AMARILLO, TX - It's been six months since an Amarillo Police Officer died from complications from a car wreck that happened while on duty.
The man who crashed into officer Justin Scherlen's patrol car is now formally charged with a crime in that case.
35 year old Brian Moody is charged with intoxication assault on a Peace Officer and Aggravated Assault with Serious Bodily Injury.
But It could take up to a year before Moody ever goes to trial.
Last August the APD community buried one of their own.
Nearly a year after Officer Justin Scherlen's life and car were turned upside down.
"He spent two weeks in a coma, he spent two months in the hospital after that. He came home and he was, different surgeries, he had nine surgeries in 11 months. Some of those were infections, some of those were replacing hardware. He was on several different medications for several different reasons," said Jessica Scherlen, Ofc. Justin Scherlen's Widow-Yesterday.
That wreck happened early in the morning in Southwest Amarillo.
Police say Brian Moody crossed the center turning lane hitting Officer Scherlen's patrol car.
Officer Scherlen suffered multiple injuries to his hips, legs, and back.
When Moody was identified as the driver a day after the crash, he was not charged with any criminal offense, until Thursday.
"The Traffic Investigation Sergeant has been in contact with Mr. Moody since very early on obviously.
He contacted Mr. Moody by phone yesterday and asked him to surrender himself. Mr. Moody surrendered himself at the Randall County Sheriff's Office," said Sgt. Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department.
The case is now in the hands of the Randall County District Attorney.
And although Moody was charged with intoxication assault, alcohol was not found in his system.
"we believe there were substances in moody's system at the time of the collision that affected the normal use of his mental and physical faculties. And because he didn't have the normal use of those faculties the collision occurred causing injuries to officer Scher Len," said James Farren, Criminal District Attorney-Randall County.
The charge against Moody in both counts is a second-degree felony.
And it's punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
Sergeant Barbee tells us complex investigations like this one take time. Which is why these charges are being filed now, nearly two years after the wreck.
Farren says for a felony case in Randall County, nine months to a year is usually the average amount of time it takes for a case to work it's way to the top of the docket, in the court system.
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