HPD officer charged with intoxication manslaughter after deadly crash

Houston Police Officer James Combs, 33, has been formally charged for last week's fatal crash in Fort Bend County, the sheriff's office confirms. Combs is facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter for the death of 36-year-old Brian Manring. Deputies s

FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS - Houston Police Officer James Combs' blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit when he crashed into a car and killed the driver, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office. 

Combs, 33, is now facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter for the death of 36-year-old Brian Manring. 

Deputies said the off-duty cop refused to take a field sobriety test shortly after slamming head-on into Manring's Corvette around 6:30 a.m. Friday.

Deputies at the scene said they "detected the presence of alcohol" on him.

Combs' wife told investigators he needs help with an "alcohol problem," according to the arrest warrant. She told them he'd been belligerent with her on the phone that day and that his credit card statement showed he'd been at a strip club early that morning.  

Combs was taken to the hospital for a blood draw and minor injuries. His blood alcohol content was .17.

He was arrested Tuesday. 

"It is our job. If you enter Fort Bend County and you're drinking and driving and cause a motor vehicle crash which takes the life of another Fort Bend County resident, I don't care what your occupation is," said Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls. 

Combs' bond was set at $100,000. He has been relieved of duty from HPD. 

"It's a sad day any time you have to take a man in blue in custody," Nehls said. "Especially now with the trying times law enforcement, and all the scrutiny we've been receiving for the past several years."

Deputies said Combs crashed into Manring's Corvette at the intersection of Westmoor and Beechnut. The investigation shows the officer's Tahoe veered into Manring's lane, colliding with the victim's sports car. Manring died at the scene. 

Friends say Manring was a devoted dad who adored his 8-year-old daughter. 

"Everyone who knew Brian, knew that he lived for his daughter. She was his life!!"                                                  ," a friend posted on a gofundme page set up to raise money for the daughter's trust.

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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