AP NEWS
Related topics

Cop trial 0205

February 4, 2019

A former county sheriff’s deputy faces up to life in prison as he goes on trial Monday, accused of beating a Houston motorist so brutally that he broke the man’s eye socket and caused serious bodily injury.

Sgt. Marco Carrizales was working an extra job and wearing his official Harris County Sheriff’s Office uniform in October 2015 as he directing traffic at a local refinery complex in La Porte. He apparently saw Ismael Garza run a stop sign, and decided to chase down the motorist.

When Carrizales, then 35, pulled over Garza, he allegedly beat the man with an “unknown object” so severely he ended up in the hospital, according to the indictment handed down in 2017.

It’s an allegation that Carrizales’ attorneys said is false and is being used by Garza to sue the lawman and the companies he was working for that day. Carrizales now works for the Sheriffs department in a non-law enforcement position.

“This is a complete fabrication by a guy who says anything he can to get himself out of criminal trouble,” said defense attorney Cordt Akers. “You can find in the public record where he’s suing Marco Carrizales and about five chemical companies in a big money grab.”

Carrizales arrested Garza after the chase, and filed charges of resisting arrest and evading a police officer. Both of those charges were later dropped.

Carrizales was suspended without pay for 10 days and ordered to serve an 180-day probationary period that prohibited him from working extra-duty jobs following an internal affairs probe, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office brought the case to a grand jury and Carrizales was indicted for the first-degree felony charge of aggravated assault by a public servant. He was then assigned to civilian status working in a non-law enforcement capacity, according to the sheriff’s department.

Carrizales is free on a $30,000 bond. If convicted, he could face five years to life in prison.

The trial in state District Judge Josh Hill’s courtroom is expected to last about three days.