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Ex-Temple police officer on trial for fatally shooting Michael Dean in 2019

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 23:01:57-05

Wednesday marked Day No. 3 of the trial of Carmen DeCruz, the former Temple police officer accused of fatally shooting Michael Dean in 2019.

The trial had been delayed three years due to the pandemic.

In the courtroom, footage was shown from DeCruz’s body cam during the night of the shooting back on Dec. 2, 2019.

In the video you can see former officer DeCruz chasing Dean’s vehicle, the vehicle being stopped, and DeCruz telling Dean to give him the keys before the gun is fired.

The prosecution called several witnesses to the stand, including Temple PD Lt. Robert Mallet, who currently serves as Temple police commander of professional standards.

During the time of the incident, Mallet was over the victim's crime unit. He was at the Mobile Command Unit monitoring the Christmas parade nearby at Temple High School that evening. He arrived on scene after the officer involved shooting occurred.

After looking through the DeCruz’s body cam video with the prosecution, Mallet said DeCruz did not call dispatch to tell them about the pursuit.

Mallet also said Temple police protocol says you can’t follow and pursue someone unless they’re committing a violent crime. Mallet said he didn't believe Dean was committing that type of crime after watching the video.
He went on to say officers are not trained to reach into the vehicle and enter a vehicle with a gun extended out.

The defense also asked several questions if Dean was driving at unsafe speed and fleeing the cops. Mallet replied yes to these questions. He also said he couldn’t see Dean’s hands during the video of the shooting, but he could tell that Dean was unarmed.

Dr. Elizabeth Ventura, the medical examiner for Dallas County who performed the autopsy on Dean's body, was also called to the stand.

The prosecution showed Ventura several pieces of evidence from her autopsy, including the bullet which killed Dean.

Ventura said during her autopsy she learned Dean had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood and believed he as intoxicated that night. She also said Dean had traces of marijuana in his blood as well, although she couldn't confirm whether he had been smoking marijuana at the time.