Texas policeman’s killer acquitted

CNN’s Joe Sutton filed this report.

(CNN) – A judge has acquitted a man accused of killing an off-duty Midland, Texas, police officer in a 2015 incident that occurred at a house party in an upscale neighborhood of Midland.

Judge Amy Perciak said the case against Patrick Sherrill, 38, was presented as self-defense and dismissed it Wednesday afternoon after jurors deliberated for a little more than three hours.

Sherrill, 38, a former Marine and police officer, testified that he and an unidentified friend were leaving the home party where they were drinking and that he and the man were discussing possible robberies when they were confronted by Midland police Officer Eric Mosher.

Sherrill said he thought Mosher was going to arrest them, so he jumped on the officer and tried to grab his gun. He said that Mosher fell to the ground and that he fired several shots toward Mosher.

Mosher died after being shot in the back of the head, according to defense attorney Brian Folliard. He said Mosher never fired his gun.

Mosher was married and had no children.

Folliard said the shooting was a “tragic incident that involved a confrontation among aggressive people who were excessively intoxicated and looking for trouble.”

The verdict was a shock to the Mosher family, Folliard said.

“To be very clear, while we are disappointed by the court’s verdict, we respect the judicial process and have no further comment at this time,” the Mosher family said in a statement.

Attorney Tony Sharpe, who represented Sherrill, said he was surprised by the verdict and knew Mosher’s family.

“I think after this happened it was pretty obvious that the justice system failed. What’s the use of an impartial court in that case? He was a police officer. The justice system just told that family one thing and the rest of the community the other,” Sharpe said.

Sherrill will remain free pending the results of a grand jury investigation into the officer’s death.

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