Travis County might seek Supreme Court ruling on Kleinert case

Charles Kleinert sits in court on Dec. 5, 2014.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While it may seem like the case again former Austin Police Department detective Charles Kleinert has come to a dead end after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear the state’s case last week, the Travis County District Attorney’s office said they still have options.

On Thursday, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore issued a statement stating she is “firmly committed to seeking the fair administration of justice in this matter.” Moore says her office is currently considering all available options, one of which is the United State Supreme Court.

In April, Moore asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to take a second look at the case after they dismissed it last week. The federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the manslaughter case against Kleinert remains dismissed. In its original ruling, the appeals court agreed with U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel’s decision to dismiss the Travis County indictment because he was acting as a federal officer when he shot and killed 32-year-old Larry Jackson Jr. in 2013.

After reviewing April’s ruling, Moore said she still believed “that the legal issues raised in this case are so important to the State and to local law enforcement agencies that those issues should be considered by the entire court.”

The State argued that the circumstances surrounding Jackson’s presence at Benchmark Bank on the day of the shooting were “insufficiently developed” and that Kleinert didn’t have probable cause of any federal felony to try to arrest Jackson. The court determined by viewing all the facts from that day, the evidence constituted enough probable cause because Kleinert saw Jackson try to enter the bank by lying about his identity so he could take money from someone else’s account.

The Austin Police Association president originally said he hopes the Travis County District Attorney’s Office “comes to the realization that it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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