The Tarrant County District Attorney is trying, for a second time, to take a man to trial for the shooting of a Fort Worth police officer.
Officer Matt Pearce spent eight weeks in the hospital after being shot multiple times while trying to arrest Ed McIver, Sr. on outstanding warrants. His son, Ed McIver, Jr. was with his father and ran away from the scene after the shootout. Police found him three hours later.
A grand jury no-billed McIver Jr. on capital murder charges Wednesday, but the DA is taking the case to a different grand jury in hopes of securing an indictment.
Fort Worth police held a news conference to express their displeasure after the Tarrant County Grand Jury’s no bill decision.
“The grand jury are twelve citizens that stand between the government and the accused,” said Vickers Cunningham, a former judge and prosecutor. “They have the power and duty to determine whether or not there’s enough probable cause to bind that person over to court.”
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharon Wilson immediately announced her office would resubmit the case to a different grand jury.
“I’m not criticizing the district attorney in Tarrant County,” said Craig Watkins, former Dallas County District Attorney. “But, in my under my administration, I didn't present cases that were not indicted to another grand jury.”
Watkins says it is rather unusual because of the number of cases that come before you for indictment, though not many involve an officer being shot.
“The elected DA would basically be in a position to make a determination as to why or if we would re-present it,” explained Watkins.
Wilson declined an on-camera interview but in a statement said, “We feel strongly this case should be prosecuted - it is not acceptable to be a party to firing at police officers acting in the line of duty.”
“It’s a matter of policy rather than law, and it’s unusual, but it does happen,” explained Barry Sorrels, a former prosecutor. “It’s when the prosecution, like in this case, didn't like the results of the first grand jury. So they're gonna go take another shot with another one try to secure an indictment.”
For McIver Jr. to be indicted, the bar is much lower than for guilt or innocence at a trial according to Sorrels. He believes the DA’s office probably feels like not getting an indictment isn’t justice.
“From their viewpoint, it’s justice to seek a new indictment from a different grand jury,” Sorrels said.
Officer Pearce told FOX 4 he’s disappointed by the grand jury's decision.
McIver's attorney says his client is being held in jail illegally and will attempt to have him released from jail at a hearing Monday morning.