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Knife attack on ECSO deputy resolved; Man found guilty of aggravated assault

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Bradford Craig Randle Bradford Craig Randle

ELLIS COUNTY - Bradford Craig Randle, 50, was found guilty of aggravated assault on a public servant by an Ellis County jury on Wednesday, March 30 in Ellis County’s 40th District Court. 

Randle, from Athens, was arrested after attacking Ellis County Sheriff Deputy Joseph Maddox, July 12 of last year, with a knife.

After deliberation on punishment, the jury assessed Randle’s punishment at 20 years imprisonment, and he was, thereafter, sentenced to confinement in the Texas prison system by 40th District Judge Bob Carroll.  In arriving at their verdicts, the jury rejected the defendant’s claim of attempted “suicide by cop” as a defense or mitigation of punishment for his crime.

   Deputy Maddox testified he made a traffic stop of Randle, on FM 660 near Bristol, to investigate Randle’s participation in a disturbance call to which Maddox had been dispatched. 

Immediately upon coming to a stop, Maddox saw Randle exit his car and quickly approach Maddox, waving his arms and talking loudly. 

Maddox ordered Randle back in his car, but Randle continued to Maddox’s door where he distracted Maddox, then struck him in the face. Randle then pulled out a kitchen knife from behind him and raised it in a threatening manner towards Maddox.  

Maddox immediately step-ped back in fear of injury to himself. Randle then continued moving towards Maddox with the knife raised despite numerous commands of “Don’t do it.  Don’t do it” from Deputy Maddox. In trying to get Randle to drop the knife and cease the attack, Maddox retreated to the rear of his patrol car. 

Randle pursued him and then made a slashing attack on Maddox with the knife, whereupon Maddox, in fear of his life, had no choice but to draw his handgun from its holster and fire on Randle. 

Randle went down with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Maddox immediately called for an Emergency Medical Services ambulance and their personnel, as well as additional law enforcement officers.  

Maddox began first aid to prevent Randle from bleeding to death and continued first aid until other back-up officers and EMS personnel arrived.

Jury cleared Randle of any improper conduct because of the shooting.

Texas Rangers Don Stoner and Victor Patton were called to investigate the incident. Physical evidence at the scene confirmed Maddox’s version of events.

While in custody, Randle gave a statement to Texas Ranger Jason Bobo admitting his conduct in attacking Deputy Maddox, indicating that Maddox had done the only thing he could do when he fired on him.

“We want to thank the jury in this case for their diligent work in arriving at a fair verdict of guilty and especially for assessing a fair and very appropriate punishment for the crime committed,” stated Assistant County and District Attorneys Don Maxfield and Amy Nguyen, prosecutors of the case.

“Their verdict on punishment sends a clear message to anyone who attacks an Ellis County Law Enforcement Officer that they will receive severe punishment for their conduct from the citizens of Ellis County.”


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