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County presses forward with Supreme Court appeal in police shooting case

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

The Travis County Commissioners Court is spending more money than initially planned to push an infamous police shooting case before the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the commissioners voted to add an extra $20,000 payment to the law firm Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend for appellate services in the case of Texas vs. Kleinert. Former Austin police detective Charles Kleinert in 2013 shot and killed Larry Jackson Jr. during a bank robbery investigation in Central Austin. Earlier this year, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that Kleinert enjoyed immunity because he was working as a member of a federal task force as the time of the shooting. The county’s original contract with ADJT approved by the court in July included a flat rate of $30,000 along with $5,000 for out-of-pocket expenses. The firm helped the district attorney’s office file a “petition for certiorari, which is the mechanism to request Supreme Court review of lower court decisions,” according to a memo from the DA’s office. The high court ultimately accepted that petition, kicking off a series of further legal steps ADJT will now provide assistance with. “Where it stands at this point from a logistical standpoint, they may not accept the case, and if so we are done,” Assistant District Attorney Gregg Cox told the commissioners on Tuesday. “If they do, I would anticipate we would be coming back with some sort of proposal to litigate this in front of the Supreme Court.”

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