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Trooper's suspected killer found dead

The Associated Press
Related: Texas trooper fatally shot

LINDEN, Texas — A former police officer suspected in the fatal shooting of a state trooper killed himself Thursday as authorities closed in on his location, officials said.

Brandon Wayne Robertson, 37, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a brushy area off a county road just outside Linden in Cass County. The Department of Public Safety said authorities had been tracking him with the help of several calls he made to 911 and calls others made to a tip line.

Department spokeswoman Sylvia Jennings said Robertson called 911 one final time Thursday when he heard a police helicopter circling overhead. "So at that point we knew we were at the right location," she said.

Robertson was named in a capital murder warrant in the death of Trooper James Scott Burns, who was killed Tuesday night after pulling over a car near Lake O' The Pines in eastern Texas.

Burns didn't have a chance to remove his seat belt as he stopped his patrol car, just before getting shot multiple times with a shotgun, authorities said. A passer-by later used the trooper's radio to call for help.

Robertson was an eastern Texas police officer for seven years at departments in Rusk County, Overton and Kilgore, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education. He left law enforcement in 1999 and was on parole for a drug possession charge.

Cass County Sheriff James Estes said investigators found evidence that Robertson and his girlfriend had slept in an abandoned barn just off the county road.

Robertson's girlfriend was taken into custody at the barn Thursday. DPS said criminal charges are pending against her.

Robertson was arrested by Department of Public Safety troopers as recently as April 6, when he was charged in Cherokee County with possession of a controlled substance. He posted a $7,500 bond the next day.

"I have had my share of troubles in the past after becoming addicted to pain medication when I was injured in a vehicle accident that brought an (eight-year) career in law enforcement to an end," Robertson wrote in a letter to a judge in 2006 in which he pleaded for probation for the drug possession charge.

He served about six months of his four-year prison sentence and was paroled in April 2007.

DPS trooper and spokeswoman Sylvia Jennings has said she did not know what prompted the pursuit that ended with Burns' death.

Burns, 39, is survived by a wife and a 5-month-old daughter.

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