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Hot development on cold night

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RODNEY RAMSEY
Special to the Ellis County Press
One in a series

When I arrived at the scene where Raney´s truck had been found, I discovered I evidently was the last one notified.

Constable 'Bubba' Curry was there, along with three or four Waxahachie officers, the Dallas Police Department helicopter and some other guys I don´t remember. Everyone was standing around in the street looking at each other trying to figure out what to do next.

Now mind you, it´s very cold. I mean north-wind-blowing, coat-wearing, stay-in-the-car cold. Needless to say, I for one, thought we should be looking for Raney and not standing in the cold.

I had only been there about five minutes when the call came in: Raney had made a 911 call from Joey´s Corner about two or so miles away.

I told Bubba I would go get him and bring him back to the scene. Officer Boyden of Waxahachie PD decided he would go over

there also.

When we arrived at the store, we didn´t see Raney. We drove around the parking lot until I spotted him. When I say him, I knew

something was wrong.

He came walking out from behind the building where he had been hiding in some scrub brush.

First thing I noticed was he was in a short-sleeved shirt and not wearing a coat. He looked really scared.

The first thing he said was, 'What the hell is going on?'

I replied, ' I think that´s my question for you. What is going on here?'

I thought maybe he was drunk and had wrecked his truck. Boyden walked closer to us and Raney was yelling about people chasing him all afternoon. He pointed to Boyden and told him that he had seen him following him that afternoon also.

Raney was all freaked out at this point. Boyden came over to me, clairvoyant that he was, and asked if I thought Raney had taken some of the cocaine off the bust.

I was a little cross in my answer to Matt. I lectured him about

starting those kinds of rumors against another police officer when he didn´t have the facts. I told him to keep his mouth shut until we knew for sure what was going on.

I didn´t want those kinds of accusations floating around, although the thought had also crossed my mind.

I took Raney around the shoulder and walked him away from the others. I asked him what the hell was going on. He told me he was messed up.

I asked him just what he had done, and Raney told me he had done some of that cocaine.

I asked him 'what cocaine,' and he told me 'the cocaine from the bust, from the kilos.'

He then asked me if I had gotten some of the cocaine when we were at Bubba´s office.

I told him I had not taken any of the dope, and I could not believe he had.

I told Raney he was in big trouble and he needed to keep his

mouth shut. Now, for the first time in 13 years of law

enforcement, I was unsure just what to do.

I knew Raney had just admitted to me he had stolen cocaine from a narcotics bust and used it. I just felt somewhat numb at that

moment.

I was not, however, going to offer up my screwed-up little partner to the likes of Boyden. I told Raney to go to my car. When we got in the car, I told him we were going back to the accident scene to meet with Bubba.

Raney received a chewing from me the likes of which no one down here has ever seen. I was infuriated with him. All the hard work, the training, the people who had put their names on the line for him, all for nothing.

I was trying to figure out how to minimize the damage here. How could I keep this low profile?

I told him he was going to have to talk to Bubba at the scene. He was crying and begging me not to give him up.

I asked him if he had any more dope on him, and he said no. I pressured him very hard and he said all he had left was an empty bag. I told him to give it to me. He searched around for a while and finally produced a small plastic baggie.

I didn´t even look at it. I took it and put it in my shirt pocket. I

wasn´t sure what I was going to do, or how I could do it.

I knew Raney was going to have to go to jail. I just didn´t want to be the one to do it.

I took him back to the scene. Bubba came over and asked what was wrong with him. I told him Raney was messed up, that he was scared.

Bubba said he wanted to talk to Raney and went over to my corvette to speak to him. They were alone for about five minutes before Bubba came back over.

He told me Raney was scared and was having some family

problems. Curry stated he thought Raney might be drunk but he could not smell anything on his breath.

I told Bubba I was taking him home.

The ride to Raney´s house was a long one. I asked him how much dope he had done. Raney claimed he didn't know. It would take me almost three years to get him to admit just how much he had stolen.

In all my years of experience, I had never seen anyone experiencing a cocaine induced psychotic episode. I had seen speed freaks hallucinate after being up a couple of days. Cocaine abusers usually don´t exhibit the signs Raney was showing.

I listened to his rantings about how DPS, Matt Boyden, Tommy Hale and DEA had been following him all day in red and

green Chevy Luminas. Raney claimed they knew he had stolen the

cocaine from the kilos.

He continued to ask for the baggie back. I refused each time.

When we arrived at his residence we sat in the driveway so he could eat the food I had bought him at Whataburger. The next few moments were extremely hard on me.

He asked me if I was going to turn him in. I told him he was in big trouble. I told him I would do everything I could to help him,

but he might go to jail over this one.

I then asked him if his wife, Shelly, knew what he had done. He broke down and began to sob.

He said she knew nothing about any of it. He told me that if she found out she would leave him and take his kids.

If Steve never did anything else right, he was a very loving father. Those kids meant the world to him.

He asked me if I was going to turn him over to Bubba as soon as I left. He then told me if I did that, Shelly would leave him. She had put up with this kind of stuff too long.

Raney said he would rather die than live without his family. He then told me he would just go inside and kill himself rather than go through that.

Normally, I would have given this less thought, but he was really messed up and just might do it.

I told him to just go inside and try to rest. I told him Bubba was

probably going to come by his house that night and ask him what was wrong. My advice was simple. Say nothing.

I knew if Bubba or Matt found out what had happened they would screw it up for everybody. I thought I could fix this thing and keep it quite.

I wasn´t sure just how to do it, but I knew it could be done. I gave Raney my word that I would not give him up that night if promised not to kill himself. He accepted that and went inside.

I had made a deal that would cost me for the rest of my

life.

Next week, we´ll dig into the facts around the questioning of Raney and his statements to police that eventually involved me.

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