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Austin police officer Christopher Taylor will be tried again for murder in September

Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor, middle, talks to his attorney Doug O’Connell, left, during a break in his murder trial at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center
Jay Janner
/
Austin American-Statesman
Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor, middle, talks to his attorney Doug O’Connell, left, during a break in his murder trial in October.

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Austin police officer Christopher Taylor will head back to court next year.

Taylor was charged with murder in the 2020 shooting death of Mike Ramos, which sparked racial justice protests, but a jury could not reach a verdict in the case.

It's unclear whether Travis County District Attorney José Garza's office will pursue the Ramos case again or another murder charge stemming from Taylor's on-duty shooting of Mauris DeSilva, a man who was wielding a knife during a mental health crisis in 2019.

Judge Dayna Blazey set a May pretrial hearing date, with a jury trial set for Sept. 23.

Taylor was indicted on both charges in 2021, but the DA decided to try the Ramos case first.

During that trial, Judge Blazey barred prosecutors from mentioning the DeSilva case, finding it would prejudge the jury. After 12 days of arguments and four days of deliberation, jurors couldn't reach a verdict.

The mistrial was a setback for Garza, who campaigned in 2020 on prosecuting police misconduct. He is continuing to run on that platform heading into 2024, when he's up for re-election.

The Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, a statewide police union, is paying for Taylor's representation. After the mistrial it said it would pay his legal fees "as long as it takes to clear his name."

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at aweber@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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