Judge orders release of Dallas officer arrested in killings

Posted at 2:11 PM, April 7, 2021 and last updated 1:38 PM, June 21, 2023

DALLAS (AP) — A judge on Wednesday ordered the release of a former Dallas police officer who was arrested on capital murder charges for allegedly ordering two killings in 2017 after prosecutors agreed that they don’t have enough evidence to move forward with the case.

This photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office shows Bryan Riser. (Dallas County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

After listening to more than two hours of testimony by a Dallas homicide detective, Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Audrey Moorehead said there was no probable cause and ordered the release of Bryan Riser, a 13-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department.

Riser was taken into custody by his colleagues in March for his role in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme. He was subsequently fired.

During the hearing, prosecutors disagreed with the police detective’s assessment that they had enough evidence to prosecute.

“Where we stand as a district attorney’s office right now today, we do not feel there’s sufficient probable cause for this case,” Dallas County prosecutor Jason Fine told the judge.

Riser, 36 was arrested in the unconnected killings of Liza Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61, after a man came forward in August 2019 and told police he had kidnapped and killed them at Riser’s direction, police Chief Eddie Garcia said last month. The former officer’s lawyer has maintained his client is innocent and said that the evidence against him is little more than the word of a man already convicted in other killings.

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