Sheriff launches campaign to have parole denied for ‘Atascosa Ambush’ convict

Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward urges residents to sign parole protest letter

JOURDANTON, Texas – Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward has launched a campaign aimed at denying parole for an accomplice in the killing three law enforcement officers during an ambush in October 1999.

In a Facebook post, Soward said he initiated the campaign “to give the friends and family of these three officers more justice and peace of mind and keep (Kenneth) Vodochodsky in prison as long as possible.”

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Soward urged residents to sign the letter or write their own to the Texas Parole Board. Vodochodsky is due for parole in March. He was denied for parole in 2015. He is scheduled to be released in 2029 if he’s never paroled.

Vodochodsky was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection for the deaths of Atascosa County sheriff deputies Thomas Monse and Mark Stephenson and DPS Trooper Terry Miller.

He was convicted under the “law of parties,” which holds a person responsible for assisting or encouraging a felon to commit a crime. Vodochodsky’s conviction was later overturned and he pleaded guilty to three 30-year sentences to run concurrently.

The facilitator in the ambush, Jeremiah Engleton, fatally shot himself.

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Anyone interested in signing a form letter can go by the Atascosa County Sheriff's Office in Jourdanton or call 830-769-3434.

The form letter is also available at The Good Health Store in Pleasanton. The letter can also be emailed or the resident can draft their own letter, Soward said.

Under Texas law, the inmate is not allowed to know who sent parole protest letters, Soward said.

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