Skeen said he met Larry Smith, who then was captain over the Gregg County Sheriff’s criminal investigation division, was the person who captured a man wanted for murder out of Smith County.
Skeen explained that Smith was the arresting officer and that he had found crucial evidence to the case.
When Skeen went to subpoena the deputy, Smith had already been in the Drug Enforcement Agency academy in Quantico, Va., for several weeks and could not spend a week in Tyler, so Skeen made Smith the first witness in the state’s case.
“I don’t think 26 years ago when I had Larry Smith testifying on the stand in the state versus Jerry Frank Wilson that I could ever imagined that over 26 years later that I would be the elected district judge of the 241st District Court. where Larry was testifying. and that I would be swearing in Larry Smith as the sheriff of Smith County,” he said.
Smith beat out former game warden Chris Green, former Smith County Chief Deputy Bobby Garmon and businessman Donn Rust in the Republican primary last year. He did not have a Democratic challenger.
Smith said he would be running the sheriff’s office by using the Holy Bible and the U.S. and Texas constitutions.
Smith revealed his plan to give residents better response time by putting up to a dozen deputies on patrol per shift
Smith announced his new team of administrators, which included former Tyler police officers, a retired game warden, a couple of retired Texas Highway Patrol troopers, and several key players of the previous administration. Smith then swore in his deputies in attendance and then shook hands with supporters.
“I’m really just trying to grasp everything and try to get everything situated where we can get started the New Year started off right. I’m going to leave here and I know it’s New Year’s Day but I’m going to do a little work at the office today to get some things done to get everything started off on the right foot and start making some of these changes that need to be done for the reorganization to have better response to the citizens of Smith County,” he said.