GILMER -- A visiting state judge has granted the defense's contested motion to postpone the trial of former Upshur County Pct. 3 Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree, and has reset the case for Oct. 21, District Attorney Billy Byrd said Monday.
Judge William (Bill) Porter granted the delay the day it was requested, Aug. 30, said Byrd. Crabtree's attorneys asked his Sept. 30 trial date be postponed because one of the lawyers, David E. Moore, is scheduled to undergo heart surgery in Dallas Sept. 23.
Crabtree, 52, and his son, Todd Allen Crabtree, 29, each face three felony charges related to an Oct. 6, 2012 standoff they had with state Game Warden Shane Bailey on private property in Upshur County. The elder Crabtree was still a county commissioner then.
The Crabtrees are charged with unlawful restraint of public servant, taking weapon from an officer, and aggravated assault against public servant. No shots were fired in the incident, at which Bailey was purportedly held at gunpoint.
The elder Crabtree's lead defense attorney, Longview lawyer Clifton (Scrappy) Holmes, signed the motion for a continuance, which said Moore has been hospitalized repeatedly for atrial fibrillation, including three times in August, and that Moore was scheduled to undergo surgery.
The five attorneys' motion said they requested the delay so Moore could "participate fully in this trial."
Byrd said Porter granted the motion in chambers over the prosecutor's objection after the defense argued that Moore and Holmes were the only two attorneys who had been working on the cases.
Holmes is the lead attorney on the cases, has other lawyers in his Longview firm who could assist him, and the defense "had plenty of time to get ready" for trial, Byrd told The Tyler Morning Telegraph. The district attorney also said multiple continuances (postponements) had already been granted in the cases.
Longview attorney John W. Moore represents Todd Crabtree.