A Henderson schools trustee may face criminal mischief charges for allegedly paying two teenagers to damage the pickup truck and steal the campaign signs of an election challenger, the Longview News Journal reported.
The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office submitted a criminal mischief case against the trustee, Jon Best, to District Attorney Micheal Jimerson last week, although both Jimerson and Sheriff Jeff Price declined to comment on the case, the newspaper reported.
Best has denied allegations he paid two teens to harass Adam Duey, whom he will face in this year’s school board election, by stealing Duey’s campaign signs and damaging his truck. Best was arrested after the allegations came to light.
Adam Roberson is Best’s former employee and renter. According to The News Journal, Roberson told investigators that a 17-year-old who lives with Roberson’s family stole the sign as Roberson’s son drove the truck without his permission.
Roberson said that Best and his attorney, Darryl Bennett, called him and tried to pressure the two teenagers to retract their statements that point the finger at Best. Roberson claimed that Bennett threatened to “crush” the boys in court if the case goes to trial.
Bennett told the newspaper, “I did not do that. I did not ask them to retract nothing.”
Game camera photos taken on Sept. 25 show a teenage boy getting out of the passenger side of a pickup owned by Roberson and removing a Duey campaign sign.
The teens told investigators they accepted $40 from Best to steal Duey’s signs and Roberson’s son said Best gave him $100 more to slash Duey’s truck tires and put sugar in his gas tank, the newspaper reported.
Best was arrested on the felony charge of criminal mischief on Sept. 27 before being released on a $10,000 bond.