Panola County grand jury indicts man accused of killing deputy

Panola County grand jury indicts man accused of killing deputy
Gregory Newson was booked into the Gregg County Jail on 2/27/20. (Source: GCJail)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A Panola County grand jury has indicted Gregory Newson in connection with the December 2019 shooting death of PCSO Deputy Chris Dickerson.

According to online court records, the Panola County grand jury met in the 123rd Judicial Courtroom on Sept. 28 and indicted Newson on a charge of capital murder of a peace officer or fireman.

An indictment means that the grand jury felt there was enough evidence to proceed with a jury trial in the case. No trial has been set yet, according to Panola County online court records.

If Newson is convicted of the charge, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death sentence.

Dickerson had been with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office for eight years. He left behind a wife and two small children. He served with the US Army before his time with the sheriff’s office.

The late Panola County, Texas, sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson was a soldier and a public servant but, most importantly, a proud father of two young girls, his family says.
The late Panola County, Texas, sheriff's Deputy Chris Dickerson was a soldier and a public servant but, most importantly, a proud father of two young girls, his family says. (Source: Deputy Chris Dickerson's family)

The fatal shooting happened about 1:57 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, on Farm-to-Market Road 10 near Farm-to-Market Road 2260, according to the Sheriff’s Office and Staff Sgt. Jean Dark, of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

That’s at Gary City, a town about seven miles south of Carthage, Texas.

“Preliminary information indicates the deputy stopped a Chevrolet Tahoe on the northbound side of FM-10 when the driver suddenly exited the vehicle and fired a weapon numerous times at the deputy,” says a statement from Sheriff Kevin Lake.

During a press conference after the shooting incident, PCSO Chief Deputy John Depresca said that Dickerson was shot six times with a semiautomatic rifle. Dickerson returned fire, and sources told KSLA that three shots hit Newson in the leg.

At that point, Newsom allegedly fled the scene.

Residents who heard the gunshots found the injured deputy and called for help, the Sheriff’s Office stated.

“They found the deputy in front of his patrol unit. And they were able to render aid and to notify authorities,” Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake said.

A short time later, Shreveport police spotted Newson’s vehicle heading east on Interstate 20. A short chase ended with Newson crashing his vehicle being chased down on Buncombe Road between West 70th Street and I-20.

Newson was arrested at 3:04 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2019, on a charge of flight in a vehicle. He was later extradited to Panola County on the capital murder of a peace officer charge.

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