An Austin police sergeant was suspended in January for failing to ensure proper crime scene processing

The internal affairs investigation of Sgt. Jesse Sanchez did not act appropriately at the January murder scene.

Austin, Texas – An Austin Police Department The sergeant was suspended earlier this month after an internal affairs investigation into a January incident.

According to a July 12 disciplinary memo from Police Chief Joseph Chacon, obtained by KVUE on July 29, Homicide Sgt. Jesse Sanchez did not act appropriately at the crime scene of a homicide in January.

According to the memo, on Jan. 23, 2022, at 3:07 a.m., someone called APD about a man who was in the roadway at an intersection in southeast Austin. Two APD officers, Officer #1 and Officer #2, responded to the call at 3:19 am.

Officer #1 responded to the hospital where EMS transported the man before officers arrived on scene, the memo said. EMS and fire officials told Officer #1 that they found the man lying on the ground at the intersection. Officer #1 was also advised that it was unknown if the man was the victim of an assault or if he had been hit by a vehicle.

The victim was pronounced dead at 3:38 a.m. Medical personnel told Officer #1 that the victim had fisted her hair and suffered a blow to the head. According to the medical staff, he had no other injuries on his body.

Officer #2 responded to the intersection where the victim was located, the memo states. After the victim was transported to the hospital and before Officer #2 arrived, the area was washed by fire crews.

At approximately 4:05 a.m., Sgt. According to the memo, Sanchez was contacted by Officer #1 about the victim. Sanchez spoke to the officer and told him to leave the scene. According to the memo, Sanchez indicated that detectives would not be responding to the scene.

Officer #2 called Sanchez at approximately 4:28 a.m. to inform him of the scene. The officer told Sanchez there was blood at the scene, as well as possible brain matter. There was a van with broken glass. The blood splattered towards the van. There was a stick with blood splattered on it. And there was a notebook and other rubbish on the floor.

Sanchez also told Officer #2 that no detectives would respond and told the officer to clear the scene, which Officer #2 did immediately after speaking with Sanchez.

Around noon that day, Sanchez dispatched detectives to the scene. It was found that the victim was killed and a suspect confessed and was arrested and charged with murder. According to the disciplinary note, this case is currently ongoing.

The memo continued that on February 9, Internal Affairs (IA) received an internal complaint memo that Sanchez may not have properly processed the crime scene. The complaint asked the IA to open an investigation into Sanchez’s actions.

At the end of the investigation, Sanchez’s chain of command, including his commander and assistant homicide chief, concluded that he did not take appropriate action at the January crime scene.

Specifically, the memo states, they concluded that Sanchez should have immediately dispatched homicide detectives and the Crime Scene Unit to search for and secure any possible evidence. They also concluded that Sanchez released the crime scene without properly processing it, which “could have affected the prosecution of this case,” according to the memo.

In the memo, Chief Chacon wrote that he agreed that Sanchez should be punished.

Chacon wrote in the memo, “While I agree that the scene was compromised by the washout, Sergeant Sanchez’s own statements and actions indicate that he should have known to immediately dispatch OnCall detectives and the Crime Scene Unit to the scene. “

Sanchez was suspended for five days from July 13 to July 17.

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