FW chief talks after officer charged with intoxication manslaughter

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by CHRIS HAWES / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on December 22, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 22 at 11:56 PM

FORT WORTH - Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead spoke for the first time Tuesday about one of his officers suspected of driving drunk and killing a mother in a violent crash.

Sonia Baker died in the early-morning accident on December 11. Now, new information has revealed Officer Jesus Cisneros was going twice the speed limit at the time of the crash. Police say he was also drunk, more than twice the legal limit.

Cisneros turned himself in Monday night to face an intoxication manslaughter charge. By Tuesday, he was already out of jail on bond.

Reports suggest Cisneros and several off-duty officers attended a celebration at a local downtown bar and grill prior to the collision.

Halstead revealed Tuesday Cisneros was not supposed to be using the undercover police vehicle he was in at the time he crashed into Baker's car.  The chief said he reluctantly accepted Cisneros' resignation Monday.

"I say reluctantly because I was in the final process of firing Cisneros," Halstead said.

Cisneros faces a felony intoxication manslaughter charge.

Baker's mother said his arrest and resignation was "too little too late."

"This is still a sad and tragic circumstance and we are going to go to the ends of the earth to make sure anyone responsible is held fully accountable," said Robert Wolf, the family's attorney.

Halstead said he spoke with Baker's husband and offered to walk with him in the next Mothers Against Drunk Drivers march. There is no word yet whether he accepted the offer.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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