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Special prosecutor will handle case of Austin police officer accused of Mike Ramos murder

Travis County DA José Garza has tapped a well-known former prosecutor to handle the upcoming murder trial of an Austin police officer who shot Michael Ramos in 2020.

AUSTIN, Texas — Travis County District Attorney José Garza has tapped a well-known former prosecutor to handle the upcoming murder trial of Austin police officer Christopher Taylor in the death of Michael Ramos.

Gary Cobb will serve as a special prosecutor during the trial, which is currently set for May.

Cobb has a long roster of high-profile cases in his 25 years as a Travis County assistant district attorney. Those include the 2016 death penalty case of Brandon Daniel in the murder of Austin police officer Jaime Padron – one of Cobb's most significant cases before leaving the office to enter defense attorney practice.

Cobb ran for district attorney in 2016 but left the race after the death of his son.

"The District Attorney's Office is grateful to add Mr. Cobb as a special prosecutor to the growing list of experienced prosecutors handling cases of violence in our office," the office said in a statement. "His skills and experience will be a great value to our community."

Cobb declined to comment on the appointment.

Ramos died after Taylor shot and killed him in April 2020, after officers responded to a 911 report about a person possibly doing drugs and having a gun.

When they arrived, Ramos did not comply with orders and officers used "less-lethal" ammunition to try to subdue him. Ramos then got into a car and started driving when Taylor shot and killed him.

The case will mark the first trial Garza, who ran on a platform of police accountability, has involving an officer's use of lethal force.

Taylor is also indicted on a murder charge in the death of Mauris DeSilva, a man suffering mental illness who was armed with a knife in his downtown apartment building. Attorneys for Taylor have said he fired after DeSilva moved toward him with the knife.

That case is not yet set for trial.

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