Precinct 1 Needs a New Constable: Jury Finds Derick Evans Guilty of Organized Crime
Update at 5:02 p.m.: No jail time, but two years probation and a $10,000 fine. Also, Evans has already appealed the conviction, meaning he can't be removed from office unless "the court that renders judgment finds that it is in the public interest," which is slated to take place on July 23.
Original Post: More than two years have passed since former FBI agent Danny Defenbaugh delivered a report to then-Dallas County Judge Jim Foster alleging that Constable Derick Evans had coerced his deputies into selling raffle tickets to fund his re-election campaign. And it was a little less than two years ago when Evans and fellow Constable Jaime Cortes were indicted on related criminal charges.
Cortes charges of including false information on campaign finance reports are still pending, while Evans' case has now gone before jurors twice. The first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury failed to agree on a verdict. The second ended today with a conviction.
Jurors convicted Evans of engaging in organized crime for setting up a raffle in violation of state gambling laws. According to testimony reported in the DMN, Evans would raffle off items like an Xbox and would require his deputies to sell a certain number of $5 tickets. The money was then used to fund his political campaign. Evans claimed that it wasn't a raffle at all, and that the prizes were gifts to donors.
Sentencing is scheduled to come down later today. As part of the guilty verdict, Evans is required to relinquish his constable post immediately. It'll be up to the Commissioners Court to pick someone to fill out the remainder of Evans' term.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.