Burnet County Constable’s son charged with capital murder

Garrett James Ballard
Garrett James Ballard

BURNET, Texas (KXAN) – A Burnet County Constable’s son is charged with capital murder after two people were found dead at his home in Burnet.

According to the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year-old Garrett James Ballard is accused of shooting and killing Travis Leslie Fox, 26, and Elijah Adam Benson, 17, at Ballard’s home located in the 5800 block of County Road 340.

In an arrest affidavit, Ballard told authorities he and friends, Fox and Benson, were at his house on Monday taking acid to celebrate Benson’s birthday. Ballard said as the drug took affect, his friends started acting “strange and disruptive.”

Ballard said he took the keys to his father’s patrol unit, opened the trunk and took out his 223 caliber rifle. When Fox came outside of the home, Ballard said he shot him and then shot Benson, according to the affidavit.

Ballard said he left his house, drove to his girlfriend’s home and told her what happened. Deputies were notified of the bodies on Tuesday morning around 6:15 a.m.

Ballard’s father, Jimmy Ballard, is the Precinct 3 Constable in Burnet County.

The Superintendent of Burnet CISD, Keith McBurnett, tells KXAN that Benson was a student at Burnet High School and a member of the band. The band was notified of his death at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and counselors and pastors were made available for students.

McBurnett sent out this statement:

“We have received information today that there was a tragic incident involving one of our Burnet High School students. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by this tragedy. Our first priority is to take care of the emotional needs of our students and we are working with district counselors and local pastors to offer needed support.”

Additional reporting by The Picayune

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