Sweeny Police | In Memoriam | K9 Baker

Welcome to the Official Web Site of the Sweeny Police Department

Main Navigation Bar

City Ordinances

Crime Prevention

Crime Stats

eGovernment

Emergency Mgmt.

Employment Opps

Most Wanted

News

Online Forms

Police Links

Sex Offenders

Victim Services

Warrants

 
Safety Links Bar

9-1-1

Amber Alert

Anthrax

Auto Theft

Gangs

Gun Safety

Hurricane Safety

ID Theft

Methamphetamine

Pipeline Safety

Project ChildSafe

Ricin

 
Other Links Bar

Complaint Procedures

Dept. Operation

Found Property

In Memoriam

Patriotic Dedication

Police Patch

National Police Week

Racial Profiling

Tech/Financial Info

Traffic Accidents

U.S. Constitution

Web Site Stats



In Memoriam | K9 Baker
This Web page is dedicated to the memory of K-9 Baker.  Baker was Sweeny's first drug dog, a male black Labrador Retriever,  who was stolen and killed by two teenagers in 1993.  All of the information contained in this account is from the actual case files at the Sweeny Police Department.

Heading Quick Links

Sweeny Acquires Drug Dog

in late 1989, the Sweeny Police Department, through contributions from the community totaling $4,500, became only the second police agency in Brazoria County to have a drug dog on its force.  Only the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department had drug detection dogs in the county.  Officer Baker, a black Labrador Retriever, was purchased and trained for narcotics detection purposes.  The dog lived with Sweeny Police Officer Richard Morales at his home in Sweeny.

Crime Facts

It was just another Saturday night in Sweeny. The date was April 3, 1993. Officer Blaine Slaughter was working the night shift.  Captain Percy Truitt, a reserve officer, was also patrolling that night.  It was a quite, rainy night. Few calls, no tickets issued, and no arrests made.

The next day, Sunday, at 9:30 a.m., Terry Morales, Richard's wife, received a telephone call from her son notifying her that the drug dog was missing from the kennel, and that the fence on the kennel had been cut (see the crime scene photo at the right of this text.)  Terry contacted Richard who was in Huntsville, Texas.  Richard advised Terry to call the police department to make a theft report.

Crime Scene Photo of Dog Kennel

Richard left Huntsville en route to Sweeny to find the dog. Terry then called Officer Slaughter, the duty officer from the previous shift, and advised him of the missing dog. Officer Slaughter told her that Captain Truitt picked up a black lab on last night's shift.  The dog was taken to the city pound.  Terry called Captain Truitt and advised him of the missing dog.  Terry asked Captain Truitt if the black lab he picked up could have been K-9 Officer Baker.  Captain Truitt could not be sure.

At 9:45 a.m., Terry notified Officer Wilford Goble, the officer on duty, that the police department's drug dog was missing.  She went on to explain that Captain Truitt put a black lab in the pound last night.  She requested he check the pound to determine if the dog was K-9 Officer Baker.  Officer Goble went to the pound, but determined the dog was not K-9 Officer Baker.  A search of the city and surrounding areas was unsuccessful in locating K-9 Officer Baker.  A police case file was opened and assigned report number 3128-0493.

Several teletype message were sent out to area police departments to be on the lookout for the missing dog.  See the three messages below.

TLETS Message No. 1 TLETS Message No. 2 TLETS Message No. 3
TLETS Message No. 93-031 TLETS Message No. 93-031 (Corrected) TLETS Message No. 93-032

Back to Top

The Investigation

Over the next five months, the police department received numerous tips and information calls, but not enough to identify a suspect in the case or to make an arrest.  Then, on September 28, 1993, a 17-year-old witness came forward.  He gave a signed, sworn statement to police naming two 18-year-old suspects: Christopher Dwayne Davidson and Bryan Travis Burt.  The text of his statement read:

"Sometime around the end of April, 1993, I was riding in Chris Davidson's truck with him and Michael Dean Ward.  As we were driving down Blacks Ferry Road [County Road 353], a silver colored choke chain slid out from under Chris's seat.  I picked the chain up and saw small pieces of black hair on the chain.  I asked Chris, "What is this?" and Chris said, "It used to be Morales' dog."  Chris said that he and Brian Burt took the dog from Morales' house.  Chris said Serge Jacques was with them, but he just watched.  Chris told me that Brian went and got the dog and brought it to Chris's truck and tied it in the bed.  Chris said they took the dog to a shell road off Blacks Ferry Road and beat the dog to death. Chris said he just kept the chain.  Several weeks later, Serge was riding in the truck with me, and he told me to go down Blacks Ferry Road.  Serge told me to stop at this place, and we stopped.  We got out of the truck and Serge showed me the remains of what he said was Morales' dog."

