When word came out of Grayson County last August that a drunk and nude Randy Travis had been arrested after crashing his car and lying naked in the middle of a farm-to-market road near Tioga, pretty much every reporter's first instinct was to ask for the dash-cam footage.
No dice. Since it was part of an ongoing investigation, Grayson County could legally refuse. Even after the investigation closed, with Travis pleading guilty to DWI, the judge ordered the destruction of all tapes and transcripts of the arrest.
With that, it seemed that the public would never have the opportunity of seeing the country star being forced naked into the back of a squad car.
But wait. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which has a copy of the video, objected to the judge's order and, on Monday, a state appeals court agreed.
In this case, the attorney general has opined that, while parts of the video were confidential, the remainder of the video was public information and was required to be released. By the clear language of the statute, the trial court would err by ordering relator not to produce this public information. It follows that the trial court erred by ordering relator to destroy it.
That's not to say the dash-cam footage will be released immediately. Travis filed a lawsuit in Travis County seeking to overturn the attorney general's decision that the video has to be made public. But it's comforting to know that it still exists.
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