Bounty hunters nab Rye man who skipped sentencing

Timothy Leroy Cornell, 54, of Rye, was captured Thursday afternoon, one day after he was sentenced in absentia to 67 years in prison as a habitual criminal.

Cornell was taken into custody by bounty hunters and transported to the Liberty County Jail where he will remain until he is sent to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility to begin his sentence, according to Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader.

Cornell was tried for Possession of a Controlled Substance after an arrest in December 2016 and was found guilty of the crime on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

In a statement released Wednesday night, District Attorney Logan Pickett explained how Cornell was determined to be a habitual offender.

“Cornell is classified by the legislature as a habitual felon because he has two or more sequential TDC (Texas Department of Corrections) trips prior to the commission of this offense. Habitual offenders may be sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment for Life, or not more than 99 years, or less than 25 years,” Pickett said.

“Despite the long sentence, parole laws in Texas call for Cornell’s eligibility for release to begin in seven years, though this does not guarantee release,” Pickett said.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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