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Rockwall jury sentences ex-con to 20 years after he threatens to kill RPD officer

ROCKWALL – A Rockwall County jury took less than two hours Tuesday to convict a previously convicted felon to the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison after he made numerous threats to kill a Rockwall police officer who arrested him for public intoxication at The Harbor District last February.

Because of Bryan Michael Baum’s previous criminal history, his offenses of Retaliation and Harassment of a Public servant were enhanced to second degree felonies, which carry a range of punishment of 2 to 20 years imprisonment. They normally are third degree felonies

According to a news release sent by Rockwall Co. First Assistant Criminal District Attorney Craig Stoddart, Rockwall Police Officer Benton Brumit, Jr. responded to a call at the Harbor District Feb. 4 for a car alarm sounding repeatedly.  While there, Brumit encountered Baum and, after a brief investigation, found him to be highly intoxicated.

After he was arrested and being transported to the Rockwall Co. Detention Center, Stoddart wrote that Baum made numerous threats to kill Officer Brumit and was so combative that, upon arriving at the Detention Center, he had to be placed in a restraint chair for his and the officers’ safety.  While being wheeled back into the jail, Baum spit on two detention officers.

“The legislature made these offenses felonies,” said lead prosecutor, Damita Sangermano, “to ensure that law enforcement would be able to safely carry out their duty to protect the public without threat of harm or retaliation.”

“The jury’s verdict supports the law that threats and harassment are not part of an officer’s job description,” said Alex Imgrund, who assisted in the prosecution of the case.

Stoddart said the DA’s Office is thankful to the Rockwall Police and Sheriff’s Departments for their investigation and work on these cases.

By J.J. Smith

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