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OFFICE OF THE

DISTRICT ATTORNEY
P.O. Box 1748, Austin, TX 78767
MARGARET MOORE Telephone 512/854-9400 MINDY MONTFORD
DISTRICT ATTORNEY Telefax 512/854-8994 FIRST ASSISTANT

For Immediate Release Contact: Steve Darden


May 1, 2018 512/854-3270

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore today released the following statement:

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has concluded its review of the Austin Police
Department’s investigation of the facts and circumstances of the October 17, 2016 officer-involved
shooting death of Micah Jester, and Austin Police Department (APD) officers Deborah Lindeman
(APD # 7551) and Richard Smith (APD # 7639). The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has
determined that the credible investigative facts establish that each officer’s use of force was justified
under applicable Texas law governing when an officer may use deadly force. In accordance with the
Office’s policies, District Attorney Margaret Moore will not present this case to a grand jury for
possible indictment and has issued a formal declination letter summarizing the facts of the
investigation and the legal analysis forming the basis for her decision.

The investigation established that on October 17, 2016 APD officers Lindeman and Smith responded
to a 911 welfare / domestic dispute call, possibly involving a weapon. The caller initially reported a
need for mental health assistance for his wife, Micah Jester, and during the course of the call vacillated
as to whether she was armed with a weapon. During the course of the call, 911 operators could hear a
child crying in the background. By the time of Officer Lindeman’s and Officer Smith’s arrival at the
caller’s apartment complex, it was still unclear as to whether the caller’s wife was armed with a
weapon. As the officers approached the caller’s apartment, Ms. Jester emerged from the breezeway
leading to the apartment and walked at a rapid pace directly towards the officers on an apartment
sidewalk leading directly to their positions, pointing what appeared to both officers to be a handgun.
Both officers took cover and discharged their weapons, striking Ms. Jester. Ms. Jester fell on the
sidewalk where she was struck. The officers were able to see that Ms. Jester continued to move but
they were initially unable to see the location of the handgun. The officers moved into a position that
afforded them a vantage point at which they were both able to see the handgun lying next to her. Both
officers observed Ms. Jester make movements towards the handgun in an attempt to gain control over
it. By this time, several additional APD officers arrived as backup. The officers began giving Ms.
Jester commands to stop making movements towards the handgun. Ms. Jester continued to make
movements to the handgun, eventually touching it. At this time, Officer Lindeman discharged her
weapon again and struck Ms. Jester. After the second series of shots, the officers observed no
additional movement by Ms. Jester.

In this case the District Attorney’s Office has determined that each officer’s use of deadly force was

Criminal Justice Center, 509 W. 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701


November 3, 2017
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justified under the facts established in the investigation. A full discussion of these facts and the legal
analysis forming the basis for the declination letter will be published on the District Attorney’s Civil
Rights Unit webpage: (https://www.traviscountytx.gov/district-attorney/cru).

Press packets containing documents, audio and video related to this case are available on request by
accessing the Civil Rights Unit’s webpage and following the instructions provided for requesting and
obtaining press packets.