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June 14 trial date set in double homicide

Tyler County Booster

The May 5 Tyler County Booster story about Donald Legg looked at the financial impact to Tyler County that results from housing a prisoner that has significant health problems. Legg, who has been indicted for the double homicide of two Tyler County men, has already cost the county over $65,000 in health care costs. The action taken last week in District Court allowing Legg to be transfered to another facility pending trail, will potentially save the county another $45,000. These rising costs in housing an aging criminal population will only grow as the population itself ages. Regardless of the costs, though, justice has to ultimately be served, and Legg has been placed in a secure facility until his trial here in Tyler County. On June 14, Judge Earl Stover will preside over the trial of Donald Legg, age 78, the Louisiana man charged in the murder of two local residents - Preston Broom, Sr. and Leo Broom, both of Woodville. Tyler County has not seen a trial of this magnitude in recent history, if ever. In the meantime, Legg has officially been transferred to Fort Worth Manor Nursing Home in Tarrant County while awaiting trial. “Mr. Legg has been placed on a Conditional Personal Recognizance Bond,” said Tyler County Sheriff David Hennigan. “The conditions of his bond are as follows: 1) He remain inside the lockdown wing of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)-recommended nursing home facility that we transported him to in Tarrant County; and 2) He must at all times wear a GPS-tracked ankle bracelet that is monitored by the vendor who also services the Tarrant County Adult Probation Department. “Bottom-line: Mr. Legg is going nowhere that we don’t want him to, and barring his death or further hospitalization; he will be brought to trial in our county on the date set forth by the District Judge presiding over this case”. Tyler County has been put in an unusual predicament, having a prisoner awaiting trial who claims serious medical conditions. In the state of Texas, approximately seven percent of TDCJ prisoners are seriously ill and they account for one third of the medical costs incurred by TDCJ. Housing a sick prisoner can have serious financial effect on taxpayers in a small county. This is an issue counties and prison systems will have to address in the future, as the percentage of older prisoners increase. Anthony Broom, son of one of the murder victims, understands the County’s concern over the cost of what is, to his family, a real tragedy. “Our family did not want this trial to be such a financial burden on the county, but it is what it is,” Broom said. “He (Legg) committed two murders and we want him to be in a protected, limited atmosphere until the court date.” (Legg had been indicted for the murder of two Tyler County men, but is innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law). In response to the judge’s decision and sheriff’s testimony last week, Broom said that “the decision is one a judge and a sheriff will have to live with. This decision is out of our hands. Hennigan has been up front with our family, explained it and we know it was a difficult decision for him. “We want to thank the community for the support our family has received. It is a great thing to know that we still live in a community who will care and share burdens for each other”.

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