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Dustin Rust plea bargain

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 4:24pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 4:45pm

Today was to have been the first day of the trial of former Smith County Precinct 3 Constable Dustin Rust.

It wound up being the last day as well. It was a deal we could have had a month ago.

But now, Dustin Rust has avoided jail, or a lengthy trial. And the District Attorney has avoided a potential minefield.

The case revolved around private security patrols that were provided by the Precinct 3 office for the Woods subdivision.

Peace officers are allowed to do private security work, within certain limits. The question is, was that the case here or was the operation essentially a private security service run out of a government office?

District Attorney Matt Bingham said yes, and appointed a Special Prosecutor from Longview, attorney Lance Larison.

Larison arranged a plea bargain with Rust’s attorneys, but Judge Jack Skeen turned it down last month.

Today though, Larison withdrew from the case, and Bingham presented virtually the same deal.

This time it was accepted by Judge Skeen.

Rust pleaded guilty to all charges, including misdemeanor theft, paid over $7000 in restitution, and was given 2 years probation.

Interestingly, when the trial was over, Bingham gave interviews to all reporters except this one.

We’re not really sure what he was worried about there.

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