Woman wanted for perjury after false brutality claim surrenders

A police officer's body camera captured this image of the woman in the back of the car in which she was sitting. (Harker Heights Police Dept./file)
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) Leah Dure, who was named in a warrant charging perjury on Feb. 23 after filing and then later retracting a civil rights complaint against a local officer surrendered Monday to police in Garland.

She was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

“These charges were filed due to the alleged false statement made by Dure to the Harker Heights Police Department wherein she claimed she was injured during the public intoxication arrest,” police said in a press release Monday.

Dure was arrested at around 5:20 a.m. on New Year’s Day for public intoxication after Officer Joshua Wood was sent to Seton Medical Center Harker Heights in a response to a call from a Killeen police officer who spotted the running vehicle in which Dure was sitting blocking the ambulance bay while at the hospital on an unrelated matter.

On Jan. 2, after Dure was released from custody, she and William Stewart III, whom police described as her boyfriend, “provided written statements asserting that an officer of the Harker Heights Police Department had assaulted and injured her during the arrest and booking process, claiming the injuries to her face and arms were as a result of this arrest,” Harker Heights Police Chief Mike Gentry said at the time.

Allegations against the department and the officer were circulated on social media after a Facebook post in which Philadelphia-based civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt claimed that Wood dragged Dure from the parked car, banged her face into the concrete while accusing her of drunken driving.

Merritt later announced on Facebook that he was no longer pursuing a civil rights claim.

An internal affairs investigation ordered on Jan. 3 determined that Dure's injuries were from a fight during a disturbance at a New Year's Eve Party in Killeen.

Police released video from a dashcam, a second officer’s body cam and from the Harker Heights Police Department’s holding facility and later from Wood’s body camera, which had malfunctioned while recording the arrest, but from which recordings were recovered.