Trial of Garland Cop Who Fired 41 Shots at Fleeing Suspect Ends With Hung Jury

On Monday, a Dallas County grand jury failed to reach a verdict in the manslaughter trial of ex-Garland cop Patrick Tuter, who killed Michael Allen Vincent while on duty in 2012.

After the jury reported the lack of a verdict, Dallas County Judge Quay Parker declared a mistrial.

Tuter and Allen's lives collided during the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 2012. At about 1 a.m., Tuter began chasing Allen's car, who was wanted for drug possession, assault and evading arrest. The pursuit ended when the officer cornered him in a cul-de-sac in Mesquite.

Initially, Tuter told investigators that Allen tried to ram his way past Tuter's squad car, prompting the officer to shoot Allen. That turned out not to be true, according to the Garland Police Department.

Tuter, department investigators discovered, made first contact with Allen's car. The officer then fired at Allen 41 times. He emptied his gun twice. While other officers were on the scene, Tuter was the only to fire his gun.

GPD fired Tuter, a seven-year veteran, during the month after the incident. Over a year later, a Dallas County grand jury indicted Tuter for manslaughter, making him the first cop in 17 years to be indicted in a fatal police shooting.

During Tuter's trial last week, prosecutors said that he was a "rogue cop" who "acted desperately" when he shot Allen. Tuter's lead attorney, former Dallas County assistant district attorney Toby Shook, said that Tuter was simply protecting the lives of himself and his fellow police officers.

"Anyone with an ounce of common sense, one ounce of common sense, knows Michael Allen was a danger to anyone he might have encountered, and he wasn't going to stop for anyone," Shook said in his closing argument.

Another Dallas County cop, Amy Wilburn, will go on trial next month for shooting Kelvion Walker. Walker was a passenger in a car driven by a carjacking suspect in December 2013. Walker was unarmed, and, according to witnesses, had his hands up when Wilburn shot him. Then-Dallas Police Chief David Brown called Wilburn "reckless" during a deposition by Walker's civil attorneys. A Dallas County grand jury indicted Wilburn for aggravated assault in April 2014.
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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

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