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Dallas police replacing warrants against officer arrested on hitman-related capital murder charges

The officer had been under investigation since August 2019 when a witness told Dallas police investigators about the hitman offer.
Credit: Dallas County jail

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department walked two new capital warrants Monday to replace the warrants on former officer Bryan Riser. 

Per the sheriff's office, the department obtained new warrants to replace the old warrants due to "errors."

Riser was arrested at the beginning of March on two counts of capital murder and was accused of offering to pay a hitman to kill two people, Albert Douglas and Lisa Saenz. Douglas' body has not yet been found.

The most significant change in the new warrants has to do with records connected to Riser's cell phone, which police had used as evidence to connect him to the crimes, the documents showed. 

In the warrants that were originally submitted in March, officials said a preliminary analysis from the FBI "revealed that the suspect's cell phone placed him in or about the area during the time frame" of both victims' disappearances and subsequent killings.

But in the updated warrants, that was removed.

Instead, the warrants now claim the cell phone data analysis from the FBI shows Riser met with a witness to "plan the kidnapping and murder" of the two victims. That witness later told police investigators that Riser had allegedly offered him thousands of dollars and instructed him to kill two victims in 2017.

Both sets of warrants used the cell phone records to place Riser where the witness told investigators they had met to discuss the plan, but a new addition to the updated warrants adds details about the witness showing investigators where Riser and the witness had gone to make their plan in Douglas' death.

It also added how investigators then canvassed the area where Douglas was taken from. Family members told detectives Douglas left his home on his bicycle and never returned. A missing persons report was filed within the same timeframe the witness told investigators they had kidnapped him, the new warrants claim.

Another new addition to the warrants says an associate of the witness corroborated the witness' account of events to police. The associate admitted he was also involved in Douglas' death, according to the warrants. 

Per the warrants, the associate told police he did not know Riser, but did tentatively identified him in a six-photo line-up, along with a filler picture, as the person he saw with the witness at his house.

Riser had been under investigation since August 2019 when the witness told police investigators about Riser's alleged role in the killings. 

RELATED: Dallas officer offered hitman thousands of dollars to kill, dump victims into Trinity River, affidavit says

He was fired during a disciplinary hearing from the department several days after his March arrest, a news release from new Chief Eddie Garcia said. Riser had been placed on administrative leave for several days following his arrest before he was fired. 

He had been with the department since August 2008, patrolling Dallas' South-Central patrol area.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson also formed an ad hoc committee of council members to look into why the Dallas police officer was left on duty for a year and half while detectives investigated the allegations that he ordered two people killed.

WFAA has reached out to the police department to explain what those "errors" were.

RELATED: FBI officials say they never requested officer be left on duty during homicide investigations

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