Former Dallas officer Bryan Riser, who was charged in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme, was released from jail Wednesday after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to keep him behind bars.
DOUG DUNBAR: Former Dallas Police officer charged in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme was released from jail earlier this afternoon.
I'm Doug Dunbar, streaming live tonight on CBSN DFW.
A Dallas County judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to keep Bryan Riser behind bars. Our Caroline Vandergriff looking tonight at what this means now for the capital murder case against him.
CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Former Dallas Police officer Bryan Riser walked out of jail this afternoon to cheers from his friends and family. He only had a few words for the department he served for 13 years.
BRYAN RISER: They have disrespected me. They have embarrassed me and my family, all over a make-believe lie.
CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia announced Riser's arrest on March 4, saying evidence showed he paid to have two people killed in 2017. Riser was fired a few days later.
TOBY SHOOK: That could have been avoided, obviously, if a decision had been made to just arrest Bryan Riser and cause this sensation to cause him to be jailed for more than a month, to ruin his reputation based on the flimsiest of evidence.
CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: After more than three hours of testimony today at a hearing about whether the case should move forward, a judge ruled police didn't have enough evidence to keep Riser behind bars. On stand, the detective admitted information in the affidavit used to arrest Riser-- cell phone data placing the officer near the murder scenes-- was false.
- The only way you could read this, though, and Judge Kemp signed it, was he is in the area when they are kidnapped and murdered. His cell phone would be.
- That's correct.
- All right. That wasn't true?
- That statement is not true.
- OK. But you typed it out and put it in there, correct?
- I made a mistake, yes.
- With the judge's ruling, the case won't go to a grand jury unless there's new evidence. Riser says he's 100% innocent of the capital murder charges.
MIKE MATA: If he is found to not have committed a crime, then he has the right to get his job back, if he chooses to go down that path.
CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: The Dallas Police Department says it respects the judge's decision today but the investigation remains open and ongoing. The department also noted that Riser's termination wasn't just because of the criminal investigation, but was also for administrative violations.
In Dallas, I'm Caroline Vandergriff, CBS11 News.