You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Court upholds dismissal of charge against ex APD cop Charles Kleinert


Highlights

A U.S. district court in Austin had previously dismissed a manslaughter charge against Kleinert.

The charge was related to the 2013 death of Larry Jackson during a confrontation with Kleinert.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has upheld the dismissal of a manslaughter charge against former Austin police detective Charles “Trey” Kleinert in the shooting death of Larry Jackson in 2013.

A U.S. district judge in Austin had previously dismissed the charge, saying that because Kleinert was working on a federal task force the day of the shooting, he was entitled to a special federal protective immunity.

The use of that immunity for a municipal police officer serving on a federal task force officer was highly unusual and potentially precedent setting.

Travis County prosecutors appealed that decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which held a hearing last fall.

Prosecutors must now consider whether to ask for the case to be heard again, or try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

“We are delighted,” said Randy Leavitt, who represents Kleinert, after receiving the ruling Thursday. “I talked to Trey and his family, and they too are relieved. I hope we are getting close to the end of this.”

On the afternoon that Kleinert shot Jackson, Kleinert, who was serving on the Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force, was at a Central Austin bank investigating an earlier robbery. Jackson showed up and tried to enter the bank, which was closed, identifying himself as a customer.

When Kleinert tried to question him more closely, Jackson ran away. After commandeering a civilian’s car, Kleinert eventually caught up to Jackson and the two became involved in a struggle in which Kleinert said his gun accidentally fired, fatally hitting Jackson in the neck.

Kleinert’s case marked what experts believe is the first time nationally a local police officer has attempted to seek immunity by arguing that his participation in a federal task force protected him. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, in his October ruling, appeared to expand the protection that was meant for officers from such agencies as the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The law was intended to create a uniform protection for federal agents whose work might take them back and forth across state lines, against the whims of local prosecutors, should agents ever be accused of excessive force. Legal experts say federal officers can still be criminally charged for using excessive force, but that the standard is much more permissive than state laws generally are.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Albino catfish snags pacifier at Virginia museum
Albino catfish snags pacifier at Virginia museum

It was the catch of the day for a fish at the Virginia Living Museum. >> Read more trending news  When a young guest dropped a pacifier in the museum’s Cypress Swamp exhibit earlier this week, an albino catfish caught it and began sucking on it, WTVR reported. Museum staff members were able to retrieve the pacifier and returned...
Arkansas executes fourth inmate in 8 days
Arkansas executes fourth inmate in 8 days

Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, as Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night, KARK reported. Williams, 38, died at the Cummins Unit prison in Varner. He was convicted of killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999, The Associated Press reported. At the time of his escape, in a hog...
Southwest Airlines to end overbooking policy
Southwest Airlines to end overbooking policy

The CEO of Southwest Airlines said Thursday that the company will end its practice of overbooking, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news Gary Kelly, discussing Southwest’s quarterly earnings on CNBC, said the airline has made the decision to “cease to overbook going forward, USA Today reported. “We&rsquo...
Police: Florida man takes stolen forklift for a spin
Police: Florida man takes stolen forklift for a spin

A Florida man allegedly stole a forklift just because it’s better than walking, police said. >> Read more trending news Bradley Barefoot, 43, was at a Best Buy in Daytona Beach when he used the fork lift to move “some large boxes to a neighboring parking lot,” The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.  After he determined...
House’s pared-down school choice bill garners criticism, applause
House’s pared-down school choice bill garners criticism, applause

Parents, educators and advocacy groups Thursday night both lauded and lambasted a House bill that would create a school choice program for special education students. House Bill 1335 filed by Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, would allocate state money to help special education students pay for private school tuition, among other non-public school expenses...
More Stories