Off-duty Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy struck, killed while mowing yard; suspect arrested, department says

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas – An off-duty Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy was struck and killed Saturday evening by a suspected drunk driver, the department said.

At around 8 p.m., the deputy, 71-year-old James Lee of Hamshire, near Winnie, was mowing his lawn when an SUV, believed to be running at excessive speed, suddenly dove off-road into a ditch, striking him.

Deputy Lee was pronounced dead at the scene, Texas DPS said in a release.

The driver of the SUV, identified by Texas DPS as 38-year-old Michael Miller of Beaumont, was transported to an area hospital where he suffered moderate injuries. He was later taken into custody and charged with intoxication manslaughter, and unlawful carry of a weapon.

Texas DPS said in the release that the investigation remains ongoing.


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A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.