Alleged mistakes by HPD investigator could jeopardize officer-involved shooting cases

Dozens of criminal cases may be in jeopardy after a crime scene investigator allegedly mishandled evidence.

HOUSTON -  Dozens of criminal cases may be in jeopardy after a crime scene investigator allegedly mishandled evidence in 65 cases.

The investigator has been identified as Justin McGee. The shootings, homicides, and assaults date back to October of 2015, many of which we’ve covered on KHOU.

DA's Office: HPD mistakes could jeopardize 2 dozen murder cases

A month before that, there was an officer involved shooting on Indiana Street. Police say a 15-year-old suspect ran towards a uniformed officer, pointing a gun at his head. The police sergeant shot the suspect, who survived.

In that case, several pieces of evidence were either missing or incorrect in the crime report, according to the HFSC audit.

The mistakes were even more glaring in an officer-involved shooting on W. 43rd Street on Jan. 19, 2016. An off-duty Harris County Sheriff’s deputy was working security as an extra job. Police say two suspects raised weapons in his direction during an attempted robbery at a gas station, so he opened fire.

The audit says McGee’s report did not give “an accurate representation of the scene”. It says the interior of the business was described as having white walls and tiles, but the scene had brown tiled floors and brown walls. The report also had bullet holes noted in incorrect locations.

Police says the suspects in that officer involve shooting are still at large. So are the men responsible for the deadly robbery on Sunnyside Street.

Now, the concern is that the investigators’ mistakes could make it harder to convict these violent criminals if they are ever caught.

According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, McGee was transferred to patrol after the audit. His supervisor, Jeff Cruser, was also reassigned to no longer review cases.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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