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Former Williamson County sheriff, assistant county attorney face new charges in Ambler case

They now both face a new charge of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — New charges have been filed in the cases against former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and assistant county attorney Jason Nassour. They are both facing charges for their involvement in the Javier Ambler case.

Chody and Nassour now both face an additional charge of conspiracy to tamper with evidence relating to the video that captured Ambler's in-custody death. Those charges are in addition to the evidence tampering charges already filed against them.

Prosecutors have not described their alleged role in the footage, which captured Ambler's final moments after his encounter with Williamson County deputies in March 2019. Their attorneys have said they committed no crime. 

The new charges come as attorneys have been seeking for several weeks to have the cases dismissed. Attorneys for Chody and Nassour could not immediately be reached Tuesday. 

The new indictments allege that they entered into an access agreement with the production company for the show, Big Fish Entertainment, “to destroy raw unaired audio and video footage” and that they “performed an overt act” the night of Ambler’s death. That act allowed the video to be taken away from the scene “knowing that an in-custody investigation or official proceeding was pending or in progress involving the death of Javier Ambler,” according to the indictment. 

Deputies J.J. Johnson and Zach Camden had crews from "Live PD" with them when they began chasing Ambler in a pursuit that started because he failed to dim his headlights. 

The 22-minute chase crossed into Travis County, where Ambler crashed his car. 

Johnson and Camden used Tasers on Ambler four times as he shouted that he had congestive heart failure and could not breathe. 

Ambler died moments later. Johnson and Camden have since been indicted on manslaughter charges.

The case had received no public attention until the KVUE Defenders and Austin American-Statesman revealed details in June 2020. After the "Live PD" production company said it had destroyed the footage, prosecutors opened an evidence tampering investigation.

Chody and Nassour were indicted in Williamson County in September 2020. This spring, they were indicted in Travis County, and prosecutors have said the cases will be handled in Austin.

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