By Brad Kellar
A Royse City-area man, left in a wheelchair as the result of a November shootout with law enforcement officers, pleaded not guilty last Wednesday to seven counts of attempted capital murder.
Seven sealed indictments for attempted capital murder of a peace officer were issued by the Hunt County grand jury last month against Johnny Joe Webb. The indictments became unsealed after Webb, 40, turned himself in and was arraigned Wednesday on all charges in the 196th District Court.
Judge Joe Leonard appointed an attorney to represent Webb and set an interim hearing for June 6. Leonard also reduced Webb’s bonds from $150,000 cash or surety on each indictment to $5,000 personal recognizance on each charge.
“He’s still recovering from his wounds,” said Hunt County District Attorney F. Duncan Thomas. “He’s confined to a wheelchair and apparently he is disabled at this point.”
Each of the indictments are first-degree felonies, punishable by a maximum sentence upon conviction of from five to 99 years to life in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.
The indictments allege that Webb acted with “the specific intent to commit the offense of capital murder” on firing upon seven separate law enforcement officers. The Texas Rangers handled the investigation and presented the case to the grand jury for consideration.
Webb was hospitalized for almost two months after he was shot by officers answering a call at a residence near the Hunt/Rockwall County line. The officers alleged Webb fired on them first.
Hunt County Sheriff’s Deputies had responded to a domestic disturbance call at around 10:41 p.m. Nov. 11, when Webb allegedly fired multiple times at the officers from his residence on Bear Hill Road. Rockwall County deputies and a Texas Department of Public Safety officer also assisted, with Royse City officers also on scene securing the perimeter.
The officers returned fire, striking Webb once in the pelvic area.
Officers reportedly had spent about an hour outside the residence attempting to negotiate with Webb before he opened fire. No officers were injured during the incident.
By Brad Kellar