Baytown officer gets second trial

September 21, 2009 10:03:25 AM PDT
A hearing was held Monday morning to determine what's next in the case of a Baytown police officer accused of beating a chase suspect. A mistrial was called last week after the jury remained deadlocked on Jon Fitzgerald's guilt or innocence.

His attorney is confident the second time will be the charm for Officer Fitzgerald, who has been suspended without pay since last December.

On Monday morning, a judge ruled that Officer Fitzgerald will get a new trial. The first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury became hopelessly deadlocked last Wednesday. The Baytown officer is charged with official oppression in the November 2008 beating of a motorist following a chase.

Witnesses say Officer Fitzgerald repeatedly slammed the man's head against a concrete curb as many as six times. Officer Fitzgerald's lawyer says two jurors did not believe his client was guilty and he says that's because eyewitnesses gave inaccurate testimony and because, according to him, the wounds on the victim were not severe.

"The physical injuries of the suspect don't support the theory that was testified to. The testimony that his head was banged against the concrete five or six times, the injuries don't support that. It simply doesn't add up," said Greg Cagle, attorney for Officer Fitzgerald.

The second trial will begin on November 17. In the meantime, Officer Fitzgerald remains suspended without pay.

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