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Trying to help backfires as friends turn backs

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

When I left Steve Raney's house, I was unsure what to do next. Who should I tell? Hell, who could I tell?

Of course the 'proper thing' to do would have been to arrest him immediately and turn him over to Constable 'Bubba' Perry. Then he could have suffered the consequences of his actions.

Hindsight tells me this would have been the smart thing to do also. That may sound easy for some people, but not for me. I am old school when it comes to your friends and partners.

I actually thought I could help Raney. It wouldn't be the first time a cop or some member of his family was charged discreetly, behind closed doors.

When I arrived home, it was really late. I made a couple of telephone calls to tell others Raney had been found.

Then I just stood there in the kitchen trying to figure out who I should call for help. I didn't trust 'Bubba,' and I knew for a fact I couldn't trust Boyden.

When I went to the restroom, I remembered I had Raney's baggie in my pocket. I took it out to see how much coke was still in it. The answer was, none.

It was just an empty plastic baggie. For all I knew, he picked it up in the field when he was hiding from the helicopter. I checked it again, then threw it in the toilet.

I didn't really feel I needed it. Little did I know this act would involve me in a conspiracy ending with a felony charge.

The next morning I made a phone call to a friend I knew I could trust. He was a fellow police officer I had known since I was a kid. We discussed what had happened that night.

His advice was simple: I was going to have to turn Raney in.

We both agreed he deserved to go to jail. I just wanted to keep it out of the news.

There were way too many people involved in helping Raney receive his pardon. His recommendation was to call my old buddy, Tommy Hale. My old friend, Tommy, who had been there since my first day in law enforcement. My partner that had been there through thick and thin.

Until now! I paged Tommy that morning from the hospital. When he called back, I told him I needed to talk to him. He asked me what was going on.

I told him Raney had done something really stupid, and I needed his help. Tommy told me he had already heard.

I guess I should have known then something was up. How could he have already heard?

I asked him to meet me for lunch that day and he said he would. Tommy told me he had to stop at the DA's office that morning, and then he would come up.

I never thought another thing about it until lunch came and went. I never considered the fact something was up. Why should I? I wasn't the one that committed the crime.

Little did I know a trio of liars had begun the process to involve me in this episode. I should have known from the phone call from Raney that morning.

I guess it was around 7 a.m. when the telephone rang at the house. I was trying to get the kids dressed for school and myself ready.

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