DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The former Mesquite police officer who shot a man believed to be breaking into a pickup truck when the pickup was actually his own, was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury, District Attorney Faith Johnson announced Wednesday.
Derick Wiley, 31, is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant.
Wiley turned himself in and posted a $300,000 bond on Wednesday.
He faces five to 99 years in prison.
“We will be seeking the maximum,” said DA Johnson. “The grand jury got this right.”
Johnson said her office is praying for a speedy recovery for the victim Lyndo Jones.
The Chief said at the time he took the action after an Internal Affairs investigation revealed Wiley had violated department policy. Chief Cato released a statement that said, in part –
“Based upon the facts and recommendations presented to me, I made the decision to place Officer Derick Wiley on indefinite suspension. This is a term used for civil service employees, but it effectively means Officer Wiley’s employment has been terminated.”
It was on November 8 when police responded to a call in the 1300 block of South Town East Boulevard about a man breaking into a car and setting of its alarm.
When Officer Wiley arrived at the scene, he did indeed see a man, Lyndo Jones, sitting inside a pickup as the vehicle’s security alarm was sounding. What police didn’t know at the time was that Jones was attempting to get inside the vehicle that he owned.
Attorneys for Lyndo Jones say he is back in the hospital, where he will face another surgery as a result of the shooting.
“He’s still on the mend. We talked to him about the indictment earlier and he wasn’t too thrilled about it to be honest,” said attorney Justin Moore.
Jones’ attorneys say he believes the DA should have moved forward with the case against Wiley, rather than waiting for a grand jury to indict the officer.
They claim footage captured by the officer’s body and camera, which has not yet been publicly released, was sufficient evidence to charge him with aggravated assault and other crimes. The DA’s decision not to do so, they claim, is a sign she is not prepared to try the case aggressively.
“There was more than enough probable cause and probable cause is all that she needed in order to move forward with the charges,” said attorney Lee Merritt.
Johnson counters those claims, saying Jones’ attorneys don’t have all the evidence.
“Based on what we did have, we had to proceed the way we did, and even proceeding the way we did, we did so expeditiously,” she said. The body camera and dashboard camera footage have not been publicly released, and will not be, Johnson said, prior to the trial.
Mesquite Police say the indictment follows an in-depth investigation by the department in cooperation with the DA’s office.
The police chief has scheduled a new conference Thursday morning to address the investigation. This marks the third indictment of a Dallas County law enforcement officer in just over a year.
CBS11 has reached out to Wiley, but has not received a response.