AUSTIN - District Attorney Margaret Moore announced Tuesday that Travis County hired a former Texas Supreme Court chief justice to take the Charles Kleinert case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kleinert, a former Austin police detective, was charged with manslaughter in the 2013 shooting of Larry Jackson. Kleinert said his gun accidentally discharged during a struggle with Jackson.
Kleinert was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on a manslaughter charge in the shooting. Kleinert successfully argued in 2015 that he was working as part of an FBI task force at the time of the shooting. A federal judge ruled he is entitled to special protection from prosecution that is in place for federal law enforcement officers.
On April 20, 2017, the DA's office appealed the decision and argued that Kleinert was employed by APD and not the feds. However, a three-member panel of the Appeals Court in New Orleans affirmed the 2015 decision to dismiss the manslaughter charge.
The state's motion for rehearing was denied by the Court of Appeals on May 25. At the beginning of June, Moore said they would seek to put the matter before the Supreme Court.
The Travis County Commissioners Court approved the hiring of Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and his law firm, Alexander, Dubose, Jefferson and Townsend, who will help serve as co-counsel when the case is presented in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Commissioners Court and Jefferson agreed to a $30,000 flat fee with an additional $900 per hour if the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
"Mr. Jefferson and his firm will serve as co-counsel in this case, bringing with him a wealth of experience practicing before federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court," Moore said in a press release Tuesday. "The firm is an internationally-recognized appellate boutique, and Mr. Jefferson has twice won cases that he personally argued in the U.S. Supreme Court."
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