Two innocent people killed in police chases days apart

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Both cases will be investigated by the HPD Internal Affairs division and the pursuit committee. (KTRK)

When Edin Palacios finally faced a judge in probable cause court today, prosecutors minced no words.

"Officers noticed the defendant had bloody nose, bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol," read the prosecutor, describing the state Palacios was found over the weekend.

Palacios is accused of killing Jocelynn Valero as she was going home from prom. Investigators believe Palacios allegedly hit the car she was in while he was being pursued by Houston Police. Officers had suspected him of driving under the influence.

Now, Valero's family is looking for some answers.

VIDEO: Dozens gather at crash site to remember slain teen
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There is a growing memorial at the intersection where a teen was killed returning from prom with her date.

"Police officers have to do their jobs, but there is a lot of factors that go into it," said sister-in-law Analisa Valero. "Maybe they didn't have to pursue him, if he wasn't going at a high rate of speed. I don't know, there are a lot of things that have to go into it."

Valero's death is the second in a week related to police chases. Last Thursday, HPD pursued Joshua Myles as he was allegedly driving a stolen car. During that pursuit, Myles hit a car driven by Darryl Barefield. Barefield died, and the passenger in his car was severely hurt.

READ MORE: Click here for the full Houston Police Department chase policy

In court today, Myles' defense lawyer says his client has a mental health history.

"He does appear to have some mental health issues that we need to explore as part of our defense in this case," said appointed attorney Murray Newman.

Both cases will be investigated by the HPD Internal Affairs division and the pursuit committee. The police department says it's too early to know if any pursuit policies were violated in each deadly chase case.

Valero's family says it's willing to be patient. However, the family hopes the investigation will be transparent, and there will be a full accounting of everything that led up to Jocelynn Valero's death.

"I'm hoping that all these different organizations, these committees, the ones that's going to investigate. They do it without bias," said Analisa Valero.

Related Topics:
police chasedrunk driving deathdrunk drivingHouston

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