Update: Grand Jury Drops Attempted Murder Charge Against Ex-San Antonio Officer

Body camera footage evidence.

Update: Grand Jury Drops Attempted Murder Charge Against Ex-San Antonio Officer

San Antonio – The former San Antonio Police officer, James Brennand, indicted for shooting Erik Cantu, 17, in McDonald’s parking lot in 2022, has had an attempted murder charge against him dropped, according to local news sources. The once high-profile case had sparked national outrage and resulted in the termination of Brennand’s employment with the San Antonio Police Department.

A Bruising Reveal

The attempted murder charge was officially dropped by the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, which reduced the indictment to two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant – both first-degree felonies – and a charge of deadly conduct, a third-degree felony. This change in charges, some believe, represents a shift in the prosecution’s strategy, opting for a lesser charge that may be easier to prove.

The Infamous Incident

The incident leading to Brennand’s indictment occurred in a McDonald’s car park on October 2, 2022. According to reports, Brennand approached Cantu, then just 17, who was sitting inside a parked maroon BMW, eating a hamburger. Brennand, a probationary officer with only seven months on the job, told authorities he suspected the vehicle was stolen. As he tried to open the driver’s side door, Cantu sped off. In response, Brennand fired multiple gunshots, severely injuring the young man.

Aftermath and Repercussions

Following the shooting, Cantu spent several weeks in a San Antonio ICU, fighting for his life on a ventilator. The public outcry surrounding the event led to Brennand’s termination from the San Antonio Police Department, with Police Chief William McManus citing a violation of department policy as the reason for his dismissal.

Brennand was later arrested and had charges filed against him on October 11, 2022. Despite the reduction in charges, if convicted, the former officer could still face between five years to life in prison under the Texas Penal Code.

Upcoming Developments

In an upcoming hearing, State District Judge Joel Perez will rule on a motion to change the venue of the trial. Brennand’s attorneys argue that the media coverage concerning the shooting has rendered it impossible for their client to receive a fair trial in Bexar County. This development, once decided, may significantly impact the course of the trial.

Both locals and national observers are keenly watching the case unfold. At its heart, it revolves around questions of police conduct and use of force, issues that have been widely debated in recent years and continue to be contentious topics in communities across America.

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