SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — New body camera video shared with KXAN shows a San Marcos Police Officer admitting he wasn’t paying attention when he hit and killed a woman in June 2020.
Sgt. Ryan Hartman was off-duty when he hit and killed Jennifer Miller. Miller’s life partner, Pam Watts, was also in the car with her but survived. Watts’ attorney released the footage, obtained by a public information request, to KXAN.
Now, Watts is still fighting for additional accountability after Hartman spent a few months on paid administrative leave while the San Marcos Police Department said it investigated the matter.
The Lockhart Police Department was the responding agency, and recommended negligent homicide charges.
Officers found an open container of Dos Equis beer in Hartman’s truck, but a blood draw obtained by search warrant later on the day of the crash showed Hartman’s blood alcohol content was within legal limits to drive.
Because of a conflict of interest, the case was passed from the Caldwell County District Attorney to the Bastrop County DA, Bryan Goertz.
Goertz told KXAN he presented a distracted driving case to a grand jury, but did not say what evidence he chose to present. The grand jury chose not to send the case to trial.
With newly released body cam video showing Hartman admitting, “I caused the death of somebody by me not paying attention,” Watts and others are questioning what evidence was presented.
Watts and a group of supporters marched to San Marcos City Hall on Wednesday, demanding answers as to when exactly an internal investigation was completed by the San Marcos Police Department.
KXAN has reached out to the City of San Marcos for clarification, but have not heard back yet. We’ve also asked Hartman’s attorney for an interview or comment, but also have not received a response.
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