On October 21, 2003, at about 1:00 p.m., Chris Davidson came to the police department at the request of Jerry Murphy, the Chief of Police.  Chief Murphy advised Davidson of his Miranda Rights and interviewed Davidson.  Davidson confessed his involvement in the theft and killing of the drug dog.  The text of his statement read:

"During the afternoon, I think on a Friday, the last week of march1993, I was with my dad and we worked on my mud truck.  I left him and picked up Bryan Burt [at] about 7:30 p.m. and we went to the bowling alley in Richwood [Brazoria County, Texas].  We left there about 11:00 p.m. and we returned to Sweeny and parked at Morris Tires. Bryan said to watch this that we were going to have some fun.  Bryan got out and ran around behind the brick house and went to Officer Morales' house and returned with the Sweeny Police Department's drug dog.  Bryan got back into the truck and the dog got inside the vehicle with him. Brian had to cut the fence to get the dog.  We left town and went to the road on the other side of Cotton's.  We took a right onto what I think is Blacks Ferry Road.  We drove down the road a little ways.  I pulled off to the side of the road.  Bryan got out of the truck, and the dog followed him. He got a piece of pipe out of the back of my truck and killed the dog.  He hit the dog all over his body until he died.  I stayed in the truck while he did this.  He kicked the dog off into the ditch (there was water in the ditch).  When Bryan got back into the truck, he had the dog's collar.  We left there and went on home."

On October 21, 2003, at about 3:30 p.m., police were able to contact Serge Jacques.  Serge agreed to give a statement about his knowledge of the incident.  The text of his statement read:

"About a month after the police department dog was taken from Officer Morales' house, I was at Rusty's Place, a local pool hall.  I overheard Bryan Burt tell two [or] three people that he and Chris Davidson took the dog and killed it.  He said they took it down Blacks Ferry Road and beat it to death.  They left the dog on the edge of the roadway. I asked Chris Carter, who works at Rusty's, if that was true.  He said it was.  Later I went down Blacks Ferry Road and found some bones that may have belonged to the dog.  I carried some of my friends out and showed them the bones and told them that I had heard Bryan Burt say that he killed the dog."

Now that police had two witnesses who had come forward and given statements, and a confession had been given by one of the suspects, arrest warrants could be sought for the arrest of Davidson and Burt.

Back to Top

Bones Recovered

On October 22, 1993, six months after K-9 Baker's disappearance, police were led to Blacksferry Road, County Road 353, a few miles northeast of Sweeny, where Baker's bones    were    recovered.

This location was later confirmed by both suspects and other witnesses as the location of Baker's death.  The area of disturbed grass in the two crime scene photographs above show the area of the recovery. 

 

Back to Top

Two Suspects Arrested

On October 23, 1993, police applied for and received three arrest warrants.  Davidson was charged with Theft, a Third Degree Felony.  Burt was charged with Theft, a Third Degree Felony and Criminal Mischief, a Third Degree Felony.  All charges carried a punishment of imprisonment from 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

After obtaining the warrants, Sweeny Police were informed that Bryan Burt was living in Port Lavaca, Calhoun County, Texas.  The Calhoun County Sheriff's Department was contacted and were requested to attempt to locate and arrest Burt on the outstanding warrants.

Mug Shot - Bryan Travis Burt On Saturday, October 24, 1993, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department notified Sweeny Police that Burt had been arrested and was in custody in their jail.  Chief Murphy and Officer Morales went to the Calhoun County Jail.  Chief Murphy interviewed Burt about the theft and death of K-9 Officer Baker. Burt confessed to stealing and killing the dog, and he also implicated Christopher Davidson.  Burt agreed to show the officers where they had killed the dog.

Burt was transported back to Sweeny.  He was taken before Judge Jerry Phillips of the Sweeny Municipal Court and arraigned for felony theft and felony criminal mischief.  His bond was set at $15,000 for each charge.  After arraignment, Burt was transported to the West Columbia jail where he was booked and jailed.  Prior to his incarceration, Burt gave a written confession.  The text of his statement read:

