Charges Dropped Against Austin Cop Who Killed Michael Ramos

A jury was deadlocked in Christopher Taylor case last year

Christopher Taylor during the 2023 trial that ended in a deadlocked jury (Photo by Jana Birchum)

The prosecution of Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor for killing Michael Ramos in 2020 has come to an end.

Last year, jurors could not agree to convict Taylor on a charge of murder, resulting in a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. Travis County District Attorney José Garza vowed to retry the case, but following a decision by a Travis County Grand Jury to decline new charges presented against Taylor, Garza said in a statement that his office would drop this case. The news was first reported by Statesman reporter Tony Plohetski.

“We are surprised and disappointed at this result,” Garza said in a statement, “but we also respect the grand jury’s decision and time. Our hearts continue to break for the Ramos family, who we know are still grieving.”

Prosecutors could have retried Taylor for murder on the initial indictment they secured against him in 2021, but chose to present the case again to a new grand jury in hopes of securing lesser charges – including deadly conduct and aggravated assault – that a trial jury may have had an easier time agreeing on.

The case against Taylor for killing Ramos has concluded, but the officer has another murder charge still pending against him. Taylor and another APD officer, Karl Krycia, were indicted for the killing of Mauris DeSilva in 2019, who was believed to be experiencing a mental health crisis while holding a knife when the two officers shot and killed him. The case remains active, but it is unclear how Garza’s office will proceed with it.

Taylor’s attorneys accuse Garza of using the second grand jury to “avoid embarrassment” from either dismissing the initial indictment or for taking it to trial and failing to win a conviction yet again. In a statement, Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell said that prosecutors could proceed to trial based on the initial murder indictment. They wrote: “No dismissal is required by what happened today. Mr. Garza is dismissing the case because he knows no Travis County jury will believe Officer Taylor committed any crime, and because he wants to avoid yet another embarrassing defeat.”

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