jury indicts suspect in police chief’s death

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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 4:30 am

BELTON — A Bell County grand jury indicted David Gene Risner, 57, of Little River-Academy, on Wednesday on one count of capital murder of a peace officer or firefighter.

A capital felony is a crime that warrants the death penalty and includes intentionally or knowingly causing the death of a public safety officer or firefighter in the line of duty, as well as other categories of murder, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Risner allegedly shot Little River-Academy Police Chief Lee Dixon to death on June 19. Dixon, who previously served as Little River-Academy’s police chief from 2004 to 2005, had been on the job again for a little over a month when Risner allegedly gunned him down.

On the day of the shooting, there had been an earlier disturbance in the area involving Risner.

During the dispute, Risner allegedly pulled a gun on a man, who filed a complaint with Dixon, according to the affidavit.

After taking his complaint, Dixon went out to talk to Risner.

As Dixon was heading to Risner’s residence, he reported by radio that he did not need assistance.

The man later told authorities he saw Dixon on Risner’s front porch before the shooting. At a little after 5:10 p.m., Risner allegedly opened fire, striking Dixon with two blasts from a shotgun.

Dixon radioed in he was in need of assistance. After Dixon’s call, the 911 switchboard lit up with calls reporting the shooting, including one allegedly from Risner.

Risner called 911 and reported he shot a police officer, according to court records.

Bell County Constable Thomas Prado arrived at the scene and arrested Risner, who surrendered without further incident.

Before moving to Little River-Academy, Risner had served in law enforcement for almost 19 years.

His most recent law enforcement position was with the Grand Saline Police Department in Grand Saline, a town of 3,300 people located about an hour east of Dallas on State Highway 80.

Risner’s tenure with the Grand Saline Police Department ended in 2005.

After leaving law enforcement, Risner began to have run-ins with the law. His first arrest for deadly conduct came after he discharged a firearm in December 2008.

In May 2012, Risner allegedly resisted arrest after he used profanity in a public place.

The case is ongoing.

In October, Risner allegedly resisted arrest again after he was found sleeping in a chair at the Bell County Courthouse and refused to remove his feet from the wall, give a Bell County sheriff’s deputy his name or leave the premises.

While being escorted from the building, Risner allegedly pushed back against the deputy.

Both resisting arrest cases, as well the failure to identify case, are ongoing.

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