BELTON, Texas — The trial of former Temple Police officer Carmen DeCruz began week two with the sister of Michael Dean taking the stand and the defense attorney claiming there may have been some holes in the investigation of the shooting.
DeCruz is accused of killing Michael Dean during a traffic stop in 2019. If convicted, DeCruz faces 20 years in prison.
During day six of the trial, Texas DPS Crime Lab Analyst/Forensic Scientist Christopher Chaney took the stand and explained his job duties. Among his duties included examining gun residue. After using the Gunshot Residue Kit, he concluded that he could not determine who fired the weapon.
The next specialist to take the stand was Megan Blackburn, a Texas DPS Friction Ridge Specialist. Her job is to analyze objects and items for fingerprints. She concluded that after testing the gun used by DeCruz the night of the shooting, a detection of fingerprints could not be found on the surface.
Then for the first time since the start of the trial, a family member of the Dean family took the stand to speak on who Michael Dean was.
Dean's sister Tosheena Dean told the courtroom Dean was adopted by her mother and father when he was three or four years old. A few months before his death, Dean began to reconnect with his biological family.
Dean was a father of three girls and Tosheena told the courtroom he would do any and everything for his children.
She then recalled the night her and the Dean family learned about Michael's death.
"I heard banging around one in the morning at my parents house where I was staying. That's where police officers told me and the family about Michael's death," Tosheena explained.
DeCruz's defense attorney Robert McCabe spent most of the trial questioning the first Texas Ranger to arrive on the scene, Samuel Travis Dudley.
McCabe said Dudley left out key information in the affidavit like whether Dean ever grabbed for DeCruz's gun.
He also asked Dudley why he didn't get an expert to review the body camera footage.
Dudley did get an audio interview with DeCruz two days after the incident per the Texas DPS standard, but didn't think a written statement from DeCruz was needed.
The defense claims Dudley had a lack of training which is a result of key information being left out.
Due to weather conditions, the Bell County Courthouse will be closed Tue. Jan 31 but trial will resume Wednesday Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.