'A step in the right direction': Attorneys for Dr. DeSilva's family speak on indictments

Two Austin Police officers have been indicted for murder and deadly conduct in an officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Dr. Mauris DeSilva two years ago.

APD Officers Christopher Taylor and Karl Krycia have both been indicted. For Officers Taylor, this makes his second murder indictment. The attorneys for the DeSilva family are calling this a step in the right direction.

"Our take and the [DeSilva] family's take is that it's a step in the right direction for justice for the family. "[Dr. DeSilva] was a brilliant scientist, he was a doctor, he was a Ph.D. He was in the position that someday he was going to take care of his parents, and now they don't have that. They don't have their son," said Brad Vinson, Attorney for the DeSilva family.

Brad Vinson and Jarrod Smith are attorneys who are representing Mr. and Mrs. DeSilva. They both are relieved to finally be seeing these indictments.

"I can tell you that I do not believe in any way that this was a justified shooting. Dr. DeSilva was only a danger to himself. He posed no danger to the officers," said Smith.

Despite multiple public records requests put in by FOX 7, APD has denied the release of the body cam footage from that day due to pending investigation.

Based on police reports on July 31st, 2019, APD received multiple 911 calls from residents of the Spring Condominiums downtown of a man with a knife having a mental health crisis. The man was Dr. Mauris DeSilva.

"He lived in these condos, his neighbors, his friends are the ones that called the police and asked for mental health officers to come, and instead of sending help, they sent Officer Taylor and Officer Krycia," said Smith.

What happened next is being disputed by both sides. Those representing the indicted officers say this shooting was justified and added DeSilva charged at the officers when asked to drop his weapon. Those representing the DeSilva family say the bodycam footage shows he lowered the knife when asked to and was shot anyway.

Police can confirm that one officer deployed his taser. Officer Taylor and Krycia used lethal force, killing Desilva.

This indictment is Officer Taylor's second murder indictment in under six months. His first was for the death of Mike Ramos who was killed in an officer-involved shooting in 2020. Attorneys for Taylor are standing by him for both incidents.

"We can understand to some degree why the case involving Michael Ramos was indicted. We have no understanding of how and why this case from July 31, 2019 was indicted," said Doug O’Connell, attorney for Officer Taylor.

While both sides await what's next, the DeSilva family's attorneys say justice will come in the form of both the officers being held responsible, but also the City of Austin.

"It's not just about these two officers being prosecuted. That's a good thing. It's about the city being held responsible so these things don't happen in the future," said Smith.

According to the Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday, Officer Taylor is on restricted duty without pay while Officer Krycia is on administrative duty with pay.

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