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    (FILE PHOTO, CONTRIBUTED PHOTO | THE GRAHAM LEADER, PCSO) Austin Lawrence while he was serving as a K-9 handler with Graham Police Department. Lawrence has since been dismissed from the department and has been indicted on a charge of tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair. Shown at right is a mugshot when Lawrence was booked in by the Parker County Sheriff’s Office Aug. 23.

Former GPD officer facing charge

Former K-9 officer Lawrence indicted on charge of tampering, fabricating physical evidence

A former Graham Police Department K-9 officer is facing a third-degree felony charge stemming from a June arrest of an unidentified individual. Austin Lee Lawrence, 33, was charged with tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, after being indicted in August.


According to a release from 90th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Phillip Gregory, the investigation started after a separate arrest by a different GPD officer.

“In June 2021, a female was arrested by officers of the Graham Police Department,” the release states. “During that arrest, the female arrestee made various statements about potentially illegal activities conducted by former Graham Police Department K-9 Officer Austin Lawrence. At the request of Graham Police Department officials, the Texas Rangers Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated those allegations. Upon completion of that investigation, the matter was presented to the grand jury for indictment.”

GPD Chief Brent Bullock confirmed the Texas Rangers conducted an investigation into the incident that eventually led to a grand jury indictment, which was filed Aug. 12. Lawrence was fired from GPD the same day, according to Bullock.

The indictment alleges Lawrence committed misconduct as a peace officer, intentionally and knowingly concealed evidence, namely illegal controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, with the intent to impair its availability as evidence in the investigation.

A warrant for the arrest of Lawrence was issued Aug. 12 by the 90th Judicial District Court. He was booked Aug. 23 by the Parker County Sheriff’s Office in the Parker County Jail and was released the same day on a $10,000 bond by Brazos Bail Bonding Company out of Weatherford. Lawrence turned himself into PCSO at their office at 129 Hogle St. in Weatherford.

For the rest of the story, see the Dec. 4 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

GRAHAM OFFICE
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Graham, Texas 76450
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