Previous Arrest of Hemphill County SO Deputy Pyne Gregory for Deadly Conduct, August 3, 2003
High Speed Chase and Fists Fly - Nathan Lewis while employed by Lipscomb County SO, January 2016
Nathan Lewis - Official Oppression or Improper Tactics or Both? - July 5, 2015
What Happened That Night? - One mother's story - LISTEN HERE
Sheriff Pearson's Letter to the Editor Regarding Deputy Lewis' Conduct
Lipscomb County Deputy Lewis' Letter to the Editor Regarding Texas Ranger Investigation Into His Conduct
Chronological Transcripts of Sheriff Lewis' Interviews with Chris Samples, KXDJ
1. 12.02.16 Lewis (Brown)
[00:00:00] Curse we've had a numerous amount of people over here helping this people from in the community around the county outside agencies and just outside civilians coming in and helping us. We have tracked the immediate area of the scene numerous numerous times. We had a pack of bloodhound dogs in here that that's what they do every day. They track since we tracking east of where the vehicle was found and they've come up to a dead end that point and then from there you just have to do ground searches. And so we've gridded off areas and conducted ground searches with numerous people. We are still doing that. We want to make sure that we get the eastern side of the county searched. We get the Randall County sheriff's posse down here. Search and rescue team they are on horseback searching. And so that's what they're doing at this point. We're still on the ground. We still have air crews up in the air. Very thankful to some of our local pilots and so they're up there right now searching by the air still. We're just doing everything we can on the search part of that. And
[00:01:05] now do I understand correctly that the young man's vehicle was found abandoned near your water treatment plant facility is that correct. That is correct.
[00:01:15] Where is that from Canadien that's close to our recreational baseball fields. Got to the rodeo ground area.
[00:01:22] Got you. Got you. And so the bloodhounds as you mentioned track that scent. Was it up to water's edge when they lose it or was it just in the middle of nowhere.
[00:01:33] It was at the water's edge. We do have some marshes around the Canadian River. Soon as the bloodhounds got to the actual water marsh they lost the scent.
[00:01:44] I have been hoping and praying that all of a sudden we'll find Yeah. The young man disturbed obviously walked to the water's edge walked right back over and got in the vehicle with somebody else and they're off somewhere and he's going to be able to come to his senses and get back home and have a happy ending to this thing is there any reason to believe that that kind of a scenario might be remotely possible. Or are the prospects 100 percent that he's down in that area still somewhere yet.
[00:02:17] Chris it's absolutely possible he walked down there got the water and realized now I don't know what I'm doing. And it's possible he walked back. Absolutely. We want the young man to come home and hopefully he got with somebody else.
2. Lewis (Criminal Investigation)
[00:00:00] At the sheriff's department we investigate criminal activities. Somebody just comes up missing and leaves. That's one thing. But this whole thing being an 18 year old kid still in high school active in sports. President of his class. We don't have any evidence laying out in front of us saying that an assault or homicide occurred but he just walked off. We're going to investigate this. Criminally it is a criminal investigation or we wouldn't be involved. And so yes we have labeled this we've always labeled it a criminal investigation because we don't have any evidence to support the fact that it's not or that it is. And so we are going to do everything we can throughout this investigation to find out what happened.
[00:00:41] As you noted in the recent to Emerald globe news story sheriff Mr. Klein with Klein Investigations also had previously noted that not only did he think foul play was involved but that someone at Canadian high school had an it was in quotes and the globe news story has quote direct knowledge unquote of what happened within the parameters of what you can and cannot say in an active investigation. Can you verify is there any proof that anyone at Canadian high school students had any kind of personal knowledge of what has happened to Thomas Brown.
[00:01:19] Curtis I can't. There's just absolutely no evidence to support at this time that that's even something considerable.
[00:01:27] Tell me what the Texas Rangers and all those others that you and your department have brought in on this case. What's their gut on something like this. Can you share with us that based on all of the investigation that has gone on to this point and it continues. Do they have a God or do they go there.
[00:01:45] Well no Chris they go off pure evidence. That's exactly what all three of our agencies are doing at this time as we're working on evidence. And those are the things that we have to work on to figure out any kind of case.
