Jury deliberating ex-cop's official oppression case
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A jury will now decide what's next for a former Houston police officer caught on tape beating teenage burglary suspect Chad Holley. Jury deliberations in the Drew Ryser trial started Tuesday afternoon. After about five and a half hours behind closed doors, the jury was sent home after the judge announced its members are at an impasse and need more time to deliberate.
Ryser's demeanor appeared a bit more serious as he watched intently during those final moments as prosecutors begged a jury to find him guilty of official oppression.
"This verdict matters," said prosecutor Tommy LaFon. "This verdict tells police officers out there what is acceptable and what won't be tolerated."
The former HPD officer looked focused as his defense lawyers tried passionately convincing the six men and women judging his actions on the video of the 2010 beating arrest of Chad Holley to acquit Ryser of the misdemeanor crime.
Defense attorney Carson Joachim said, "Send the message, 'Well done, Drew. Well done. Good and faithful servant. Well done.'"
The jury must decide whether Ryser mistreated Holley by kneeing and hitting him during that burglary arrest. At one point prosecutors alleged Ryser and the others on this video were bully cops getting street justice, since Holley tried to run.
"The simple fact of the matter is we have to look ourselves in the eye and say, are we going to condone this," said prosecutor Jonathan Munier.
Ryser's defense team asked the jury to question why prosecutors failed to call Holley to the stand during the trial to help prove their case.
"Maybe because he's not credible, because he's a felon and a burglar," suggested Lisa Andrews, one of Ryser's lawyers. "Maybe because he's a little punk who runs from the cops."
The jury is due back Wednesday morning to continue deliberating. Ryser has pleaded not guilty and faces up to a year in jail if convicted.
Get live trial updates on Twitter at @demondfernandez
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