HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. – The man suspected of shooting a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy faces more charges in connection with the May 28 incident. Joe Garrett had a preliminary hearing at the Harris County courthouse Wednesday morning. News 3 was the only media at the hearing.
Harris County Magistrate Judge Jennifer Webb denied Garrett, 24, bond for the second time. During an initial reading of charges, Webb first denied bond because of the accusations involving the shooting of an officer of the law. Officials are bringing two more charges against him, including aggravated battery and discharging a firearm on a public highway.
As News 3 has previously reported, Garrett is accused of shooting Deputy Jamie White in the face on I-185. Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley says the deputy was originally left unconscious on the side of the highway. As a result of that shooting, the deputy lost vision in his left eye, fractured his nasal cavity, and has lost partial hearing in his left ear. The new charges came days into Deputy White’s recovery.
“What we’re going to do is make sure that every charge that can be charged will be,” Sheriff Jolley said. “So if somehow other charges are dropped out, we still have enough charges left for the District Attorney’s office to work with.”
Sheriff Jolley adds that his deputy is a blessed man to have lived to tell the tale of the ordeal he went through during the May traffic stop. He notes that Deputy White and his wife have spent time away from their jobs during his recovery. But Sheriff Jolley expects the deputy to come back to the sheriff’s office soon, though probably in a different capacity.
Currently, his suspected shooter faces a total of seven charges. Lytishia Horace is also facing charges in this case. Officials accuse her of tampering with evidence and obstructing officers’ investigation. They say she deleted text messages off Garrett’s phone, tried to get rid of other evidence after the shooting, and even provided false information. Sgt. Mark Horton with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office shares that they found gunpowder on Horace, 24, during the investigation. Horace has a preliminary hearing at the Harris County courthouse Wednesday, June 22.
Officials also interviewed Garrett’s mother, who says her son came to her house to change clothes. According to Sgt. Horton’s testimony, Garrett asked his mother if he should turn himself into police. His mother reportedly suggested that he turn himself in because of all the media attention. Four hours after the shooting, Garrett went to the Phenix City Police Department, confessed to shooting Deputy White, and asked for a lawyer.
Sheriff Jolley says two women were in the car with Garrett during the shooting. One, whose name is not being released, is in custody. Meanwhile, officials are trying to properly identify the other woman. Anyone with information should call the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 706-628-4211.