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A famous lottery winner, known for his role of Sheriff in the now-canceled TV Show “Live PD”, was accused and arrested for on an evidence-tampering charge in the demolition of reality TV show footage amid the investigations into the death of a Black man in police custody.
Before paving his way as a successful Sheriff of Williamson County and star of his very own law enforcement reality television show, Robert Chody stood before the cameras as a Texas Lottery Winner in 2001, when he was awarded a check of $51 million, as the lump-cash value for a winning sum of $85 million Lotto Texas jackpot. According to the lottery officials, it was the largest amount won for this game at that particular time in the state of Texas.
Chody bought $5 Quick Pick tickets at a Shopper’s Mart, just three hours before the Texas Lottery drawing. And as per the statements issued by the Lottery, it was not expecting a win for the $85 million Lotto Texas jackpot that evening.
Currently, the Sheriff Lottery Winner is living in a $1.4 million, 5,000-square foot house right next to a golf course in Williamson County. Back in February 2018, Chody gave an interview in which he said that he has distanced himself from obsession over wealth and now his only priority is his family. His social media is flooded with his dancing videos making him the “Dancing Daddy” who loves going to his daughter's recitals and cheering his son on for completing Marine boot camp.
At the time, Chody bagged the grand prize, he was a police officer in Austin and came from a humble upbringing, raised by a single mother alongside three other siblings in a trailer park located in Orlando, Florida. Ever since his childhood, Chody dreamt of becoming a police officer after he and his mother were rescued by one at the age of 15, from his mother’s boyfriend, which got fulfilled on his reality television series "Live PD."
The television show Live PD, showcases footage of his officers handling crime, became a pivotal spot for investigation after the death of 40-year old Javier Ambler II, a former postal employee, while in police custody. The circumstances leading to his death were captured on the show in 2019 which quickly canceled the show.
In March 2019, police tried to pull Ambler over for not dimming his headlights for the coming traffic. Ambler on the other hand fled and crashed his car multiple times in a chase that lasted for 22 minutes. At last, his car was disabled in a North Austin neighborhood, and afterward, Deputies tasered him four times. During the quarrel, he told officers that he had a heart condition and that he was unable to breathe. And four minutes later, he died. Since his final moments were captured on the “LIVE PD” camera, according to the persecutors the videos will give them a clear picture of the incident.
But investigators were never able to get their hands on the video recording as they are destroyed by the producers of the show. Also, there was a contract at the time of Ambler’s death between Williamson County and "Live PD" producers that allowed any unaired footage to be destroyed within 30 days unless it was otherwise required to remain intact by a court order or law.
On the other hand, Chody was of the view that investigators were slow to make any legal moves at that time and are suddenly taking interest in the case around the election time. According to him, this pressure for prosecuting him for tampering with video evidence is politically motivated since his name is currently in the ring for the upcoming re-election for County Sheriff.
Chody was charged for tampering with the evidence and allegedly aiding in the wrongful destruction of footage depicting the details of Ambler's death. He was indicted on the basis of testimonies of 19 witnesses, but he still stands in strong denial of destroying any evidence or breaking any law.
He was arrested and bailed out on Monday, September 28, 2020, for $10,000 after he turned himself into Williamson County Jail. His first court date is set for November 30, 2020. As the case is still open, prosecutors are unable to disclose any findings on Chody’s involvement in the destruction of the footage.
It will be interesting to know the final decision of the prosecutors and will the county voters elect him as the County Sheriff!
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