TEXARKANA — The Texas Department of Public Safety has thwarted an attempt by 6th District Court in Red River County to expunge arrest records related to dismissed charges against Tammy Butler.
Butler was charged with tampering with a governmental record and engaging in organized criminal activity, however, charges were dropped on two occasions.
Butler originally was indicted in May 2013, and both charges were dismissed. She was re-indicted a year later on one charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and that charge was dismissed when Butler agreed to plead guilty to a lesser Class A misdemeanor. Sixth District Judge Eric Clifford accepted deferred adjudication and handed down a sentence of two years community supervision in addition to a $1,000 fine and court costs.
In May 2018, Butler filed a petition asking the trial court to expunge the criminal records, and on June 11, 2018, 6th District Judge Wes Tidwell granted Butler’s request and ordered the expunction. The DPS filed an appeal in December 2018, claiming the trial court failed to notify the department of the expunction hearing.
“It was therefore error for the trial court to grant Butler’s petition for expunction without providing notice to DPS of the hearing,” the Sixth Court of Criminal Appeals in Texarkana wrote in a ruling issued earlier this month.