Austin PD Officer Roger Boudreau was given the Medal of Valor after what he described as a dramatic shootout last year with David Lozano during a domestic disturbance call.
Lozano was sitting in the Travis County Jail charged with attempted capital murder until May 2 when he was released on a personal bond. The DA's office says charges will likely be dropped. Reported the Austin Statesman ("Charges in police shootout likely to be dropped, prosecutor says," May 17):
Getting the Medal of Valor for a "defensive" shooting where you ripped off the first shot and lied about it reminds me of Officer Tom Coleman from the Tulia scandal being named Texas' Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by then Attorney General John Cornyn. It turned out Coleman perjured himself in the cases he was honored for, and more than three dozen people were later pardoned by Gov. Rick Perry.
At the time, Boudreau said Lozano fired first; now, Lozano's attorney, Ryan Deck, says new evidence shows the officer fired first.
An expert hired by Deck last month reported that Boudreau's account appeared to be inconsistent with an audio recording from his patrol car.
The Travis County district attorney's office had another expert examine the recording, and inconsistencies with what prosecutors believed was the sequence of events that night were found, Assistant District Attorney Karen Sage said. She would not elaborate on what those inconsistencies were but said they centered on the number of shots fired.
"Based on the results of their tests, it made us question the sequence of events," Sage said. "Based on that fact, the trial was set to go May 12, and we asked for a continuance. We also allowed the defendant to be let out" on a personal bond.
After about 13 months in jail, Lozano, who was shot three times and lost part of one leg, was released on May 2.
Look, mistakes happen. A domestic disturbance call can be a dangerous situation, and clearly Mr. Lozano had a gun. But lying about what happened afterward is a different kettle of fish. And accepting the Medal of Valor for the lie is just plain over the top.
Sometimes heroic stories that sound too good to be true turn out to be ... well ... too good to be true.