A lawyer in an excessive force lawsuit filed against a Bell County sheriff’s deputy has amended the complaint to include an officer with the Texas Rangers as a defendant in the fatal shooting of a Navy veteran in Harker Heights.

Rob Ranco, an attorney with the Carlson Law firm representing the family of Lyle P. Blanchard, claims Ranger Jim Hatfield violated Blanchard’s constitutional rights when he requested and obtained a search warrant of Blanchard’s home following his death.

Blanchard, 59, was shot and killed by Cpl. Shane Geers after a failed traffic stop and pursuit in the 2900 block of East Knight’s Way Aug. 30, 2016.

According to an autopsy, Blanchard had alcohol in his system during the incident.

“It is not common police procedure to investigate a dead man for aggravated assault,” the amended complaint reads. “It would be a violation of Blanchard’s Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendment to be searched and then tried in asbsentia as well as a waste of Bell County resources.”

Geers received a “no action” ruling from a Bell County grand jury Feb. 15, clearing him of potential criminal charges.

Ranco filed the original complaint with the U.S. Western District Court in Waco March 24.

The lawsuit is seeking compensation for “emotional” and other damages, but has no dollar figure attached to it.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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