DA: Redus parents disappointed by grand jury decision

Former DA not surprised UIW officer won't face criminal charges

SAN ANTONIO – Soon after taking office in January, Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said he made a promise to the parents of Cameron Redus, the University of the Incarnate Word student shot and killed by a UIW officer in December 2013 during a struggle following a traffic stop.

LaHood said he had told the Redus family he would conduct a thorough, independent investigation into their son's death for the grand jury to consider, apart from what was done by now former District Attorney Susan Reed.

"She sat on the case for a year. We took it to a grand jury in 75 days," said Jennifer Saucedo-Rodriguez, LaHood's spokeswoman.

Soon after the grand jury announced Tuesday that Cpl. Chis Carter had been no-billed, clearing him of any criminal charges, LaHood said he had a lengthy phone call with Redus' parents.

"They were upset understandably," LaHood said. "They were disappointed with the grand jury's decision. They had a lot of questions."

But LaHood said he couldn't answer many of their questions due to the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

LaHood said he was not part of their deliberations, but his office provided the grand jury everything in his file, including information "that would not normally be admissible in a criminal trial."

He said the grand jury was even presented witnesses for them to question.

A key piece of evidence is an audio recording of the violent struggle between Carter, who has since resigned from the force, and Redus that ended with the student being shot five times.

Having listened to that tape over and over again, Reed said she wasn't surprised by the grand jury's findings. She said Redus can be heard telling Carter, "What are you going to do? Shoot me?"

Reed said, "The question is was there anything that justified the action?"

As the district attorney at the time, Reed ordered the audio recording not be released.

"But now is the time to release the tape," Reed said. "I think the public needs to hear it. I think that it will help them."

"There's going to be a number of folks who are going to make open records requests and we're not going to fight them," LaHood said.

KSAT 12 News has filed its own open records request for the audio recording heard by the grand jury.

T.J. Connolly, the Redus family spokesman, said in lieu of a criminal trial, both sides present the evidence during their upcoming wrongful death lawsuit against UIW.

"A jury will be able to decide whether Carter's actions were justified," Connolly said. "Whatever they decide, the Redus family will embrace it and move on."

A check of Carter's state law enforcement license shows he is not currently working as a peace officer in Texas.