Former Mesquite Cop Not Guilty in Aggravated Assault Retrial

Derick Wiley
Derick Wiley Mesquite Police
A Dallas County jury found a former Mesquite Police Department officer not guilty Monday in his second trial for aggravated assault after shooting an unarmed man twice in the back in 2017. Derick Wiley's first trial in 2018 ended with a hung jury.

Wiley shot Lyndo Jones after responding to a call about a car alarm going off in a parking lot on Town East Boulevard.

When Wiley arrived, he ordered Jones out of a pickup. Wiley thought Jones was trying to steal it. Jones was actually trying to disable the alarm on his own vehicle. Footage from Wiley's body cam painted a vivid image of what happened.
click to enlarge Lyndo Jones recovered in the hospital in November 2017. - LEE MERRITT
Lyndo Jones recovered in the hospital in November 2017.
Lee Merritt

Jones gets out of the truck, and Wiley orders him to get on the ground.

"Stay on the ground before I fucking shoot you," Wiley orders Jones.

"Yes, sir, I'm on the ground," Jones says.

After Jones gets on the ground, Wiley climbs on top of him and starts pulling Jones' hands behind his back. At one point, Wiley's knee appears to be on Jones' knee. That's what made Jones stand up and run away from Wiley, according to Lee Merritt, one of Jones' civil attorneys.

As Jones runs away, Wiley shoots him. 
Mesquite Police Department Chief Charles Cato placed Wiley on indefinite leave, effectively firing him, shortly after the shooting.

Throughout the retrial, Wiley and his defense team argued that the officer only shot Jones because he feared for his life. The video, they said, didn't tell the whole story.

“The miracle is in the detail and the analysis and having to break down 56 seconds of somebody’s life-threatening decision-making process,” defense attorney Rafael Sierra said.

Wiley told the jury he thought Jones was armed when he began to run away.

"I thought I was going to die out there," Wiley said, according to reporters in the courtroom.

Prosecutors claimed that Wiley's aggressive behavior made the shooting inevitable.

“This is a case of a reckless police officer, who from the minute he showed up was hellbent on violence. He committed a crime," Dallas County prosecutor Bryan Mitchell told jurors. "When you commit a crime you get prosecuted.”

Had he been convicted, Wiley would've faced between two and 20 years in prison.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young