An Angelina County grand jury has handed up additional indictments on a former Angelina County Sheriff’s Deputy and Jasper Police Officer.
The grand jury indicted Billy Joe Murphy 39, of Huntington, on two new charges of tampering with a witness during its September session. Murphy originally was indicted on a charge of sexual assault of a child in March of 2018.
Count one of the newest indictment alleges Murphy coerced the child in the sexual assault case by threatening to have felony criminal charges filed against her father between the dates of July to September 2019 with the intent to have the child withhold her testimony and information in the trial.
Count two alleges Murphy had threatened the girl’s mother and father in October 2017.
The Angelina County District Attorney’s Office sent a release out that stated Murphy surrendered himself to the Angelina County Jail on Wednesday and posted a $100,000 bond.
Texas Rangers arrested Murphy on Nov. 10, 2017. At the time of his arrest, Murphy was an officer with the Jasper department. He had been a deputy at the Sheriff's Office before that.
The affidavit for Murphy’s arrest states a then-15-year-old child made the outcry to her parents. She said Murphy had assaulted her while she was alone at his residence in Huntington, and that he showed her nude photos of himself prior to the assault and asked her to send photos in turn. The investigating Ranger noted in the affidavit the requests were a form of grooming and leverage for sexual exploitation.
The child later had a forensic interview at Harold’s House, where she gave an account on what happened that was consistent with her earlier outcry.
Murphy was held at the Angelina County Jail until he posted a $75,000 bond on Nov. 12, 2017.