TEMPLE, TX — After some anticipation from many community members, Carmen DeCruz, the former Temple police officer who reportedly shot and killed 28-year-old Michael Dean during a traffic stop on Dec. 2, 2019, was set to appear in front of a grand jury on June 14, 2021.
District Attorney Henry Garza explained that date is no more due to court delays caused by COVID-19.
Garza told 25 News a new court date is set to November 1, 2021.
This decision some said is frustrating because Dean was killed over a year and a half ago.
The Dean family’s attorney Lee Merritt told us the family is still anxious for answers.
“They have learned very little since they put him in the ground,” Merritt said. “They put them in the ground, knowing very little about what happened.”
DeCruz, who first had a half a million dollar bond that was later reduced to $80,000, was set to appear in front of a grand jury this upcoming Monday.
That plan, no more.
“It's not always fun to get ready for trial, hoping that something is going to go at a time that it's set, and then come to find out it's not going,” Garza said. “That's a great disappointment, across the board”
Garza explained because of the pandemic, not only were jails backed up, but so were the courts, especially those needing a grand jury.
That’s because the Texas Supreme Court put a stop to those for safety reasons until at least June 21, 2021.
“I think all the parties involved would like to have it disposed of as quickly as we can, and I think that had the pandemic not come about that we would have probably already tried this case,” Garza said.
After 25 News asked which cases are shown priority when they resume, Garza explained it solely depends on the judge’s docket and the availability of the date and time.
“When the judge says it said on this date and time, then our job is to be ready to try the case on that date and time,” Garza said.
While Garza believes starting these cases are a step in the right direction, Lee Merritt explained himself and the Dean family are frustrated while waiting longer for answers.
“They are extremely anxious to see him brought to justice and to learn more about what actually happened, on the night their son was killed,” Merritt said.
25 News reached out to Robert McCabe, DeCruz’s attorney via email, cell phone and left a message with his office’s secretary.
We have yet to hear back.