The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Local News

September 6, 2009

The Lost Indicted: Three convicted killers wanted for years for other crimes

It is not unusual for a suspect, indicted for a felony crime in Hunt County, to come up missing.

Each year, hundreds of indictments are issued for offenses ranging from capital murder to possession of marijuana.

Every so often, a defendant will fail to appear for an arraignment on an indictment, or decide not to attend an interim hearing. The judge in the case will revoke the defendant’s bond and order a capias warrant be issued for the individual’s arrest. The names of those who do fail to appear for a hearing and have their bonds revoked are published in the “For The Record” section in the Herald-Banner. The defendant almost always will be placed back into custody in short order and the legal process will resume.

A Herald-Banner investigation has uncovered three Hunt County defendants who appear to have slipped through the cracks in the system, who have had active warrants out for their arrests for the past two — and in one case three — years. The three defendants also share one other characteristic; they each have been convicted of killing someone.

District Attorney Noble D. Walker Jr. said he doesn’t have any explanation as to why Billy Braziel, Darron Farris Chandler and Cedric Lee Pannell have yet to be captured.

“It looks like the cases are all still pending, we just need to get these guys in custody,” Walker said.

All three of the defendants went missing before Walker took office as district attorney in January of this year and none of the defendants are currently wanted for any violent crimes.

— Braziel, 61, of Quinlan, was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in April 2007 on one count of felony driving while intoxicated (DWI), meaning Braziel was alleged to have two or more prior felony DWI convictions on his record. Braziel was scheduled for arraignment on the charge on May 21, 2007 but failed to appear. His $10,000 cash or surety bond was revoked and a warrant was issued for his arrest.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.

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