March 5 (UPI) — A Dallas police officer has been arrested and charged with killing two people in 2017 after an investigation was launched following a witness implicating him in their deaths, authorities said.
Officer Bryan Riser was arrested Thursday morning and charged two counts of capital murder for the deaths of Liza Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61, Dallas Police Chief Edgardo Garcia announced Thursday during a press conference.
The police chief said the deaths were unrelated to each other and to Riser’s work as a Dallas police officer, though he said he could not reveal much about either murder case.
Riser, who joined the department in August of 2008, has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an internal investigation that has been expedited with intent to remove him from the force, Garcia said.
“This individual has no business wearing this uniform and that’s not just me as police chief, I guarantee you every man and woman who wears this uniform and does this job honorably does not want anyone tarnishing our badge,” he said.
During the investigation, Kevin Kidd, Emmanuel Kilpatrick and Jermon Simmons were arrested and charged in September 2017 with capital murder for the kidnapping and killing of the 31-year-old woman.
In August of 2019, one of the men who were arrested told the police he wanted to come forward with information that implicated Riser, the court document said.
The unnamed witness told police that he had a prior relationship with Riser, who reconnected with him in 2013. They would talk on the phone and during the course of their conversations Riser offered to inform the witness of drug houses to rob with Riser to receive any money found at the location while the witness would get to keep all the drugs confiscated.
The plan was never enacted because Riser in February of 2017 offered him a job to kill Douglas instead, the affidavit said.
The witness said, according to the document, that he and Riser discussed the plan at a doughnut shop. Riser then drove the witness to where Douglas was located to identify him.
Days later, the witness with an associate stopped, handcuffed and forced Douglas into a vehicle before driving to Trinity River where he was shot, killed and dumped into the river. Douglas’ body has never been found.
For the job, he was paid $3,500 by Riser, he told police.
About two weeks later, Riser called the unnamed witness to kidnap and kill Saenz in exchange for $6,000 — a sum that was never paid as the trio were arrested, the document said.
Garcia told reporters that they will be examining Riser’s prior police conduct and previous arrests “to ensure there was nothing there.”
“I think the community should know that this police department wants to be as thorough as possible, because we certainly don’t want someone slipping through the cracks that has no business wearing this uniform,” he said.