District Court Judge Joel Johnson set a May 18 trial date for William Brent Parham, 53.
A Bee County grand jury indicted Parham in March on five counts of aggravated assault by threat with a deadly weapon, each one a second degree felony offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
On court documents, Parham listed his occupation as a correctional officer at the Garza West prison, located on State Highway 202 southeast of Beeville.
He also entered a plea of not guilty.
Parham is accused of threatening the teens with a gun on Nov. 10, 2008, while they were gathered at a rural residence near Dickerson Road northeast of Beeville.
The group of young people had attended a church youth function prior to meeting at the Dickerson Road residence, according to a sheriff’s department report.
Parham was 52 at the time of the incident.
In count 1 and 2 of the indictment, Parham is accused of threatening to shoot a father and son.
According to court documents, Parham told the father, “Get on the ground! I’ll f----ing kill you!”
Parham allegedly threatened the son: “Sit down, shut up or I’ll kill you,” court documents revealed.
The indictment also revealed that Parham threatened another youth by telling him: “I will shoot you” and “I am going to kill you.”
He allegedly told another teen: “I’ll kill you. Don’t move. I’ll kill you,” according to the indictments.
At the time of the incident, Deputy Investigator Steve Martin said Parham had experienced medical problems and could have been taking medication that might have led to the incident.
Martin said the teenagers ranged in age from 14 to 16. A 19-year-old assistant youth director from the First United Methodist Church was with the group as they built a campfire near a fence line on the property where they were guests.
Witnesses said later that the gathering was not a church function but an informal event following a youth meeting.
According to Martin’s report of the incident, Parham approached the fence line from neighboring property, crossed the fence and threatened the group with a gun.
The teens were able to run from the man but the 40-year-old owner of the property where the young people were gathered approached the man. The assailant then held him at gunpoint, according to investigators.
Martin said Parham ordered the man onto the ground on his stomach, placed the muzzle of semi-automatic handgun to the back of the man’s head and apparently cocked the hammer.
“He (the property owner) decided to fight,” Martin told the Bee-Picayune after the incident. “He turned over, grabbed the man’s gun and forced it from his hand.”
The victim tried to defend himself from the attacker and struck Parham several times until the assailant quit struggling, Martin said.
During the fight, Parham suffered serious injuries to his head and face, Martin reported.
Parham was taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville and later transferred to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi where he later underwent surgery for head injuries he sustained during the fight.
Corpus Christi attorney Tali Villafranca is representing Parham.
Parham is scheduled to appear in court on April 21 for a pre-trial hearing, in which his attorney will have an opportunity to discuss motions filed in the case as well as discuss other issues in connection with his client.
Parham also is scheduled to appear in court on May 12, at which time Villafranca and the state prosecutor will tell the judge if they are ready for trial.
Bee-Picayune reporter Gary Kent contributed to this report.