Source: Dallas County; Unsplash

Mar. 9 2021, Published 3:50 p.m. ET

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 The lawyer for a Dallas police officer implicated in a murder-for-hire scheme told the press that his client is innocent.

The attorney claims his client didn’t know one of the victims and that the other victim lived with the officer’s father.

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Attorney Toby Shook said that his client Bryan Riser spoke to investigators for four hours after his arrest. He is being held on a $5 million bond on two counts of first-degree murder.

Riser was arrested earlier this month and was accused of paying three men to kidnap and kill Liza Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61. Police say that the crimes didn’t have connections to his work as an officer.

“He certainly wasn’t involved in committing crimes,” Shook told The Associated Press.

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Shook pointed out Riser as implicated in the crimes in 2017, but had been allowed to continue patrolling and working with the Dallas Police.

“He’s driving around, patrolling, doing his job every day with a gun, without incident for nearly two years,” Shook told The Associated Press. “If you really thought he was involved in this why wouldn’t you move on him in 2019?”

The fact he was left on the force as police investigated his alleged ties to the crime has drawn ire from community groups. 

On Monday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson formed a City Council committee to investigate why Riser was allowed to continue working and how the case was handled. The seven-member committee can subpoena witnesses and compel city employees to turn over records, according to The Associated Press.

“This is an awful situation, and the public deserves answers regarding who knew what, when they knew it, and why the officer remained on active duty,” Johnson said in a statement.


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