This afternoon Durham District Attorney Leon A. Stanback released a statement announcing his office will not issue criminal charges in the case of Jesus Huerta, the 17-year-old who shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser last November. Stanback’s announcement comes after his office reviewed the State Bureau of Investigation’s preliminary report. Last Friday, the Durham Police Department publicly released its own Professional Standards Division report.
Following is Stanback’s statement:
On November 19th, 2013, 17 year-old Jesus Huerta Fernandez died of a close range gunshot wound which grazed his lower lip and perforated his skull while in the custody of the Durham City Police Department. In addition to the internal criminal and administrative investigations by the Durham Police Department, an external and objective investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investgation was initiated.
After having received and reviewed the complete State Bureau of Investigation file, the Chief Medical Examiner’s report, relevant North Carolina State Crime Laboratory reports, physical evidence, and forensic photographs; the Durham County District Attorney has found that there is not probable cause to charge a crime in Jesus Huerta’s death.
Our condolences go to the grieving family and friends of Jesus Huerta Fernandez.