Assault charges against a Houston oil executive accused of injuring a Houston police officer at the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show more than three years ago were dismissed Monday on the eve of trial.
William D. Driver, a 50-year-old senior vice president with C & J Energy Services, was facing a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of assaulting an off-duty officer working security at an event Driver and his wife were attending on Feb. 21, 2013.
Driver, who was arrested after the officer used a stun gun to shock the back of his head, had pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to pick a jury in his case Monday when prosecutors dismissed the charges without giving a reason.
"He got attacked and Tasered by police officers and did nothing to provoke it," said Paul Looney, Driver's attorney. "They're out tens of thousands of dollars, three and half years of anguish over whether he will keep his job or go to prison."
Prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney's Office declined to say why the case was tossed. The dismissal form, which was signed by visiting judge Jim Anderson, notes only that the charges were dismissed with the notation: "See state's memo."
Driver said he was attacked by police working security who then shocked him at least three times with a Taser as they held him on the ground.
Bystanders at the rodeo used mobile phones to record Driver's arrest, which were posted online and which Looney showed to prosecutors before his client was indicted.
"Nothing has changed in this case. There's no new witness. There's not one shred of new evidence. This decision could have been made five days after he was arrested," Looney said. "This is just hellish prosecutorial abuse."
Outside the courtroom Monday, Driver and his wife Nancy, said the allegations have caused many a sleepless night.
"I'm relieved," Driver said. "It's been a nerve-wracking experience."
His wife was more emphatic.
"It's been so stressful. It's a weight lifted off us—lots of sleepless nights. It's been scary," Nancy Driver said. "And what was so disturbing was that he never touched (the officer)."

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