HPD officer charged in deadly crash bonds out of jail

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, August 18, 2016
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HPD officer charged in deadly crash bonds out of jail

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston Police Department officer charged with intoxication manslaughter in connection with a deadly crash is now out of jail.

James Combs, 33, was released from the Fort Bend County jail Wednesday evening after posting a $100,000 bond. He had spent more than 24 hours behind bars.

Relatives flanked him as he walked to the car. He had nothing to say.

VIDEO: Single father killed in crash with off-duty officer

Fort Bend County Sheriff's deputies suspected alcohol was involved in last week's fatal wreck. Officer Combs, who was off duty, refused a field sobriety test. A judge issued a warrant, forcing him to submit to a blood alcohol test. That crash killed Brian Manring, 36, father to an 8-year-old girl.

Combs was immediately relieved of duty from HPD pending an internal investigation.

According to court documents, Combs' blood alcohol content was .17 -- more than twice the legal limit of .08. Combs' wife also told investigators he used their credit card at an after-hours strip club just before the deadly wreck.

Combs has to wear an ankle monitor as a bond condition. It was on full display on his right ankle Wednesday. If convicted, he could spend up to 20 years in prison.

The family of the man killed, Brian Manring, sent Eyewitness News a statement on Tuesday, saying, in part, "The Manring family would like to thank all of the friends, family, co-workers and neighbors who have been supporting us during this trying time. Brian touched many people in his life and the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. Thank you all."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to establish a trust for his daughter.

Combs, a patrol officer, has been with HPD for six years, currently assigned to the Midwest Division off Harwin Drive.