Two lawyers are taking Fort Worth police to task over the handling of a drug sting involving Texas Christian University students.
The attorney for a man whose picture was incorrectly released by Fort Worth police on Wednesday is demanding a formal written apology so that the misidentified man has something to show should he ever be questioned about the TCU case. The lawyer said police have not responded to the request.
Fort Worth police incorrectly named the man in an arrest warrant Wednesday, releasing his full name, date of birth and photograph.
Police said they still plan to issue a corrected arrest warrant.
Attorney Joe David Wells said Friday that he represents Austin Carpenter, a former TCU student. He said he is aware that his client may be a suspect in the ongoing investigation but questioned how prosecutors could pursue charges against his client or the other people arrested in Wednesday's sting.
In a statement released Friday, Wells said:
"In the event that the authorities in Tarrant County decide to pursue charges against my client, I look forward to a vigorous cross examination of the officer who swore under oath that he dealt with a different Austin Carpenter than my client. The inclusion of a photograph with the warrant is highly problematic for the authorities. Texas law does not require the inclusion of a photograph for the issuance of an arrest warrant. The only reason for including a photograph in the warrant is for publicity. Clearly, the investigating authorities are more interested in headlines than justice. Their failed attempt at a photographic perp walk could result in acquittals of all of the students charged in this scandal."
Meanwhile, TCU student Hunter Wallace McLaughlin, 24, turned himself in to Fort Worth police Friday.
McLaughlin's attorney promptly posted $7,500 bond, and he left the Tarrant County jail.
Fort Worth police originally said one person had been arrested "on-sight" during the early-morning drug bust on campus Wednesday. But on Friday, police confirmed that three other TCU students were arrested on suspicion drug possession during the sting.
TCU360.com reported that Cameron Jacob Forgie, 22; Jordan Michael Donaldson, 22; and Eric C. Lodge, 22; were arrested. Police said all three had bonded out of jail as of Friday afternoon.
Fort Worth police say the investigation is not over and there could be more arrests in the case.