Questions arise in former deputy's DUI case

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by TONY PLOHETSKI / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

Bio | Email | Follow: @tplohetski

kvue.com

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 11:41 PM

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- The attorney for a high-profile sheriff's deputy charged with drunk driving claims the arresting officer committed perjury. Suspended Williamson County sheriff's deputy John Foster's attorney also says he's being unfairly prosecuted by the county attorney.

A DPS trooper's dashboard camera recorded the arrest on the evening of June 29, 2013.

Trooper Joseph Stuart stopped Foster's black BMW on Interstate 35 near Jarrell. Foster was off duty at the time.

911 calls had alerted troopers that the BMW was driving at a high rate of speed, running red lights and swerving into oncoming traffic along RM 1431 in Round Rock.

Court records show Foster registered a .092 breathalyzer test -- just above the state limit of .08.

Now, Foster's attorney is making serious allegations about that arrest, accusing the arresting officer of perjury.

"The problem is that they will once again use a witness, they will do anything they can to win a case," said attorney Eve Schatelowiz Alcantar.

Alcantar claims during a recent pre-trial hearing the arresting officer lied under oath. She alleges that trooper Joseph Stuart lied about how he administered the breathalyzer exam and how much time he observed Foster in a holding cell. And because she questions the accuracy of the breath test, she wants the charges dropped.

"The problem is that we cannot trust the integrity of Williamson County," Alcantar said.

Williamson County attorney Dee Hobbs is prosecuting the case.

"When someone alleges something like that, that's something prosecutors take very serious. But we need to proceed with this hearing and have everything heard in a court of law," Hobbs said.

Hobbs argues that it's not unusual for witness testimony to evolve during the course of their sworn statements.

"Anytime someone testifies there are often times when they will testify to one thing, and upon further question, further facts, testify to more information or slightly different. Not every time does that happen in a courtroom is that perjury," Hobbs said.

Foster's attorney disagrees.

"Whether you are a bus driver, a janitor, or a school lunch cook or a cop, everyone here deserves to be able to trust the criminal justice system, and that the prosecutors up there are going to put forward witnesses to tell the truth and be honest," Alcantar said.

As a deputy, Foster served as the department's spokesman, often seen providing information to reporters.

Now his case, and his career, hang in the balance.
 

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