Man accused of tornado-related fraud cancels plea - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Man accused of tornado-related fraud cancels plea

Jason Lynn McKnight mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Sheriff's Office. Jason Lynn McKnight mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Sheriff's Office.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

By Whitney Grunder - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Wells man accused of illegally securing contracts to secure contract work from tornado victims has decided not to plead guilty of the crime.

Last week, Al Charanza, the attorney for Jason McKnight, 42, said he had agreed on a prison sentence in exchange for the guilty plea.

However, Wednesday, Charanza said McKnight decided not to go forward with the plea deal.

"Based on a further review on the law and facts of the case, we believe we have a defense and that he's not guilty," said Charanza.

Charanza says Mcknight's case will move to a trial. He says jury selection is set for August 16th.

According to a previous report, police said McKight, in some instances, applied for permits for people he did not have a contract with, preventing the victims from obtaining agreements from other contractors.

McKnight also falsified bid amounts, saying the work was for less than he was getting paid for, thereby getting cheaper permits, police said.

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