Jury did not reach verdict in fired Garland officer trial

Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on Friday in the case of a fired Garland police officer on trial for manslaughter in the shooting death of a chase suspect.

GPD officer Patrick Tuter fired 41 shots at Michael Allen's pickup truck in the Mesquite neighborhood where the chase ended in August 2012.

The jury listened to about three more hours of testimony from Mesquite investigators in the case before hearing closing arguments from the prosecution and defense on Friday.

The jury will decide if Tuter is guilty or innocent of manslaughter or the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Allen.

Prosecutors started their closing arguments telling the jury Allen is the victim in this case. Prosecutors admitted that yes, Michael Allen did break the law that day and commit a felony, but that he didn't deserve to die for it.

Prosecutors called Tuter "a rogue cop" who shot Allen in the back and killed him.

The prosecution also said there's a "culture of cops covering for cops," suggesting investigators in the case may have given special treatment to a fellow officer, something investigators on the stand denied over and over.

“That's the shoddiest crummiest investigation. Rest assured, most of the time they're a better department than that. But they have no problem covering for cops,” said Phillip Hayes, a special prosecutor.

Defense attorneys said the prosecution didn't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

They said Allen was driving recklessly at high speeds with meth in his system, putting officers in danger and Tuter was justified in his actions. The defense says during the 30-minute chase Allen showed himself to be a reckless criminal.  

Defense attorneys said Tuter made a split second decision to save himself and his fellow officers by shooting until the threat was eliminated.

 “It's unfortunate, it's horrible Michael Allen lost his life. But he was doing everything possible to get away from those police officers,” said Toby Shook, defense attorney. “And if could've kept going as he's full throttle and could've broken free, he would've shot out of there like a missile and he wouldn't care who was in his path.”

Defense attorneys also argued video evidence contradicts the prosecution's star witness testimony from Garland Officer Norris who was also there that night and testified he saw Allen's hands on the wheel when the chase was over.

Jurors will reconvene on Monday morning.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - includes advertiser stories