A Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict a man charged in the shooting of Fort Worth Police Officer Matt Pearce.
Ed Russell McIver Jr., 21, was with his father when Pearce was shot in a March 15 incident. The grand jury declined to indict McIver Jr. on an attempted capital murder charge.
But the Tarrant County District Attorney's office announced late Wednesday it plans to re-file the attempted murder charge against McIver Jr. along with a possession of a controlled substance charge.
"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," said a Tarrant County DA spokesman.
“We believe that the acts of Mr. McIver should be heard in a public forum before a jury of his peers,” said Sgt. Mark Povero with the Fort Worth Police Department.
A fugitive task force tried to arrest Ed Mciver Sr., who was a wanted felon. But the father and son, in an SUV, took off as officers tried to make a traffic stop. Officers chased the vehicle through the city to far west Fort Worth.
The two got out of the SUV and ran into a wooded area. It’s believed that McIver Sr. was the one firing shots at officers, but officials have never publicly stated if one or both of the men were firing their weapons. Pearce was hit multiple times and McIver Sr. was killed in the shootout.
Officers set up a perimeter around the area and arrested McIver Jr. hours later.
Mciver's attorney does not agree with the district attorney’s plan to re-file the attempted murder charge. Brian Walker says the ballistic test results show it was only Mciver's father who ever fired at Pearce.
“They, in fact, show that the firearms that McIver, Jr. had in the vicinity were not fired,” he explained.
Walker believes the grand jury got it right, based on the evidence. Walker says he's shocked by the DA’s decision to shop around the same charge to another grand jury, in hopes of getting an indictment.
“If they can't get a grand jury to say there's probable cause and how are they to get a formal jury in a jury trial on guilt and innocence to say there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt?” said Walker.
Walker had hoped to get his client out of jail following the grand jury's decision, but with the charge now re-filed, Mciver is not going anywhere. He also remains in custody on two pending charges.
Although it’s very unusual, it is within the DA’s legal authority to re-file charges. Unlike in a trial case where a jury finds a defendant not guilty, there is no double jeopardy law preventing the DA's office from asking another grand jury to reconsider the same charges.