Pointing the finger at Harris County

October 20, 2009 3:19:13 PM PDT
The mother of an accused cop killer is pointing the finger at Harris County. She believes Pasadena police Officer Jesse Hamilton might still be alive if her son had been treated right. Sergio Robles, the man accused of killing Officer Hamilton finally had his day in court Tuesday. Its' the first time we've seen Robles since the murder of Officer Hamilton back in August. Robles' mother says the deadly encounter never would have happened had jail employees had done their job.

More than two dozen Pasadena police officers were on hand Tuesday to watch Robles' first appearance since being released from the hospital. But while this hearing would be fairly routine, outside the courtroom, it was a barrage of emotions.

"Where's the law at? Where is the law? We need justice," said Olga Garcia, Robles' mother.

Robles' mother contends that her son was not in his right frame of mind when he allegedly opened fire on Officer Hamilton, killing the four-year veteran. She claims that Robles, a schizophrenic who just hours before the shooting had been released from the Harris County Jail on a DWI charge, was denied his medicine while in custody.

"It could have been avoided, come to find out Harris County didn't give him his meds," said Garcia. "He was begging for his meds."

As we first reported in September, some 19 inmates who served time with Robles have signed a letter stating they watched Robles' condition deteriorate over the 15-day stay in county custody. Robles' attorney says that, along with the sheriff's own records, support his position.

"From the records that we requested and were given by the Harris County Sheriff's Department, it appears he was not being given his meds while he was housed two weeks prior to the shooting," said defense attorney Kelly Case.

To this day, the sheriff's office has neither affirmed or denied that account. It's conducting its own investigation.

The prosecutor on the case says he's not surprised these allegations would surface now.

"Everybody always wants to somehow lessen a person's responsibility for the actions they do," said prosecutor Don Smyth. "So I'm not surprised that they would say that, either because they honestly believe it or they can't believe the charge their loved one has been leveled against them."

We made some calls to the Harris County Sheriff's Office to find out how far that investigation has gone. We're waiting on their call back. Robles is charged with capital murder. He has not entered a plea.

When we first started looking into Robles' mental health, we asked the Harris County Sheriff's Office about medications for inmates. We were told some 12,000 medications are dispensed to inmates on a daily basis each year. As of September, 135 complaints had been filed from inmates related to medications. Those complaints include everything from a delay in receiving medications and not receiving them at all to missed doses or receiving the wrong meds.

Officer Hamilton was the first Pasadena police officer killed in the line of duty in 16 years. He had worked on the force for four years. He was a husband and the proud father of two young daughters.

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