Jimmy Fennell to resign after being briefly reinstated

Austin American-Statesman is reporting that Jimmy Fennell who was fired by the George Town Police Department, and then reinstated because of the technical error is planning to resign from the police force.

Bob Phillips, Fennell’s criminal defense attorney, said Fennell plans to send a letter of resignation to the department today.

Earlier this week Austin American-Statesman published an interesting article about Fennell’s past wrongdoings, complaints, and how it might affect the case of death-row inmate Rodney Reed. According to the article,

Fennell has been accused of being violent multiple times during his career in law enforcement, though he has also been praised by his supervisors for his hard work and reliability.

When Fennell joined the Giddings Police Department in 1995, he became part of a department that had often been accused of roughing up suspects. In a 1998 lawsuit that claimed the department condoned the use of excessive force by its officers, five people said police officers, including Fennell, had beaten them up or injured them.

In that lawsuit, Fennell was accused of bruising and bullying a man while arresting him on what the man claimed were false charges of speeding through town on his motorcycle. In a separate 1997 lawsuit, he was accused of harassing a 19-year-old Giddings man, Mario Murillo, and beating him in front of his family.

Also Fennell has background of mistreating a woman he dated for 13 month.

Pamela Duncan, who said she and Fennell started dating soon after Stites’ death, said Fennell stalked her for months after the relationship ended. She made those allegations in a 2006 affidavit submitted by Reed’s lawyers supporting his appeal.

After the couple broke up, Fennell stalked and harassed Duncan for months, she said in the affidavit. Fennell often shined a spotlight into her house and swore at her, she said. He pulled over and ticketed men he suspected of dating her and sat in his car infront of the convenience store, shining his headlights into the building, night after night, she said.

Once, he came into the store and wouldn’t let her leave her office, she said in the affidavit.Duncan and her co-workers had to call the police to get someone to escort him out, she said.

Duncan filed a report with the police about the incident, she said in the affidavit. But when a friend of hers asked the police for a copy, officers said none existed, the affidavit said. There is no mention of the incident in Fennell’s Giddings personnel file.

Phillips, Fennell’s lawyer, declined to discuss Fennell’s relationship with Duncan.

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Hooman Hedayati

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