Brazos County detention officer arrested

POSTED: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 4:17pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

BRAZOS COUNTY -- A bizarre story tonight of a Brazos County detention officer lying to cover-up an on-going criminal investigation involving an inmate who she also happened to have an intimate relationship with.

For the past seven years, 56-year-old Joan Lorraine Burns, has worked at the Brazos County Jail but tonight she's now on paid administrative leave after lying to investigators about an on-going case.

"Joan Burns asked to meet with one of our investigators that had been investigating the Willie Griffin Jr. case and so they met and she shared some information that she said would help Willie in his case," said Sheriff Kirk. 

Sheriff Kirk tell us that Burns gave the investigator a sworn statement in favor of Griffin, which raised some red flags.

"From the start it didn't feel right to us and so when we started looking into it, it was pretty easy to disprove."

Investigators were able to listen to the recorded phone call between Burns and Griffin and found out that Griffin coached her into lying.

When authorities presented the evidence against her, she came clean and also told them that she'd been having an intimate relationship with Griffin since October.

"This one took us by surprise," said Sheriff Kirk. "I mean we were not aware of their relationship and to even have one of our staff members come forward to talk in favor of an inmate is unusual."

Both Burns and Griffin are charged with tampering with evidence, a third degree felony.



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