Former Tom Bean Mayor Pro Tem Lonnie Jones appeared in the 59th state District Court with his attorney Robert Jarvis Thursday afternoon and entered a not guilty plea to two charges of deadly conduct and one of animal cruelty.
The charges stem from an incident in April when Jones, 72, was arrested by Tom Bean police officers at the intersection of FM 902 and FM 2729. A police report said officers were called to that location about a man who had allegedly fired multiple rifle rounds from the roadway killing a dog
Officers arrived and were given the description of a man they said turned out to be Jones, who was in his truck at the intersection of Thomas Street and State Highway 11.
Jones told police he fired at the two dogs because they had entered his backyard and attacked and killed his cat.
Tom Bean Police Chief Timothy Green said Jones killed one dog on his property and then followed the other one in his truck for about a quarter of a mile before getting out of the truck and firing at that dog four or five times.
Green said his officers confirmed that Jones’ cat had been killed and that he had every right to kill the dog that was on his property. The law, Green said, does not allow someone to shoot from a public roadway in a direction where there are people.
The owner of the dogs, Green said, was cited for having a dog at large, a misdemeanor.
Jones lost his re-election bid to the council in May.
In court on Thursday, Jones was given very little opportunity to speak. He was told when to return for a plea conference and then left with Jarvis.