Central Texas father files formal complaints against local judge and attorney

Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 9:37 PM CDT
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A Central Texas man says a family judge and others went too far in a Brazos County courtroom with comments about his child custody case.

Travis Sheppard obtained an audio recording following a child custody hearing last year in the Honorable Wendy Wood Hencerling's courtroom.

The recording was included in files obtained by Sheppard's attorney and includes conversations in the courtroom after the hearing ended on May 14, 2018.

In the recording, Judge Hencerling is heard saying she wanted to "throat punch" Sheppard and his ex-wife but "didn't have a big enough ring." An attorney replies and says "Well if you ever need to borrow my Aggie ring, go right ahead. You just need to drop it in bleach or something."

"As a professional, she should have never made those statements," said Sheppard. "They talk about how much money they're going to make off of it and they kept making references, I mean every single one of them, talk about me driving a Corvette"

Sheppard says he was most disturbed by comments made after he was ordered to go pick up his daughter and bring her from Bell County back to Brazos County.

"He's got a hot rod 2018 Corvette. He can just haul ass," a woman says.

"You should never make those kinds of comments as a professional that's handling things that affect people's lives," said Sheppard.

A month after that hearing, Travis Sheppard was arrested after someone claimed he made threats to harm the judge and his ex-wife.

to see our story detailing his arrest.

Sheppard says he has filed formal complaints against the judge and his former attorney with the agencies that oversee conduct for them both. Neither the State Bar of Texas or State Commission on Judicial Conduct comments on complaints or pending investigations.

We reached out to the Judge, her staff and the attorneys to ask about the recording, but our calls and emails were not returned.

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