A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper was charged with perjury in connection to a contentious traffic stop last summer where a woman wound up arrested for assault and then died three days later in jail. Hours after the indictment, the DPS began termination proceedings.
A grand jury indicted Trooper Brian Encinia on the misdemeanor count, alleging he lied about how he removed 28-year-old Sandra Bland from her vehicle during the July traffic stop. The same Waller County grand jury decided last month not to indict any sheriff's officials or jailers in Bland's death, which was ruled a suicide. Bland remained jailed following her arrest because she couldn't raise about $500 for bail.
Encinia, who has been on paid desk duty since Bland was found dead in her cell, also faces a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bland's family.
The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $4,000 fine, the ABC 13 TV reports.