7-14-04 – A Sherman federal jury convicted a former Colbert police officer of one count of excessive force on Wednesday, three months after another jury couldn’t reach a verdict.
Richard Wyrick was caught on tape in July of 2003 arresting a man inside a Denison convenience store, following a high speed chase. The tape showed Wyrick tackling James Murray, 67, and then jumping on top of him. Murray sustained numerous injuries, including a broken hip.
The Wednesday verdict came after just three hours of deliberations and two days of testimony. One juror told First News off camera that the videotape spoke volumes about their decision.
During a federal trial in April, a jury found Wyrick not guilty on a charge of falsifying records; however the jury was split on the issue of excessive force. After three days of deliberation, the judge declared a mistrial.
A handful of Wyrick's friends and family cried and held their heads in their hands as the verdict was read on Wednesday. But prosecutors say its a victory for all Americans and shows that a police officer must not only enforce the law, but follow it too.
Defense attorneys will wait until Wyrick is sentenced before filing an appeal. That could take place in the next 90 days. He could face up to ten years in prison.