Paris Texas Grand Jury indicts two men in connection with death of Brandon McClelland

Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune updates the happening in Paris, Texas as a Lamar County grand jury has indicted Shannon Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley in the death of Brandon McClelland. Here are a few excerpts from Witt’s Friday story in the Tribune.

  • A grand jury in the racially-troubled northeast Texas town of Paris returned first-degree murder indictments Thursday against two white men accused in the September dragging death of a black man, and the prosecutor in the case said he is investigating whether to add hate-crime charges.
  • Finley was also indicted for evidence tampering for allegedly attempting to wash McClelland’s blood from the undercarriage of the vehicle, while Crostley was indicted for allegedly retaliating against a witness in the case, authorities said. Both men remain in jail, unable to post bond.
  • Special Prosecutor Toby Shook said he elected not to present potential hate-crime charges to the grand jury Thursday. Under Texas law, such charges would not result in any enhancement of the penalty for murder. “We’re still looking at things,” said Shook, who was appointed after the local district attorney recused himself in the case. “You can always go back to the grand jury and re-indict. Obviously that’s an option.”

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