Dallas News – by Lizzy Spangler
A former police officer in southeast Texas has been sentenced to 10 years of probation for stealing more than $2,000 of Christmas money from a man who suffered a fatal heart attack.
Linnard Ray Crouch, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of theft by a public servant, court records show. An unrelated charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
James Mabe, 74, died in December 2016. He had been at an office in Texas City, about 35 miles southeast of Houston, on Dec. 19 to visit his son and wife, who gave him $2,400 to buy Christmas presents, The Daily News of Galveston County reported.
While driving off, Mabe suffered a heart attack. Crouch, then a Texas City officer, was called to where Mabe’s vehicle had stopped in the road.
When Mabe’s wife, Linda Mabe, was at a hospital later, Crouch gave her a bag containing only a few hundred dollars, The Daily News reported. An attorney for the family said it was unclear whether Mabe was already dead when the money was taken.
Crouch resigned from his job on Jan. 30, 2017.
He was arrested and charged with theft in July 2017, shortly after Mabe’s relatives sued him and Texas City. That lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum of money this summer, according to The Daily News.
The aggravated-assault charge that was dismissed Tuesday stemmed from an incident with his ex-girlfriend. Crouch was accused of crashing his car into hers after getting upset, an incident he said was an accident, The Daily News reported.