• August 1, 2014

Temple police officer not charged in fatal shooting

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 4:30 am

BELTON — A Bell County grand jury decided Wednesday to not pursue any charges against Temple police officer who shot and killed a man during a hostage situation at Scott & White Hospital in June.

The grand jury opted to not seek any charges against Cpl. Joseph Robertson, an 11-year veteran at the police department.

Robertson never faced any charges for the June 18 shooting death of Larry Robards, but the Bell County District Attorney’s Office almost always consults a grand jury when an officer is involved in a fatal shooting, First Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said.

Robertson shot and killed Robards, a 54-year-old Temple resident, during a hostage situation inside Scott & White Hospital’s emergency room.

Robards, a gymnastics coach, had long suffered from lupus; family members after the shooting hinted that his motivations may have been to end his life indirectly.

The disease led him to have his leg amputated near his knee.

Grand jury investigations are usually not made public, but the publicity surrounding the circumstances led the district attorney’s office to comment on the decision Wednesday.

“There are cases that have such a magnitude that we will confirm them and the outcome,” Bledsoe said.

According to an account of the hostage situation from Temple police, Robards gained access to a treatment portion of Scott & White’s ER on the evening of the incident. He pulled out a handgun and took multiple medical personnel hostage.

Temple police encountered Robards and hostages in a common area inside the ER. At one point, a hostage grabbed for Robards’ gun, and the two struggled.

Robertson then shot Robards, ending the standoff about an hour after Robards had taken hostages. Medical personnel treated Robards’ wounds, but he died soon after the shooting.

“I am pleased with the grand jury’s decision and I am confident that it has made a very appropriate decision in this matter,” Temple Police Chief Gary Smith said in a written statement.

The jury’s decision came four days after a Copperas Cove police officer shot and killed a 24-year-old man. Cove police have refused to name the officer involved.

The grand jury on Wednesday also returned indictments against the following:

  • Mary Ann Morales, 30, of Pendleton, on a charge of failure to comply with registration requirements.
  • Roy Lionel Freeman Jr., 20, of Pendleton, on a charge of assault on a public servant.
  • Robert Wayne Risen, 45, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than 1 gram.
  • Dan Morales Anzaldua, 49, of Belton, on a charge of indecency with a child by contact.
  • David Brian Brown, 53, of Temple, on a charge of forgery by passing.
  • Vincent James Caruana, 44, of Troy, on a charge of criminal mischief over $1,500.
  • Marci Janae Adams, 38, of Troy, on a charge of criminal mischief over $1,500.
  • Dominique Richardson, 23, of Killeen, on a charge of theft over $1,500.
  • Danielle Renee Johnson, 22, of Killeen, on a charge of theft over $1,500.
  • Gerald Allen Blount, 53, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Jamar Supreme Hunt, 33, of Killeen, on a charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle.
  • Shane Pagel, 31, of Harker Heights, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than 1 gram.
  • Leonel Aviluz Rodriguez, 27, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
  • Joseph Lee Otis, 28, of Harker Heights, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, 1 gram or more.
  • Christina Star Moore, 38, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than 1 gram.
  • Phillip Damon Maze, 42, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
  • Kristian Gabriel Harper, 21, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of morphine, less than 1 gram.
  • Larry Bassett, 42, of Temple, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
  • Brandon O’Neal Black, 27, of Temple, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
  • Johnathan Devon McElroy, 34, of Temple, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, 1 gram or more.
  • Darryl Cleophas Hill Jr., 18, of Temple, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
  • Antonio Sotero, 35, of Temple, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than 1 gram.
  • Enrique Butler, 39, of Temple, on a charge of driving while intoxicated third or more.

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