Denville officer won't face charges in motorist's death
A Morris County grand jury decided Thursday not to indict a Denville police officer in the shooting death of a motorist.
Patrolman Richard Byrne shot Ruben Martinez five times at close range following a traffic stop in June. Prosecutors say Byrne pulled the 21-year-old over for speeding and reckless driving. According to police, Martinez led Byrne on a chase and when the officer tried to pull him over, he fled the scene.
According to police, Byrne and another officer approached the car after it was stopped. Video evidence from a patrol car shows Martinez began to move the car forward while Byrne was opening the passenger side door. He jumped inside the fleeing vehicle and shot Martinez from the passenger seat as Martinez drove nearly 90 mph down a residential street.
Denville Police Chief Christopher Wagner says he's relieved Byrne has been cleared. Wagner says Byrne hasn't returned to work because he needs surgery for a shoulder injury suffered in the incident.
Martinez?s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit at the time of his death.
The Martinez family has filed an intent to sue the Deville Police Department.
Associated Press wire reports contributed to this story.For more on the Denville officer shooting, go to channel 612 on iO digital cable box and select iO Extra
Footage from the police cruiser camera the night of the shooting.
Policeremain tight lipped on Martinez shootingPolice:Man shot, killed after attempted pull over