In an unexpected development, the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office tells NewsChannel 11 they will dismiss manslaughter charges against a Hereford man. The news comes after prosecutors learned that, 35-year-old Marcelo Perez Junior died the day before a grand jury indicted him.
Prosecutors say cases like this are extremely rare, but they do happen. A Lubbock County Grand Jury indicted Perez for manslaughter on Tuesday for the death of 62-year-old Billy Spence. Spence died this past November after authorities say Perez ran a stop light at Martin Luther King Blvd. and Parkway Dr. The SUV Perez was driving smashed into Spence's driver's side door. Doctors pronounced Spence dead about a half hour after the accident.
Thursday, the D.A.'s office told NewsChannel 11 that Perez died on Monday, just 24-hours before the grand jury convened. "In six years that I've been here, this is the only time I've ever seen it happen. I was talking to another prosecutor in our office, and in the nine years that she's been here, she's only seen it happen once," Lubbock County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Tom Brummett said.
According to the Hereford Heritage Funeral Home, Perez died at the Hereford Care and Rehab Facility. Family members held a memorial service Thursday in Hereford. A cause of death has not been released. The D.A.'s office says they will dismiss the manslaughter charge immediately.
A grand jury also indicted Perez for failure to stop and render aid, for an October hit and run at the same intersection. That charge will also be dismissed.