JOHNSON COUNTY, Texas — A man who was involved in a traffic stop that led to an injured Burleson officer and then a fatal carjacking now faces a capital murder charge.
Jerry Don Elders, 39, was charged Friday in a Johnson County courtroom.
Investigators believe that on the morning of April 14 the woman got out of her vehicle and was allegedly shot by Elders while attempting to escape, according to Johnson County Sheriff Adam King. She made her own way all the way back to Joshua police but did not survive, King said.
She was identified by her family as Robin Waddell.
The district attorney has not decided whether to seek the death penalty or life without parole for the capital murder charge. Elders' bond was set at $1 million.
Elders has two court-appointed lawyers and was silent as he was escorted by deputies Friday morning. His family members were present but didn't say anything.
Elders has not been indicted by a grand jury for the capital murder charge so the charge could change.
He also faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against an officer, possession of a controlled substance, and theft of property for the April 14 incidents.
Officials say that Elders shot Burleson officer Joshua Lott during a traffic stop on April 14. Lott made the traffic stop around 4:15 a.m. because the car was pulled over for a defective tail light, officials said.
When the officer approached the car on the passenger side, one of the three people inside shot through the window at the officer, officials said. The officer was shot multiple times in the chest, shoulder and neck, police said.
Elders, and the other two suspects, a man, and a woman, then fled the scene in the car before abandoning it, officials said. Police believe Elders was involved in a fatal carjacking. Elders fled the scene but was eventually taken into custody.
The officer was hospitalized and released a few days later.
Jail records show Elders has been incarcerated at least five times on various drug and gun charges but spent less than half of his sentences behind bars.
For example, in March of 2003, Elders received a 10-year sentence on drug charges but was given a supervised release just 16 days later.
Then in September 2007, he faced charges of violating possession of a firearm by a felon and intent to distribute a controlled substance in Tarrant County led to two 10-year sentences. But Elders was paroled just two years later in 2009.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says Elders finished serving his time last February. But at the time of Wednesday's traffic stop that led to the shooting, police say Elders had an outstanding warrant for drug possession.