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Lawsuit Claims Wrongful Death Related to Joshua Wright and Hays County Sheriff’s Office Incident

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing on this webpage or in this publishing should be taken as legal advice.

Lawsuit Filed Related to Joshua Wright and Hays County Sheriff’s Office Incident

On January 1, 2023, nationally known civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump issued a press release:

SAN MARCOS, Tex. — Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump will join the family of Joshua Wright, attorney Chevo Pastrano, and attorney Ginna Pastrano at a Monday news conference to demand the release of body camera and surveillance footage from [Joshua Wright’s] death on Dec. 12 [2022].

Joshua Wright, an inmate on pre-trial detention for accusations of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, was receiving medical treatment at Seton Hospital in the city of Kyle, Texas. Wright died after he tried to leave the emergency room and was shot multiple times from behind by a Hays County Corrections [O]fficer [Isaiah Garcia] while his ankles were shackled.

Attorney Ben Crump Joins Family of Joshua Wright to Demand the Release of Footage from His Death, Dated January 1, 2023, Ben Crump Trial Lawyer for Justice

During this period of time, many may remember the pressure being placed upon the Hays County Sheriff’s Office to release incident footage of the shooting identified in Ben Crump’s press release. The pressure being placed from all directions, such as the family of Mr. Wright, local advocacy groups such as Mano Amiga, and a spin off non-profit left sided advocacy platform Caldwell/Hays Examiner (which leased space from Democratic County Judge Ruben Becerra).

They may also remember the advocacy Chevo Pastrano was engaged as the attorney for the Wright family through The Pastrano Law Firm. Pastrano is now a candidate for the Texas House in the 45th District of Texas.

All Pressure is Not Equal to Release the Footage

Even Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra made an outcry to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office to release the footage of the incident involving Mr. Wright.

Becerra, on the day of Wilkison’s first tweet, requested that the Hays County sheriff’s office release all relevant bodycam footage by Dec. 22. As of Tuesday, the footage still had yet to be shared publicly.

‘I won’t give up’: Family seeks answers in Joshua Wright’s in-custody killing, demand body cam video, Dated January 4, 2023, article by Heather Osbourne of the Austin American-Statesman

Oh course, this outcry was before Hays County had a new District Attorney.

So, the news trail has shown attorney’s, advocates, and local leaders to pressure the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, but they have not pressured the newly elected Democrat District Attorney in the same manner (if at all). Rather, Becerra and his Hays County Sheriff Candidate employee Alexander Villalobos have been publicly quiet on the topic when it comes to the newly elected Hays County District Attorney. Even those that lease from Becerra, the Caldwell/Hays Examiner, have been silent and slow to call out any wrongs of the newly elected Hays County District Attorney Kelly Higgins.

Interestingly enough, after Higgins office found wrong doing in the City of Kyle it modified how it would accept Public Information Act (PIA) complaints. The City of Kyle being a place Becerra’s employee use to maintain a City Councilman position. A safe haven for corruption, one opinion may state.

All of which seems to be politically motivated and at the expense of the Wright family.

We Have Requested the Footage From Various Government Agencies

We have requested the footage from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hays County District Attorney’s Office. They all, ultimately, said the same thing. They will not release the footage. Only one ever appeared as though it would release the footage. The Hays County District Attorney appeared to potentially release the footage then it reversed course and requested a ruling it knew would prevent its release.

However, there was no outcry to the Hays County District Attorney’s Office to release the footage from any Democrat office holders in Hays County. No advocacy group protested the District Attorney’s Office. No non-profit left-sided media platform that leases from Judge Becerra made an attempt to be boisterous towards the newly elected Distrcit Attorney. Instead, it became silent.

The footage has yet to become publicly available.

Beverly Wright Files a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Without Pastrano

The lawsuit was filed on July 27, 2023. It was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division. It was given cause 1:23-cv-00864. At the moment, it lists Isaiah Garcia in his individual capacity and does not list the Hays County Government.

The lawsuit goes on to state there was an information and belief, on or about December 11, 2022, that Joshua Wright was experiencing a mental health crisis and possible medical emergency. After midnight on December 12, 2022, he was taken to the emergency room in Ascension Seton Hays, in Kyle, Texas.

While in the emergency room, Mr. Wright reported severe chest pain and confined he was taking a psychiatric medication. During Mr. Wright’s evaluation a shift change for two jailers accompanying Mr. Wright to the hospital. Garcia and another jailer arrived to the emergency room to release the transporting jailers.

Initially, Garcia did not have his TASER, but a departing officer provided Garcia with a TASER.

Mr. Wright was set to be discharged around 11 A.M. and he asked to use the restroom. Garcia unlocked Mr. Wright’s handcuffs and left his leg shackles on then escorted him to the restroom. When Mr. Wright exited the restroom he pushed Garcia and moved past him down the hall away from Garcia. This is where the lawsuit goes into allegations related to the shooting of Mr. Wright, ultimately leading to his death.

Garcia Indicted for Deadly Conduct For Discharging a Firearm

On April 6, 2023, as previously reported, Garcia was indicted for one count of Texas Penal Code 22.05(b). It is a third degree felony and associated with knowingly discharging a firearm at or in the direction of one ore more individuals or a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building or vehicle if occupied.

Pre-trial motion are set for September 12, 2023, and Garcia is currently out on bond.

In accordance with Texas Penal Code 2.01, “all persons are presumed to be innocent and no person may be convicted of an offense unless each element of the office is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that he has been arrested, confined, or indicted for, or otherwise charged with, the offense gives rise to no inference of guilt at his trial.”

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may be interested in learning about the Hays County District Attorney’s Office change to how they will accept PIA complaints.

Or you may find our publishing identifying the City of Kyle violated the PIA law, of interest.

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