No indictment issued in death of man who killed pastor

Posted Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH — A Tarrant County grand jury did not issue an indictment in the death of Derrick Birdow, the man who died in Forest Hill police custody after the beating death of a popular pastor.

The grand jury heard evidence Tuesday about the circumstances of Birdow’s death, said Melody McDonald, a district attorney’s spokeswoman. The decision against indictment concludes the inquiry.

Birdow crashed his car into Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church on Oct. 29, then attacked the Rev. Danny Kirk Sr. and a janitor, police said.

Officers chased Birdow inside the church, where they found him striking Kirk with an electric guitar. When Birdow wouldn’t stop, police said, they shocked him with a Taser and eventually handcuffed him.

He had to be carried out to a patrol car where he was later found not breathing, police reported.

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled that Birdow died from PCP ingestion and that the Taser did not contribute to his death.

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689 Twitter: @albranch1