Grammy-winning Christian music superstar Randy Travis was arrested just before midnight on Tuesday in north Texas after being found drunk and naked near his wrecked vehicle some 60 miles north of Dallas.
Though he was detained initially in Grayson County on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, a class B misdemeanor, Travis made the situation worse by reportedly threatening to murder a state trooper at the scene, incurring a third-degree felony charge of retaliation that typically carries up to 10 years in prison.
According to NBC DFW, Travis refused a breathalyzer test and subsequently had his blood drawn to determine his level of intoxication. Police said they found an open bottle of wine in his Pontiac Trans Am and Travis was slurring his words. He was subsequently released on Wednesday after his girlfriend posted two bonds totaling nearly $22,000.
Police said it was not clear why the famed musician was naked, and he suffered only minor cuts and bruises from the single-vehicle accident. Officers were first notified that something may be amiss by a clerk at a nearby store who claimed that Travis walked in completely naked and attempted to purchase cigarettes. Police said a second report from a motorist claimed Travis was found strewn across Farm to Market Road 922 near Tioga, Texas.
For Travis, whose long career in music has been celebrated by southern country fans and evangelical Christians alike, the arrest marks his second encounter with police this year after a DUI arrest in February. That’s in spite of an interview he gave to Christianity Today in 2009, in which he claimed that his faith in the Christian deity helped him quit drinking alcohol in his mid-20s.
The longtime country crooner has in the last decade reinvented himself as one of the most famous Christian musicians in the world, winning Grammy awards in 2005 and 2007 for the religious albums “Worship & Faith” and “Glory Train.” Both albums also won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove awards, and Travis has since released a “Greatest Hits” collection of songs inspired by Christianity.
Correction: A prior version of this article misidentified the type of vehicle Travis was driving.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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