Carmen DeCruz trial: Michael Dean’s sister testifies on his character

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 7:00 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - On day six of the Carmen DeCruz trial the prosecution called one of Dean’s sisters, Tasheena Dean, to the stand. In her testimony she explained that her parents have three other biological children and five adopted children, including Michael Dean.

The defense declined to ask her any questions during cross examination.

“The reason they don’t is because it might open the door for even more testimony, because this witness is not going to say anything bad about the deceased,” Vic Feazell, former McLennan County District Attorney, told KWTX News 10.

Dean’s sister reiterated on the stand that she and her family still have not watched the dash cam or body cam footage from that night. She said they are waiting until the trial wraps up to watch everything in private.

Lead investigator Travis Dendy once again took the stand on Monday to speak on the moments following Carmen DeCruz shooting and killing Michael Dean, an unarmed Black man.

Dendy previously said on the stand last week that he questioned DeCruz the days after the shooting in 2019. At one point he stopped a recording of the questioning of DeCruz and watched the body cam footage with the former Temple Police officer.

During cross examination on the first day of week two of the trial it was revealed that Dendy did not have any prior experience handling an officer-involved shooting investigation.

“When a witness has no proper training that can hurt a little bit,” Feazell said. “It doesn’t go to the admissibility of the evidence, it only goes to the weight.”

Throughout this trial, the defense team has brought up multiple times that DeCruz is here for a charge of manslaughter. The attorneys said during cross examination that it is not the jury’s job to determine if DeCruz violated Temple Police policy during his pursuit.

“It is the job of the defense to poke holes,” Feazell said. “There are 12 people on that jury, if you can put doubt in the mind of just one you may be looking at a mistrial.”