The Travis County District Attorney said she wants an appeals court to once again review a manslaughter case against a former Austin Police Department officer. Charges against former Detective Charles Kleinert in the shooting death of Larry Jackson Jr. were dropped back in 2015.
It's a case that has seen its day in court multiple times, but Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said she wants it reviewed again because of quote "Legal issues raised."
Although it dates back almost four years, Moore inherited the case when she came into office early in 2017.
She announced Wednesday she wants it to be reheard by all of the judges who serve on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But “The Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas” or CLEAT said the case should stay closed. Charley Wilkison is the Executive Director, “It's a matter of set of law. This case is over, the District Attorney has lost the position twice now,” he said.
July 26th, 2013, Detective Kleinert confronted Larry Jackson Jr. about a check he was trying to cash at a bank that was closed because it had just been robbed. Jackson ran but Kleinert caught up to him. The two struggled, and Kleinert’s gun went off, killing Jackson.
Kleinert has always said the shooting was accidental. He later retired from the force.
A Travis County Grand Jury indicted Kleinert for manslaughter.
After years of legal wrangling a federal judge dismissed the case due to a law protecting federal officers from state prosecution. That decision was appealed and last week, a three member panel of the court of appeals, not the full panel, upheld the district court's dismissal of the indictment.
Moore who came into office just a few months ago released a statement saying "After reviewing the ruling of the fifth circuit panel, I have concluded that the legal issues raised in this case are so important to the state and to local law enforcement agencies that those issues should be considered by the entire court."
“Her intentions are going to cost the tax payers a lot of money, so we are in this for the long haul,” Wilkison said. The long haul being the Supreme Court and if Moore wants to take it there, Wilkison said they are ready. “We are happy to go to the Supreme Court; we will go there and defend the actions of the officer. It's not going to change the law, it's not going to change what happened in New Orleans at the 5th Circuit, it's not going to change what happened here,” Wilkison said.
The "City of Austin" paid $1.85 million in two wrongful death settlements with Jackson's family.