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Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody Indicted By Travis County Grand Jury In Javier Ambler Case

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody outside the sheriff's office in Georgetown.
Michael Minasi

Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury in the case of Javier Ambler, who died in custody after a traffic stop in 2019. It's the fourth indictment in Travis County for this case.

The court indicted Chody on a third-degree felony charge of tampering with physical evidence.

Deputies pursued Ambler, a 40-year-old Black man from Pflugerville, after he failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic. After a 22-minute chase, deputies stopped Ambler and tasered him. Video of the incident shows him pleading with the deputies, saying he can't breathe. He died shortly after.

A film crew captured the encounter for the reality television show "Live PD." The sheriff's department had a contract with the program at the time.

Chody's indictment follows three others this week. The Travis County grand jury indicted the former general counsel for Williamson County Attorney's Office, Jason Nassour, on a third-degree felony charge of tampering with physical evidence. Two sheriff's deputies involved in the incident, James Johnson and Zachary Camden, were charged with second-degree manslaughter.

The case has been taken up in two counties because the pursuit began in Williamson County and ended in Travis.

In September, a Williamson County grand jury indicted Chody and Nassour on evidence tampering charges.

Chody's bond has been set at $15,000.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Allyson Ortegon is a former Williamson County reporter for KUT.
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