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Former Temple Police officer Carmen DeCruz not guilty in the death of Michael Dean

After 10 days of trial, the jury has found former Temple Police Officer Carmen DeCruz not guilty in Michael Dean shooting death.



Carmen DeCruz (left), Michael Dean (right)

On Tuesday, a jury in Bell County acquitted former Temple Police Department officer Carmen DeCruz of the death of Michael Dean.

DeCruz faced trial for manslaughter in the 2019 shooting of Michael Dean, an unarmed Black man, during a traffic stop.

During the closing arguments, which lasted for approximately one and a half hours, the prosecution suggested an additional charge of criminal neglect homicide for DeCruz.

DeCruz shot Dean on December 2nd, 2019 during a traffic stop. According to an official statement, DeCruz had his finger on the trigger of his gun while attempting to remove the keys from the ignition of Dean’s car. The statement states that as DeCruz pulled back on the keys, his finger also pulled the trigger, resulting in Dean being shot in the head.

During the defense’s argument, attorney Robert McCabe claimed that it was Dean who reached for the gun, causing it to fire.

To support his argument, McCabe called on forensic analyst Robert McFarlane to analyze DeCruz’s body camera footage frame by frame.

McFarlane testified that the footage showed that Dean had touched the top of the gun before it fired.

However, the prosecutor argued that the body camera footage does not clearly show Dean reaching for the gun, and that the footage is too unclear to see anything.

On the sixth day of the trial, Dean’s sister, Tosheena Dean, testified.

She stated that Michael Dean was adopted by her parents when he was around 3 or 4 years old, and that he had started reconnecting with his biological family a few months before his death.

Michael was a father of three daughters, and Tosheena told the court that he would do anything for his children.

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