[00:01:57] Certainly cannot blame the family for wanting to tap into any resource possible. The family has hired Klein Investigations to come alongside. Has it been a help or has it been in any way a hindrance in your part of the investigation just because as we've watched some of the responses personally and I may be wrong as why I'm asking I've sensed a couple of times that maybe there's a little bit of frustration between your department and the private investigator.
[00:02:25] Chris I can see where people would come up with that. You're dealing with two different agencies we'll see we'll on a different spectrum you're dealing with somebody that deals with criminal investigations and you're dealing with somebody does civil investigations and there are two different completely things. OK. And so I can see why people would think this and that but the ultimate thing is we just do two different things and everything that we come up with together and putting pieces together in this investigation is going to help tremendously. There's things that con investigations that they do and they do it well and there's things that we do that we do it will but when we put all those things together we're going to have some final outcome of it.
3. 5.03.17 Lewis
[00:00:00] Say this Chris our ultimate goal misfiring is to find what happened to Tom Brown and his disappearance. And so we are working together to accomplish the same goal. But I would I'd like to tell you a little bit about what they did when they were here. Please do. Tom Brown went missing from Canadien on Thanksgiving Day 2016 and this still is an active ongoing investigation. I've had the Texas Rangers and FBI involved in the disappearance. Mean each Avenue this investigation is considered based on evidence or lack of evidence. I do feel it is necessary to clarify several points following the recent press release by Klein Investigations. At this time the sheriff's office has no evidence to support the following assertions that the car was driven by someone other than Tom Brown at any time during the night. The driver of the Durango walked into the residential area and north side of the city. The backpack recovered by the sheriff's department was planted as a diversion. Tom Brown was assaulted and or killed intentionally or accidentally in Tom's body was dumped in around hand-bill County. At this time we have no evidence to support any of those assertions made by con investigations. Several issues of discrepancy exist in their layout of the timeline as proposed by Klein Investigations. The sheriff's office has not previously released any of this due to the sensitive nature of this information. Sure and we will it this time not divulge any other information concerning the timeline of events November 23rd and 24th.
[00:01:28] We will not do that just because sensitive nature of this case.
[00:01:32] But during the past weekend when investigations were here in Canadian The sheriff's office did meet with them prior to any searches that they did conduct here in or about the city or the county and the sheriff's office was also in communication with them and assisted them throughout the weekend. Now when the Department was notified that the dog did alert on a scent of human remains in Tom's car. Chief Dipti klap was out there with him and he sought out the canine handler sergeant for an accurate explanation. Sergeant explain to him that the dog alerted to the scent of a thin blood transfer staying on the interior of the driver's door. Now the bloodstain was swapped the evening of the 24th November the collected sample was then analyzed for DNA content by the DP s crime lab. It did result in a positive match for Tom. Now the blood transfer was located during the initial search of the vehicle. The blood was not fresh and the blood was definitely not indicative to an assault or a homicide. Well if you will Chris the amount of blood the amount and the size of the blood transfer was more closely related to what you would find or occur with a modern skin could be in a busted knuckle or some paper could arrive. So what this time Chris we have several avenues that we are currently working on and looking into. But I cannot really see any of that stuff due to the Act investigation.
4. 7.28.17 Lewis
[00:00:00] Say this she's missing her son and I understand that and like I said it's very emotional for her. Things have probably been set around town through this investigation I mean people talk gossip and the Gospel and this case has never been a cold case text. They have always been involved. The Texas Rangers with this case. So for us to turn the case over to the Rangers it's already there. They're already doing everything with us during this investigation so there's no other agency to turn this over to. Now if the case were to ever go cold and cold meaning there's nothing left to investigate there's absolutely nothing to follow that point you can turn a case over to a cold case team and they go back over the initial case and follow up on things. But Chris we're just not there and you can't turn over a case to a cold case team until it's cold. It's just not there. I understand that she wants something done but we are doing what we can and will continue to do what needs to be done on this case. Not only my department but with the Texas CPS and the state in the Texas Rangers.
[00:01:12] What is the status of the private investigative firm Mr. Klein Phillip Klein as you know Sheriff. You received it. We received it. Other media outlets received here in the last couple of months just a scathing e-mail from a guy by the name of Tom Regt Salaf who says that he has history with this private investigator and now when he went to the nth degree to say what kind of a scam artist is and I can't believe he's involved in this investigation and I mean it just kind of took us aback. What was your take on that criticism and does this investigator still play a role in this investigation and if so how do you feel about it.
