Temple Police Officer Arrested, Charged with Manslaughter
A Temple police officer has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection to the December 2, 2019 shooting death of Michael Dean.
In a news release issued Monday afternoon, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza announced that officer Carmen William DeCruz has been charged with second-degree felony manslaughter. He was arrested Monday, and Justice of the Peace Theodore R. Duffield set his bond at $500,000.
"This charge stems from the events that took place on December 2, 2019 in which Michael Lorenzo Dean was shot and killed," Garza wrote. "The Texas Rangers investigation developed facts and evidence which support the elements of Manslaughter."
"This case will be presented to the Bell County Grand Jury for their review and deliberation at an appropriate time in the future," Garza's release concluded.
Online records indicate DeCruz was booked into the Bell County Jail at 2:27 PM Monday. He remained in custody at the time of this article's publication.
Michael Dean's family and the Central Texas community have been awaiting details about the events leading up to Dean's death. The Temple Police Department has been reluctant to release information as Texas Rangers have conducted their investigation of the case.
A report cited by our partners at News 10 indicates that Dean was unarmed when he was shot in the head. According to that report, the shooting occurred after DeCruz tried to stop Dean for speeding, after which a short pursuit ensued. It's unclear what happened between the time Dean pulled over and the shooting.
Just this past Saturday, February 8, Dean's family held an event in his honor at Temple's Miller Park to emphasize the importance of voting in local elections. Dean's sisters, DeShaundra and Tosheena, organized the event, and told our partners at News 10 that while they weren't endorsing any particular candidate, they do believe city officials could do more to help in Dean's case and other important community issues.