Trial for man accused of killing local DPS trooper will be moved to Brazos County

Published: Sep. 26, 2019 at 4:09 PM CDT
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The man accused of gunning down a Central Texas Department of Public Safety trooper during a traffic stop on Thanksgiving Day in 2017 learned Thursday where his trial will be held.

Dabrett Black, 33, of Lindale is accused of killing Department of Public Safety Trooper Damon Allen, 41, of Teague, while he was sitting in his patrol unit when the driver of a car he pulled over for speeding on Thanksgiving Day 2017 on Interstate 45 south of Fairfield opened fire with a rifle, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Freestone County District Attorney Brian Evans said at a status hearing the judge decided that Brazos County will host the trial and it is expected to begin on Aug. 3, 2020.

In March a defense motion seeking to move the trial was granted.

Evans also said he was still trying to determine if he will seek the death penalty or life in prison.

Black is charged with capital murder in the death of the 15-year DPS veteran.

In July 2017, four months before the deadly shooting, Black led authorities on the 105-mile-per-hour chase, during which he intentionally rammed a Smith County deputy’s vehicle.

The deputy had to be freed from the wreckage before he was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Black was charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault of a public servant and reckless driving, but was released from jail after posting bonds totaling just $15,500.

And that wasn’t the first time he had a violent run in with authorities.

Black was arrested in March 15, 2015 in Smith County after a sheriff's deputy was attacked while trying to restrain him after responding to an assault call.

The deputy suffered a broken nose and two black eyes during the nearly two-minute beating and six stitches were required to close his wounds.

Black was named in two felony complaints in connection, but under the terms of a plea agreement a year later, an assistant prosecutor recommended a one-year jail sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor assault in lieu of the two felonies.

The assistant signed off on the deal without the district attorney’s approval, a violation of office policy.

Black, who previously listed a Killeen address, was arrested in August 2014 for possession of a controlled substance and possession less than two ounces of marijuana.

In December 2014, the possession of a controlled substance charge was dismissed and Black was sentenced to three days in jail and was ordered to pay $200 in court costs, according to online records.