[00:01:50] I take things like that with a grain of salt. And I always have until I know for sure that that's the case of somebody this Rattle's guys if he's trying to put Mr. client down that's his business. I haven't found anything to justify that we speak to Phil Klein and his investigative team on this case regularly via e-mail or in person when he comes down. I think they're doing a great job and I think they need to keep up what they are doing us working together. It's been a good deal. And so and I've said it before we do not care who finds Tom we do not care who finds the missing puzzle piece to the puzzle. We just want to find him. So they answer your question and we are still working with Phil Klein his investigators and others still working with us and vice versa.
5. 10.6.17 Lewis
[00:00:00] This is definitely something that nobody wants to happen or see happen ever something like this happens. It's not only hard on the family which I can't even imagine. No but it's also part on a community for such a small close knit community that we don't want things like this to happen. And so yeah we've all come together and we've had so much support and help from the community and the citizens on this thing it's been tremendous to go back on you there the Canadian record you've done a tremendous job. Absolutely. We've actually met with high ranking BP officials last week to kind of go over the case look through everything that we've done. We've had the Texas Rangers assisting us in this investigation from the get go. So last week what we did we set everything down put everything out on the table had a conference if you will and just went over everything we had the family come in and we visited with them. We told them where we're at. What we're doing what we're looking through going through yes we found the vehicle that morning. Yes we spotted him not necessarily identified him 100 percent but we spotted his vehicle throughout Canadian on cameras. Then it ended up down there by the water waste treatment plant. So from that point on like I said the officials been involved we had the set down last week. So what that entailed was looking over everything that we found through the young man's home through his vehicle talking to friends close confidant.
[00:01:25] I mean everything that we have learned through this investigation Chris has led us to believe we are quite positive. And also the DPS officials and the Rangers that Mr. Brown left on his own. We are hoping that he does come back. We are not going to stop looking for him. We're not going to stop doing the things that we're doing here. Every day we get calls from businesses from Wal-Marts grocery stores malls saying hey we might have something we might have seen the young man. We have to go through we get all of the video surveillance from these different places and we continue to look. So it's not a crime to walk away. The tragedy thing about it is he's a high school senior and he's a son. He's a brother he's a friend of the community. And so we're going to do everything and still do everything we can to locate him and bring him home.
12/1/2017 - One Year Interviews with Chris Samples of KXDJ with Phillip Klein of Klein Investigations and Hemphill County Sheriff Nathan Lewis
[00:00:00] We don't do much with them. We do things with them when they come down or they want to share some information with us or vice versa. But as far as every day get with them to do things we don't. And it's just we're working with law enforcement working with law enforcement working with the private firm is totally different from a private firm that they like to base their things off speculations and theories. We do not do that. So it's definitely a different thing. Now I am grateful for them being a part of it because everybody has the same end goal but at this point I don't have much to do with them.
[00:00:33] Do you share information between all of you of the Texas Rangers. Share a piece of evidence or something they've discovered in the case. Do you share it with Mr. Klein and vice versa. Things that they're working on. Do they share with you and thus to the FBI and the Rangers or are they totally independent of one another.
[00:00:54] Well when it comes down to evidence and things like that things that are most important to the case most that I don't believe get shared with Mr. Klein because he is a citizen based person not law enforcement but we share the sayings as far as what we're looking for different places we're searching geographically. What we've done where we've done it at that kind of information is shared. But as far as evidentiary things that need to stay behind the scenes hush hush until the investigators can really get a grasp on what we're doing and where we're going. I don't believe those things are shared with them.
[00:01:33] And do I understand correctly if I'm hearing you correctly that is normal protocol.
[00:01:38] Absolutely. Absolutely. In most of the things that we've done Chris has been based on what DPL does what FBI does. We've really got to work with these guys. What they do. I trust them I trust what they their knowledge what they've done how they share meatiest stuff how they share stuff with other investigative firms. And so everything that we've done kind of really geared toward what they've done.
[00:02:03] You mentioned some of the things that for obvious reasons and understandable reasons are not for public knowledge at least at this point but with additional leads that you have and you're working on. Do you feel at this point that you are close or closer or does that steal often feel like a daddy.
