Trial For Former Smith County, TX Constable Accused Of Theft Has Begun
The Controversial Trial Of Former Smith County Pct. 1 Constable Curtis Traylor-Harris Began Opening Arguments On Tuesday (Dec. 7).
Traylor-Harris was charged with official oppression and property theft by a public servant in November 2021 for the alleged January 2021 theft along with Pct. 1 Sgt. Derrick Holman and former Pct. 1 Chief Deputy LaQuenda Banks. The trial for Traylor-Harris began with him entering a not guilty plea to the charge.
After Opening Arguments By The Prosecution & Defense, Testimony Began With Examination Of Body Cam Footage.
According to KETK and CBS19, the prosecution called Brittany Poster, the woman who Traylor-Harris, Banks and Holman are accused of stealing from during the eviction, and her daughter Arianna to the stand. They also played the videos from Banks’ body camera footage of the eviction for the jury where both mother and daughter testified and confirmed what items were taken.
The Prosecution Also Called Former Deputy LaQuenda Banks To The Stand To Testify Against Her Former Supervisor.
The prosecution's star witness was former Chief Deputy LaQuenda Banks who is facing similar charges of her own but admitted on the stand that she hasn’t been offered any deal or special treatment for testifying for the prosecution. While on the witness stand, Banks admitted to taking items from the home and claimed that Traylor-Harris "forced" her to take the items because she was afraid of losing her job.
The Prosecution Rested Its Case After Testimony From A Texas Ranger Investigator.
Day 2 of the trial began on Wednesday with The State calling Chris Baggett with the Texas Ranger’s investigative division to the stand. Baggett said the Texas Rangers began their investigation in October 2021 at the request of the Smith County DA’s office after the footage was reviewed. After interviewing all parties involved, Baggett said Traylor-Harris, Holman and Banks all lied in their first interviews, and Banks was the only one to change her story after being arrested.
He obtained arrest warrants for and arrested the three from the constable’s office. Banks returned three of the items reported stolen after her arrest.
The defense said Traylor-Harris, who began as constable on Jan. 1, 2021, was doing well 26 days into the job but he was still a novice.
Testimony is ongoing at the time of this article with the defense preparing to present its case. If convicted, Traylor-Harris could face jail time and permanent suspension from office. We'll keep you updated with details as they develop.