Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

September 3, 2013

Convicted sex offender indicted for April chase

RUSK — A Cherokee County grand jury has indicted a convicted sex offender who rammed a police car with his vehicle at the conclusion of an extensive chase with authorities in April.

Christopher Dale Jett, 29, literarily drove a circle around Jacksonville during this April 21 chase, authorities said.

It began with a hit-and-run accident involving the vehicle of Jacksonville ISD Superintendent Joe Wardell (who has declined to discuss the incident).  

The chase ended with a cornered Jett essentially forcing an officer to use an entire can of pepper spray to subdue him.

Recent court documents released by the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office indicate the grand jury indicted Jett in connection with the Jacksonville chase — evading arrest with a vehicle — and a charge of assault-family violence — impeding breathing—enhanced, stemming from a separate, unrelated, Dec. 31, 2012 incident.

Jett remained in custody Friday in lieu of $116,000 bail. But he has been transferred to the Vernon campus of North Texas State Hospital for supervision, jail records show.

The sex offender designation comes from Jett's October 2002 conviction for molesting a 12-year-old girl — an indecency with a child-sexual contact charge.

He was released from prison in 2012, after registering as a Texas sex offender, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry.

According to the registry, Jett will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The chase for which Jett was recently indicted began around 8 p.m. April 21. Jacksonville Police officers responding to calls of the hit and run incident noticed the speeding vehicle driven by Jett in the vicinity of East Rusk and Larissa.

The chase continued from that intersection and continued to Larissa, then down several other city blocks. It accelerated to speeds of at least 65 mph.

Police said Jett was driving extremely dangerously — sometimes on the wrong side of the road.

“He nearly hit several vehicles because he kept turning wide,” Jacksonville Police Det. Sgt. Daniel Franklin told a Jacksonville Daily Progress reporter in April. “At one point at Tena and South Jackson,  he turned and almost caused an accident trying to avoid a patrol unit.”

The suspect  drove across US Hwy 69, running through numerous stop signs. He turned and drove up Beaumont, continuing to Beaumont and Brookside before ultimately ending up back on Rusk.

Jett was forced to stop at Brookside and Rusk because his path was blocked by a patrol unit in one lane of traffic and a Tahoe in the other.

He tried to run between the unit and the Tahoe, tried to force and accelerate them out of his way on the highway, Franklin has said.

“He tried to use his vehicle to force the cars out of his way – to the point where there was white smoke from his tires,” the detective said in April.

As this was happening, a Jacksonville police sergeant made his way to the suspect’s drivers side window and ordered Jett to exit his vehicle. When Jett ignored him, the sergeant sprayed him with pepper spray.

Another Jacksonville officer and one Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, managed to drag the driver out of the vehicle and place him in an ambulance.

The driver was fighting the entire time and the officers had to restrain him, Franklin has said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee County arrests: July 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    July 19, 2014

  • Detective recovers nearly $7K in case

    When a Jacksonville woman became a victim of a scam, Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton stopped at nothing to solve the case.
    In early January, Compton said a neighbor of a 94-year-old woman reported that someone had “taken advantage of her.”

    July 17, 2014

  • Bullard ISD names interim leader

    During a meeting Monday night, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees appointed Joe Dan Lee as Interim Superintendent.

    July 17, 2014

  • City to continue summer mosquito spraying schedule

    Next week, the City of Jacksonville will continue implementing its summer mosquito spraying program.

    July 17, 2014

  • 18wheelerWreck 0715.tif Double 18-wheeler wreck snarls morning traffic

    No injuries were reported Monday morning after an 18-wheel tractor-trailer bore the brunt of damage when it collided with a logging truck in front of it, according to Jacksonville Police officer Matthew Odom. The wreck occurred at the intersection of Jackson and Canada streets.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heart transplant David.tif Jacksonville man recovering after life-saving transplant

    A Jacksonville man is on the road to recovery after a life-saving heart transplant, according to his wife.
    On July 2, David Woods received a new heart from an unknown donor. The surgery took about six hours, and he remained in the intensive care unit for four days afterwards, said his wife, Paula Woods.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • County changes speed on 4 roads

    Speed limits along four Cherokee County roads were set to 35 miles per hour following a public hearing Monday at the County Courthouse.
    Commissioners voted to lower the speed per request of residents living along CR 4910, CR 4911, CR 4912 and CR 4918, despite the fact that no one showed up for the public hearing, said County Judge Chris Davis.

    July 15, 2014