Conroe officer found guilty in death of teen accused of shoplifting from Walmart

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 4:49 PM

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – A Conroe police officer who shot and killed a teen accused of shoplifting iPhone cases from a Walmart in 2013 has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Jason Blackwelder was off duty when Russell Rios, 19, allegedly stole the merchandise and ran from security guards at a Walmart store last July 31.  Blackwelder grabbed his gun out his car, prosecutors say, and joined the chase.
Rios ran into a wooded field near the store. A fight apparently erupted in the woods, prosecutors say, but the officer’s account of the incident was flawed.
Blackwelder claimed the teenager grabbed him from behind in a chokehold and nearly rendered him unconscious, so he fired his pistol and killed the accused shoplifter, but the district attorney says Rios was shot in the back of the head.
The officer was indicted for manslaughter and two lesser charges that he lied to investigators probing the incident.
Blackwelder now faces anything from probation to 23 years in prison.
 
 

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