The chairman of Brenham Washington County Crime Stoppers has been held in contempt of court for failing to disclose details of a tip submitted to his organization.
John Deans received a subpoena from Conroe-based defense attorney Brian Burns in early February to appear today (Thursday) in 21st Washington County District Court. According to Crime Stoppers, Burns sought information from an anonymous tip to help his client with an upcoming criminal case.
Update at 12:55 p.m. Friday: According to court records, Burns is representing Terry Dale Stegmann, Jr. of Brenham, who is charged with child molestation, a second-degree felony as of May 2020. Stegmann was charged with the alleged offense on March 23. 2021, and was arrested by Brenham Police on April 14, 2021.
Deans refused to provide counsel and was found in contempt of court by Judge Carson Campbell, which resulted in Deans being detained in the Washington County Jail.
Crime Stoppers offers rewards to citizens who submit tips leading to an arrest or charge in the investigation of a crime. Crime Stoppers says confidential information “must be kept anonymous by state law,” and calls it “a blatant attempt to discredit and destroy the Crime Stoppers program.”
KWHI contacted Scott Ballard, the attorney representing the deans, as well as Burns for comment. Ballard and Burns were unavailable to speak directly, but a member of Ballard’s law office said there would be no comment on the pending matter.