Civil suit filed against Texas DPS in 2010 incident - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Civil suit filed against Texas DPS in 2010 incident

Posted: Updated:

Amarillo, TX - The Texas Department of Public Safety is facing a wrongful death lawsuit in a local case that spans three years.

On the night of March 23rd, 2010, officers attempted to arrest 24 year-old Israel Leija, Jr. in Tulia on a warrant for a probation violation.  Leija fled, leading police and state troopers north up I-27 to Randall County just outside Canyon.

DPS troopers had set up a roadblock and spike strips ahead of his path, and as he reached that point, a state trooper fired several rounds through his windshield, striking him at least four times.  Leija's car then rolled several times, partially ejecting him.  Leija was pronounced dead on scene, and according to court documents, there was alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time of his death.

His family then filed criminal charges against the trooper who fired, but a Randall County grand jury rejected any indictment, and he was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.

The family then filed civil charges against the Department of Public Safety as a whole, seeking unspecified damages for Leija's children. The DPS filed a motion to dismiss those charges in April of last year, but on Monday (Mar. 11), District Judge Mary Lou Robinson denied that motion.

According to federal court records, the case will be stayed for thirty days to allow the plaintiffs time to find an attorney.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Pair of homes raided by Comanche Co. Sheriff's Department

    Pair of homes raided by Comanche Co. Sheriff's Department

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:55:42 GMT
    Two Lawton homes were raided by the Comanche Co. Sheriff’s Department Tuesday.
    Two Lawton homes were raided by the Comanche Co. Sheriff’s Department Tuesday.
  • City pays settlement to former LPD chief and officer

    City pays settlement to former LPD chief and officer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:35:58 GMT
    News- LPDNews- LPD
    The Lawton City Council approved a financial settlement in lawsuits filed by former police chief, Ronnie Smith, and former police officer, Robert Puccino Jr., for wrongful termination.  
    The Lawton City Council approved a financial settlement in lawsuits filed by former police chief, Ronnie Smith, and former police officer, Robert Puccino Jr., for wrongful termination.  
  • City: Progress being made at LPD

    City: Progress being made at LPD

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:50:35 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._ City officials say it has taken longer than originally anticipated to put new policies in place within the Lawton Police Department.
    LAWTON, Okla._ City officials say it has taken longer than originally anticipated to put new policies in place within the Lawton Police Department.
ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.