Houston-Area Officer Indicted in Death of Teenager

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CONROE, Texas (AP) Prosecutors say a Houston-area police officer has been indicted on manslaughter and other charges in the shooting death of a teenager accused of shoplifting.

They announced Friday that a Montgomery County grand jury indicted Conroe police Sgt. Jason Blackwelder on charges that also include tampering with a government document and making a false report.

The July 31 shooting occurred after employees of a store called authorities to say they were attempting to detain a suspected shoplifter. Blackwelder saw 19-year-old Russell Rios of Conroe running away and confronted him before a struggle ensued.

The grand jury found that the 29-year-old Blackwelder failed to maintain control of his firearm and provided false statements to investigators. He's been suspended without pay.

His defense attorney, Greg Cagle, was not immediately available for comment.

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