Amarillo, TX - The Texas Department of Public Safety is facing a wrongful death lawsuit in a local case that spans three years.
On the night of March 23rd, 2010, officers attempted to arrest 24 year-old Israel Leija, Jr. in Tulia on a warrant for a probation violation. Leija fled, leading police and state troopers north up I-27 to Randall County just outside Canyon.
DPS troopers had set up a roadblock and spike strips ahead of his path, and as he reached that point, a state trooper fired several rounds through his windshield, striking him at least four times. Leija's car then rolled several times, partially ejecting him. Leija was pronounced dead on scene, and according to court documents, there was alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time of his death.
His family then filed criminal charges against the trooper who fired, but a Randall County grand jury rejected any indictment, and he was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.
The family then filed civil charges against the Department of Public Safety as a whole, seeking unspecified damages for Leija's children. The DPS filed a motion to dismiss those charges in April of last year, but on Monday (Mar. 11), District Judge Mary Lou Robinson denied that motion.
According to federal court records, the case will be stayed for thirty days to allow the plaintiffs time to find an attorney.
Schools in Hereford and the Pampa Junior High were both placed on lockdown as a precaution today while police investigated possible threats.
The Dimmit Police Department installed a temperature alarm system in it's K-9 Unit truck to make sure its dog is safe for the upcoming summer.
Northwest Texas Hospital has teamed up with a leading health care organization to continue to focus on quality of care for their patients.
In a two-day conference celebrating the culture and industries of the Southern High Plains, one man is embracing a creative approach to telling the story of the plains to the audience.
As a way of previewing next weeks meeting, the city's Planning Department is releasing a draft for the redevelopment of the Barrio Neighborhood.