A former correctional officer at the Brownwood state school was placed on three years deferred adjudication Monday after pleading guilty to possessing drugs at the facility while he worked there.
District Judge Steve Ellis announced the sentence for Henry Ruben Firth Jr., 30, after approving a plea bargain negotiated by special prosecutor Allyson Mitchell and defense attorney Evan Stubbs.
Mitchell is with the Special Prosecution Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Firth and Daniel Ochoa Jr., an inmate at the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facility, were indicted in June on one count each of possessing a prohibited substance in a correctional facility, a third degree felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison.
Acting on the plea bargain, Ellis also fined Firth $1,500, with all but $500 probated.
Texas Youth Commission staff discovered marijuana in Ochoa’s possession, which was supplied by Firth, in March 2007, authorities alleged in the indictment.
In another case involving an ex-Ron Jackson employee, Ellis set a June 9 trial date for James Allen Sullivan on 15 counts of sexually assaulting a juvenile while he worked there. The second degree felony is punishable by 2-20 years in prison.
The case attracted the attention of state lawmakers when state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-Mission, alluded in March to reports of inmate abuse at the Brownwood school.
Former Brownwood police Sgt. Vince Ariaz is scheduled to stand trial the following week, beginning June 16.
Mitchell told Ellis the Sullivan trial might not be finished in a week. Ellis did not say how the conflicts in the two trials might be handled.
Cases against other former Ron Jackson employees are pending.
Jaime Segura was charged in multiple indictments in August with one count of sexual assault, three counts of indecency with a child, four counts of improper sexual activity with a person in custody and four counts of official oppression, the Texas Attorney General’s Office said.
Barry Ransberger was indicted in March for the alleged sexual assault of an adult inmate when he worked at the state prison’s Middleton Unit near Abilene.
Dusty Ogle was indicted in May on charges of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury by a public servant, two counts of tampering with a governmental record and tampering with a witness.