Billy Joe Shaver Out on Bond

Tuesday, April 03, 2007
By Cindy V. Culp
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Honky-tonk hero Bill Joe Shaver turned himself into local authorities a little after noon today. The Waco resident and country singer-songwriter had two warrants out for his arrest in connection with a Saturday night shooting at a bar in Lorena.Shaver was arraigned by McLennan County Justice of the Peace Kristi DeCluitt, who set bail at $50,000. He posted bond and was released from McLennan County Jail about 2:20 p.m.

The warrant filed to support Shaver’s arrest says he shot a man in the cheek after getting into an argument with him. Shaver’s attorney has said Shaver shot in self-defense, but information in the warrant contradicts that assertion.

The two warrants are for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawfully carrying a handgun on the premises of a business with a license to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption.

The warrants were issued Monday evening by Judge DeCluitt. Shortly afterward, Shaver tried to turn himself in to Austin police, his attorney Joseph Turner said. But Austin police did not yet have a record of the warrants, so he was not arrested.

Shaver is still scheduled to appear at a record store in Austin today for the release of his greatest hits record.

The shooting in which Shaver is implicated occurred at 8:30 p.m. outside Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon, 1505 Interstate 35. Witnesses at the bar told the Tribune-Herald that the shooter took off in his car.

Although Lorena police have declined to comment in detail about the shooting, Turner has said that Shaver shot in self-defense after an aggressive stranger with a knife followed him into the bar’s parking lot.

The man, identified by family members as Billy Coker, reportedly was shot in the cheek but was talking and alert after the shooting. Moran said he was in stable condition today.

Shaver, who lives in Waco, shot to country music stardom in the ’70s. He has written and performed songs like “Georgia on a Fast Train,” “Live Forever,” and “Try and Try Again” and has recorded more than 20 albums. He’s written songs for legends like Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

Despite Shaver’s fame, Moran said he had no idea who the singer was before the shooting. Since then, though, he has been deluged with media calls. Dealing with the spotlight has been daunting for the five-man department, he said.

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