Sunday, October 19, 2008

Police officer gets decade in prison, but escapes SO registration in Texas for coerced sex

(Original post 5-24-08)

Jimmy Fennell Jr, a former Georgetown, TX police officer, pleaded gulity to sexual misconduct and kidnapping, but was able to escape sex offender registration and more serious charges ofofficial oppression and aggravated sexual assault. At his scheduled sentencing by Judge Burt Carnes on June 24, Fennell will face a 2 year prison term followed by a 10 year probation term.

In addition, he must also permanently surrender his peace officer's license as a condition of the plea deal. Should Williamson County Judge Burt Carnes change the agreement, Fennell can withdraw his guilty plea.He resigned from the Georgetown Police Department in January after he was indicted. In a search warrant affidavit filed after the October incident, the woman claimed she was drunk at the time, and Fennell drove her to a park, asked her to dance for him, and then assaulted her on his police cruiser.

In 1996, Fennell's fiance Stacey Stites was strangled to death by Rodney Reed, who is currently on Texas' death row, but appealing. His attorney says this about the murder case:

"Jimmy Fennell was never a serious suspect in the case. You heard from her relatives. I think the Rodney Reed case needs to be put to bed and Rodney Reed needs to get the justice he's well due,"

(Update 10-19-08) Fennell's plea agreement was thrown out on June 24. He requested a bench trial and pled guilty on September 19 of two counts. One count was of kidnapping and the other count was sexual activity with someone in custody. He was sentenced on September 26 to 10 years, with the sexual misconduct charge to he served concurrently with the kidnapping charge.

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