Suspect's cause of death ruled a homicide

Jose Alfredo Jimenez, 42, died after he was shocked by a Taser and fell to the ground, striking his head

June 18, 2010 1:40:42 PM PDT
The death of a man who died after being Tased by a Harris County sheriff's deputy has been ruled a homicide. The ruling means his death wasn't natural, so what does that mean for the deputy who shot the Taser and the sheriff's department?

On Monday evening, during a traffic stop in the 500 block of Connorvale in northeast Harris County, Deputy J. Shriver pulled over a white Ford pickup. During the stop, a scuffle ensued. Jose Jimenez took off running. That's when Deputy Shriver Tazed him at least once.

Jimenez dropped to the ground, his head slamming on the roadway. Both men were rushed to an area hospital.

Jimenez died from his head injuries. The medical examiner said Jimenez could not overcome the blunt force trauma to his skull and subsequent bleeding of the brain.

Deputy Shriver was treated for minor injuries.

A law expert says since the death has now been ruled homicide, it will compel the district attorney's office to take it to a grand jury. However, it doesn't mean charges are imminent.

"Even if the DA's office does do that, it's hard to imagine that this is a case that is going to result in an indictment from a grand jury," attorney Sarah Frazier said.

And with an investigation pending into the Deputy Shriver's actions, legal questions remain.

Shriver has been part of the sheriff's department since 1991. He has been relieved of duty with pay as the investigation continues.

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