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Former General Counsel For Williamson County Attorney's Office Indicted In Javier Ambler Case

A mural of Javier Ambler at Home Slice Pizza on South Congress Avenue.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Portrait artist Devon Clarkson painted a mural of Javier Ambler at Home Slice Pizza on South Congress Avenue in October.

A Travis County grand jury has indicted former Williamson County general counsel Jason Nassour in the case of Javier Ambler. It's the third indictment this week.

Nassour faces a third-degree felony charge of tampering with physical evidence.

Ambler, a 40-year-old Black man from Pflugerville, was chased by Williamson County deputies for 22 minutes after a traffic violation in March 2019. Deputies tasered him as he said he couldn't breathe, and he died shortly after.

The encounter was documented by a film crew from the reality television show "Live PD." The Williamson County Sheriff's Department had a contract with the show at the time.

"The charge stems from events surrounding the death of Mr. Ambler and missing video footage," the Travis County District Attorney's Office said in a press release. "The video remains unaccounted for to this day."

The grand jury also heard evidence relating to former Sheriff Robert Chody's involvement in the case, but could not say whether an indictment had been issued at this time.

Nassour's indictment comes a day after Travis County DA José Garza announced the indictments of two sheriff's deputies involved in the incident. James Johnson and Zachary Camden were charged with second-degree manslaughter.

“I know that these indictments will not bring peace to the Ambler family. No parent should have to bury their child,” Garza said in the press release. “But we remain committed to seeing this through on behalf of not just Javier Ambler, but also our community.”

The pursuit began in Williamson County and concluded in Travis, so both counties have been involved with the case. In September, a Williamson County grand jury indicted Nassour and Chody on charges of evidence tampering.

"The last nine months, we've been working collaboratively with the Travis County District Attorney's office and their team to ensure that justice is done for the Ambler family and for our community," Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick said at a news conference Wednesday. "We will continue to work collaboratively to see these cases through to their conclusion."

The Travis County court set Nassour's bond at $15,000.

Allyson Ortegon is a former Williamson County reporter for KUT.
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