"About 5 or 6 months ago, on the weekend, me and Chris Davidson were cruising around town.  He had just picked me up from my house.  I asked Chris if he wanted to help me do something and he asked what.  I told him I was going to take Morales's dog.  We parked at Morris Tire Shop.  I walked over to Morales's dog pen.  I looked to see what I had to do to get him out.  I went back to the truck and told Chris to take me to my house to get some cutting pliers.  We went to my house and I got some cutting pliers from my dad's tool box.  We went back to Morris Tire Shop and parked.  I got out and went back to Morales's house.  I cut the fence on the top of the gate.  The dog came to me and jumped out.  I went back to the truck and the dog followed me.  I just kept me arm on him.  I put him in the cab of the truck with me and Chris.  We took him down the road to Blacksferry Road.  Me and the dog got out, and I killed the dog.  I choked him to death with my hands.  Chris got out of the truck and helped me choke the dog.  While I was choking him, I would hit him with my fist and step on him with my foot trying to knock all of the wind out of him.  When I though he was dead, I took the choker chain off.  We got into the truck and left.  I kept the chain for a month or so.  I think I was with Chris but I am not sure but we were on Blacksferry and I threw the chain away.  The place is near a wooden bridge about a mile from where we killed the dog.  Today I showed Chief Murphy and Officer Morales where we killed the dog and where I threw the chain."

Mug Shot - Christopher Dwayne Davidson On Monday, October 25, 1993, Christopher Dwayne Davidson surrendered himself to Sweeny Police and was arrested by Officer Wilford Goble.  He was taken before Judge Jerry Phillips of the Sweeny Municipal Court and arraigned for felony theft.  His bond was set at $15,000.  After arraignment, Davidson was transported to the West Columbia jail where he was booked and jailed.

Back to Top

Court Proceedings

The case file was delivered to the Brazoria County District Attorney's Office in Angleton on December 6, 1993 for the prosecution of the accused. 

Davidson's cause number in Brazoria County District Court was 26,926G.  Burt's cause number was 26,927G.

On January 11, 1994, the cases against both defendants were presented to a grand jury. After hearing the case facts, the grand jury indicted both Davidson and Burt.

On June 7, 1994, Christopher Davidson pled guilty to Theft, a Third Degree Felony.  He was sentenced to six (6) years probation and ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution to the City of Sweeny.

Burt was tried by a jury and was found guilty on September 7, 1994.  He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution to the City of Sweeny, ordered to pay $2,500 to the SPCA, ordered to pay $50 to Crimestoppers, ordered to get his GED, and ordered to perform 600 hours of community service.  He also received a suspended five (5) year prison sentence. 

Both Davidson and Burt were ordered to write a letter of apology  to the Sweeny Police Department, which they did.

However, just two years later, both Davidson and Burt failed to comply with probation requirements, and both were sentenced to four (4) years each in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDC).  Of the $7,500 in restitution owed by Bryan Burt, only $1,200 was paid.  Of the $7,500 in restitution owed by Christopher Davidson, only $2,800 was paid. 

Back to Top

Press Releases

Pre-Arrest

Newspaper Article, 04/07/1993.  The Houston Post.

The Brazosport Facts

(Clute, Texas)

April 5, 1993

The Houston Post

(Houston, Texas)

April 7, 1993

 

The Houston Chronicle

(Houston, Texas)

April 8, 1993

The Brazoria County News

(West Columbia, Texas)

April 8, 1993

Post-Arrest

The Brazosport Facts

(Clute, Texas)

October 26, 1993

The Houston Post

(Houston, Texas)

October 26, 1993

 

The Times-Picayune

(New Orleans, LA)

October 27, 1993

The Battalion

(Texas A&M)

October 27, 1993

 

The Dallas Morning News

(Dallas, Texas)

October 27, 1993

The Houston Chronicle

(Houston, Texas)

October 27, 1993

 

The Brazosport Facts

(Clute, Texas)

October 28, 1993

The Brazoria County News

(West Columbia, Texas)

October 27, 1993

 

The Brazoria County News

(West Columbia, Texas)

January 20, 1994

Texas Police Officers Gazette

(Texas Police Officers Association)

May-June, 1994

Back to Top

Conclusion

The abduction and beating death of K-9 Baker in 1993 was undoubtedly the most notorious and villainous crime in Sweeny's history, a crime that touched everyone in Sweeny.  Although neither Davidson nor Burt gave investigators a reason  for killing K-9 Baker, his death was the result of at least one factor: he was a police drug dog.  Whether drugs or alcohol were involved, or whether revenge was the key motive---we'll probably never know.  It can be said with certainty, though, that Christopher Dwayne Davidson and Bryan Travis Burt will remain Sweeny's most infamous criminals for their cruel, cowardly, and inhumane treatment of Sweeny's first police drug dog, K-9 Baker.

The Sweeny Police Department hopes to further memorialize K-9 Baker with a monument, plaque, or other special tribute at the police station in the coming years.

Back to Top

Feedback...
We welcome questions and comments about our In Memoriam section.  Please e-mail us at inbox@sweenypolice.org.