Sources: not enough evidence to pursue charges in LSO Deputy death - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/8/10

Sources say not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges in death of LSO deputy

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By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – NewsChannel 11 has learned there will be no criminal charges in the death of a Lubbock County Sheriff's deputy back in April. Corporal D. Robert Harvey died on April 26th, 2009 when his squad car collided head on with a Ford pickup near 88th and MLK.

The legal circumstances around this case continue to unfold. Sources tell NewsChannel 11 that there was simply not enough evidence to pursue a criminal trial.

Originally authorities identified the driver of the truck as Justin McKinney who was charged with intoxicated manslaughter. More recently, McKinney claimed through court proceedings that Jason Walkup, the other man in the truck, was instead the driver. Investigators say both were ejected from the truck at the time of the crash.

EMS rushed Justin McKinney and Jason Walkup to University Medical Center. Investigators say both men were ejected from the Ford truck. The day after the accident the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office charged McKinney with intoxicated manslaughter. Investigators believe he was the man behind the wheel. While the truck belonged to McKinney, there has been some confusion on who was driving that April night. McKinney claimed through court proceedings that walkup was behind the wheel. DNA evidence was taken from the steering wheel but those results have not been released to the public.

Shortly after the crash, Dallas attorney John Barr was hired by one of the restaurants Walkup and McKinney were allegedly spotted in drinking the night of the accident.

By phone Barr tells NewsChannel 11 he purchased the wrecked truck and brought it to Dallas for testing. He says a crash expert concluded the squad car was going at least 85 miles per hour. On impact Cpl. Harvey's vehicle burst into flames and the momentum pushed the Ford truck back 45 feet. Barr says he has found two witnesses in the area that saw the squad car traveling at a high rate of speed without flashing lights or sirens activated.

There are still other civil legal options for Cpl. Harvey's family and for the two men in the truck. Sources say we can expect more details from the DA's office.

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