[00:02:23] Well no I don't say that in I don't want to say close Chris but man I really feel good I feel good about it when those guys say hey we're working on something. I feel pretty good about those things. And so man I just I can't tell you that it's going to be done tomorrow next week. But I feel like we're getting somewhere with the case.
[00:02:41] Do you and can you say at this point in your heart of hearts believe that you're talking about a homicide case here or do you still hold out hope of a missing person case.
[00:02:52] Chris I just I can't answer that because I don't have physical evidence to say that this is a homicide. And so I can't say that.
[00:00:00] So when we did the search of the search teams did find an iPhone and we had expected we would find something out there because people run down the road and blow out stuff all the time. So each piece of evidence is very painstaking and we want to make sure it's done properly. There's a thing called a chain of custody. So when the search team found that we all kind of swooped in and Chief Deputy Clap through the chain of custody procedures tagged him bag the phone that phone was. And I'm not I believe it was sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers down to Austin Texas for forensics analysis which is great. That's what we want. We want to secure the chain of command and also with the chain of custody of any items found. So we understand the phone is down there. It is in line to be in Alice size accordingly. There's more crime in Texas and you would think about that down there at crime lab and it is in line to be checked as soon as we know.
[00:01:01] Sure the sheriff who will be the spokesman for the law enforcement side again we don't speak for law enforcement as I've told you. We don't represent law enforcement. Our job is to be an assistance to the case and law enforcement and that continues to progress as well. We're working very well with Deputy class they have access to our databases and they are in their daily. We watch them come in daily and look at reports and analysis and forensics so of course the ranger Ranger Smith is a heck of a local man and he's as well communicating so everything really right now in this case is moving along as could be expected. There's no politics involved. There's no back and forth and Paul. We believe in what they're doing and I hope they believe in what we're doing. I get those indications. But again I don't speak for law enforcement.
[00:01:52] Let me ask you in closing Mr. Klein about the rumor mill you and I have talked about that before. One of the latest things that I was told was out there on social media is that there are officials in the Canadian who know who the killer is and are not saying because they've been paid off by the family member when I heard that.
[00:02:17] What I will go as far to say that is an exaggeration but I will go as far today to say that we are exploring some mangoes that are off the beaten path.
[00:00:00] Well let's briefly go over it. When we first got involved in the case we had a tip on our tip line regarding this brown truck and that it was seen in the downtown area during the time of the disappearance. We did some follow up on it but we didn't really have enough information to really know the make and model and the exact color on Sunday afternoon. The tip line rang and we had a subject that we had previously interviewed and he reminded us number one of the truck but most importantly reminded us number two that he had seen that truck as he had been out searching that night. And so we went through a series of as you know probably understand a series of pictures of different trucks and different models and different colors. And he picked out immediately the truck the to f 250 brownish color maybe a copper type color that was seen in the area. The truck was seen turning on like Marvin Road. The truck had been seen earlier in the evening up by the football field. So it matches in on what we call the timeline of the event so we are asking the public to keep our eyes open and if they know of a Ford F 250 truck it could be an oilfield truck. It could be someone that works out of the oil fields. This is a person of interest that we want to talk to regarding maybe even being a witness. We're not willing to go across the line and say a suspect but possible witness that can help us with a portion of this case.
[00:01:37] That is very very important that we're working on. So we're looking for the Ford F 250 and or a copper or a brown colored truck and we need to talk to that occupant. We believe they live in the area of Canadian and we believe even more they live in a county or maybe an adjacent county. So that's what we're asking the public to do and it is very important as I tell you all the time piece of the puzzle.
[00:02:04] Is there anything else new in the investigation. Have there been any other new pieces of evidence that have been factors.
[00:02:12] Well you know we did a search over in Canadian during the times giving weekend the team gave up their Thanksgiving to come out there and work out in the field. We did obtain some small pieces of evidence that fit the timeline. What we're looking for we were able to clear the rest of Lake Marven road as our investigators were crawling through culverts and digging through ditches and that sort of thing looking for evidence. So we were able to clear lake Marvin road. We do not believe in the vicinity. I want to be very clear with everybody in the vicinity of Lake Margaret road meaning Lake Marven road. It's culverts and 15 feet off either way we do not believe there's any more evidence that could be found although we might have missed something and we're going to go back and look in a couple of places but we are sure that we've got all the evidence off the late Marvin road.