Sunday, March 29, 2009

TX: Prosecutors drop charge against man who had shootout with cop: "Travis County prosecutors on Friday dismissed the case against David Lozano, who lost his leg in a late-night shootout with an Austin police officer at Lozano's Northeast Austin house in 2007. "We believe that Mr. Lozano maintained a reasonable belief that on that day and time he was defending himself, his wife and his property," Travis County Assistant District Attorney Steven Brand said. The dismissal came after a series of expert witnesses for the state and defense cast doubt on whether officer Roger Boudreau told the truth about the confrontation, according to lawyers in the case. Lozano, 48, spent 13 months in jail before he was released on bail last year.... Last year, an expert witness for the defense analyzed the audio and the crime scene and determined that Boudreau fired the first three shots in the incident. Prosecutors dismissed the initial charges and acknowledged inconsistencies in the evidence and in Boudreau's account... Deck said that further analysis by his expert witness found that Boudreau fired the first five shots. In recent weeks, he said, Brand told him that state experts had independently determined that Boudreau fired at least the first three shots, prompting prosecutors to abandon the case. Deck said he doesn't think it was an innocent mistake by Boudreau, but that Boudreau intentionally lied about who fired the first shots.... Last week, Lozano filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Austin, Boudreau and Boudreau's supervisor, Sgt. Stephen Deaton, claiming, among other things, that he was a victim of excessive force and that his civil rights were violated."

OH: Off duty officers had bad aim: "Two off-duty Akron police officers who chased a robber out of an Ellet bar earlier this week did not fire until the suspect aimed his shotgun at them, the police chief said Friday. The officers, who were bar patrons at the time of the robbery, also did not appear to be intoxicated and, therefore, no blood-alcohol tests were administered after the shooting, Police Chief Craig Gilbride said. The official internal investigation into the shooting is expected to take several weeks before it is concluded and released to the public. Gilbride, however, said preliminary interviews show the officers acted appropriately after witnessing the robbery early Tuesday morning inside the Holiday Lounge on Hilbish Avenue and chasing the armed robber. The man escaped with a getaway car driver, but two suspects were arrested the next day. Brian C. Goodwin, 34, and Brian Gumpl, 32, both of Akron, are charged with five counts of aggravated robbery. Police say one man came into the bar armed with a shotgun and demanding the bar's cash. The off-duty officers followed the bandit outside, where he ran to an awaiting car. Gilbride said only one of the officers fired on one of the suspects. The shots came after the foot chase in which the robber turned and aimed a shotgun at the officers, he said. The officer fired about 10 times, but the suspects were not struck."

TX: Owner kills store robber: "Sheriff's department officials say two men dressed in black and wearing ski masks entered a Mobilecom cell phone store. At least one of the men was armed with a gun. They successfully robbed the store of a couple of cell phones and computers. Several people were inside that store, including employees and witnesses. But the owner was there, and he also had a gun. He chased after the two men into the parking lot. One man was able to get into a dark colored car and drive off. But the owner apparently shot the other man in the parking lot. The suspect didn't stop running. He ran into the street on Barker Cypress and was struck by a car that was headed southbound, but the man kept on going. "After he hit the car, he rolled over the hood," recalled Jason Karim, the driver of the car. "He hit the windshield, landed on the back. He got right up. He just kept right on running across the street to the other strip center, and that's where he collapsed in the driveway." "At this point we're early in the investigation," explained Det. Craig Clopton of the Harris County Sheriff's Department homicide division. "We have to talk to all the witnesses and get everything straightened out. But I can't say that (the owner) would be charged with anything. From the outside looking in, I don't see where he did anything wrong." Authorities say the suspect who died at the scene did have a weapon."

NC: Robber shoots his partner: "Authorities said a suspected armed robber pulled a gun Friday afternoon, but instead of shooting the victim of the robbery, he shot his partner. Officers said four men walked into Carolina Industrial Supply on Parkside Drive and tried to rob Thomas Campbell. During the robbery, the gunman fired a shot at Campbell, but shot another would-be robber in the face. That’s when all four suspects took off in a light blue Ford. “Twenty minutes or so after the call, someone did show up at University Hospital that may be connected to this case as well, and that’s part of this investigation that we hope to clarify,” Capt. Bruce Bellamy said. Police said Roman Johnson was dropped of at CMC University for treatment. He’s now under guard at CMC Main and will be charged with armed robbery when he’s released. Police have issued warrants for Martin Lee Reid, Jr. for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery."

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