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Local News

April 17, 2014

Wanted fugitive captured in Ellis County

Braziel fled 2007 felony DWI indictment

QUINLAN — A former Quinlan resident, on the run for seven years on a felony DWI warrant, has apparently been living under an assumed name in Henderson County.

Billy Don Braziel, 66, has a criminal record dating back more than 40 years and had previously been convicted of murder.

Braziel is currently in custody in the Ellis County Jail after being arrested in Palmer in February.  Braziel was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in April 2007 on one count of felony driving while intoxicated (DWI), meaning he was alleged to have two or more prior felony DWI convictions on his record. The indictment alleged Braziel was under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug or a combination of any or all three while driving on Dec. 13, 2006. The case was filed by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.

Braziel never showed up for his May 21, 2007 arraignment on the indictment. His $10,000 cash or surety bond was revoked and a warrant was issued for his arrest. A new bond, upon Braziel’s arrest, was set at $10,000 cash only.

Earlier this month the company which held Braziel’s previous bond filed a motion with the 196th District Court, seeking to be relieved of liability under the bond, as Braziel had been arrested by police in Palmer on February 14 on the outstanding warrant. Judge Steve Tittle granted the motion on April 10.

As of Thursday afternoon, Braziel was listed in custody in the Ellis County Jail, being held in lieu of the Hunt County charge, as well as a failure to identify as a fugitive from justice charge from Palmer. Court records indicate Braziel identified himself to officers as Billy Don Brazil, who lived in Trinidad, Texas.

Braziel’s Hunt County indictment lists five prior convictions for driving while intoxicated; including misdemeanor DWI convictions from 1987 and 1990, a 1991 felony DWI conviction and two 1995 felony DWI convictions. Braziel was also convicted in 1975 for escape from the State of Illinois and for murder in 1970, also from Illinois.

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