A Tarrant County grand jury on Wednesday rebuffed prosecutors and declined to indict a 21-year-old Parker County man accused of participating in the shooting of Fort Worth police officer Matt Pearce in March.
Prosecutors quickly refiled charges of attempted capital murder and possession of a controlled substance against Ed Russell McIver Jr. of Weatherford.
“We believe strongly this case should be prosecuted and have refiled those two charges to be presented to the next grand jury,” said Samantha Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.
“It is not acceptable to fire upon police officers acting in the line of duty.”
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McIver was with his father, Ed R. McIver, on March 15 when authorities began to chase the men to arrest the father. The men jumped out of their truck in far west Fort Worth and ran into a wooded area near Mary’s Creek.
Officers who followed were met with gunfire, and Pearce was critically wounded. Officers returned fire, killing the elder McIver. The son eluded searcher for about three hours before being arrested.
It is not acceptable to fire upon police officers acting in the line of duty.
Samantha Jordan, Tarrant County DA’s office
On Wednesday, McIver’s court-appointed attorney, Brian Walker, said ballistics tests showed that his client didn’t fire any shots.
He said it was “positive and optimistic” to learn that his client was no-billed.
But Walker did not know that prosecutors had already re-filed the charges. When told that by a reporter, Walker said, “This is something I have never experienced before.”
Wednesday evening, Fort Worth police Sgt. Marc Povero read a brief statement in support of the DA’s re-filing of the charges.
“To say that the officers of the Fort Worth Police Department are disappointed in the grand jury’s decision is an understatement,” Povero said. “We believe that the acts of Mr. McIver should be heard in a public forum before a jury of his peers.”
Pearce was hospitalized until May 10 and still faces months of rehab, police have said.
McIver remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday. Court records show he is also charged with theft of a firearm.
I think it sucks and I think it’s wrong.
Linda McIver on plans to re-file charges against her grandson
Linda McIver, McIver’s grandmother, cried when told that a grand jury had declined to indict him.
“Oh, my God,” Linda McIver said. “You don’t know how much of a weight is lifted off my heart.
“I thank God they saw outside the box, that there was no proof that he did anything wrong. I thank God that they saw that.”
Told later that prosecutors had refiled the charges, she said, “I think it sucks and I think it’s wrong.”
Linda McIver has contended from the day of the shooting that her grandson would never harm an officer.
“My son? That’s possible, but not my grandson,” Linda McIver had told the Star-Telegram. “He’s not dangerous. He’s got a heart of gold.”
She said Wednesday that her opinion has not changed.
Linda McIver expressed gratitude that Pearce is continuing to heal.
“We’ve seen on TV that he’s doing well and we’re grateful for that,” she said. “My grandson has been worried about that.”
Attorney Walker said he believes that if the prosecutors couldn’t get an indictment from a grand jury, they would have a hard time convincing a trial jury to convict McIver.
He said he would try to get McIver released from jail because of the grand jury’s decision.
Walker, who is in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, said he leaves for active duty next week and will be deployed for a few months.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.