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Alleged tape of Curry incident offered to Grubbs

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Ellis County Press Managing Editor

WAXAHACHIE - Ellis County District Attorney Joe Grubbs was offered and declined a tape-recorded conversation of Constable Perry 'Bubba' Curry allegedly admitting and laughing about assaulting Steven Howard Raney, according to two county law enforcement officials.

Chief Deputy Charles Sullins and Sgt. Keith Ramsey brought the tape to Grubbs in his office more than two years ago.

Sullins and Ramsey both told the Ellis County Press the DA declined to listen to or accept the tape.

Grubbs said he does not remember the meeting or tape offer.

'Some time ago Keith Ramsey talked to me about a tape with damaging evidence,' Sullins told the Ellis County Press. 'I never listened to it, but I told Keith he needed to take it to the DA. I offered to go with him and introduce him.

'The DA never took it or listened to it,' Sullins said. 'I don't remember exactly what was said.'

Ramsey agreed, saying Sullins set up the appointment with Grubbs. After being introduced, Ramsey told the DA about the details of what allegedly amounted to Curry's recorded confession.

'Joe leaned back in his chair and started thinking out loud about some law,' Ramsey told the Press. 'He said, ‘I don't want to hear the tape or have the tape,' because of some law. But (the tape) was offered to him.'

Although Grubbs didn't deny the meeting took place, 'I don't have any recollection of a specific tape recording involving Bubba Curry,' he told the Press. 'I'm not able to recall any specifics on anything like that.'

Grubbs again defended his investigation of the alleged civil rights violation. 'I satisfied myself by talking to people who saw and heard (the alleged incident), and by talking to Raney,' he said. 

Ramsey, who has heard the tape, said it has Curry admitting and laughing about assaulting Raney.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly is looking into the possible civil rights violation involving Perry alleged assault of then reserve deputy constable Raney prior to his formal statement.

Grubbs last week said he was not aware of any FBI investigation and did not remember his office providing any files.

Grubbs further said he talked to 'everybody who was there' during the alleged incident. However, the DA reportedly did not talk to Raney, the Ellis County Press has learned. Raney has told people he was not included in any investigation.

More than a year ago, when the FBI came to Ellis County to look into the possible civil rights violation, agents received copies of all arrest and investigative reports and court documents regarding Raney's arrest, according to a source close to the investigation. The FBI interviewed witnesses and collected evidence in support of Raney's claim.

The information and evidence was sent to Washington, D.C. 'An agent later was contacted and told to proceed with the investigation and gather further evidence,' the source told the Ellis County Press.

The second phase of the FBI's investigation has concluded, with additional evidence submitted to the Washington, D.C. office.

'Raney's case was mishandled from the beginning by two inexperienced officers (Matt Boyden of the Waxahachie Police Department and Constable Curry),' the source said. 'These officers knew Raney was intoxicated so heavily on cocaine that he was incoherent. They should have known in that state he was mentally incapable of giving a voluntary statement.

'How can anyone in that state possibly wave his right to remain silent?' the source asked. 'These officers violated every rule of conduct regarding statements and interviews.'

That contention is bolstered by the motions filed by Raney's attorneys, the source said, adding: 'The interview was improper, the evidence retrieved inadmissible and the officers' attractions and subsequent attempts to cover them up inexcusable.'

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