State Attorney's office to meet with mother of PBSO deputy killed more than 6 years ago

Mom wants case reopened after new reports surface

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Next week the Palm Beach County State Attorney's office will be meeting with the mother of a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty more than six years ago.

A spokesperson from the State Attorney's office confirmed that the meeting with reverend Patricia Wallace will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The topic of conversation; will the State Attorney reopen the case involving her son's tragic death?

Last week, the Contact 5 Investigators exclusively obtained two never-before-seen Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office draft reports detailing the deaths of Deputies Donta Manuel and Jonathan Wallace.

The two Pahokee deputies were struck and killed by another deputy while outside their patrol cars trying to stop a car thief in November, 2007.  The two deputies had placed stop sticks in the road to stop the suspect.

The draft reports, obtained by NewsChannel 5 after a brief court battle with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, detail how the sheriff's own lead traffic homicide investigator on the case, Troy Snelgrove, recommended criminal charges be filed against K-9 Corporal Greg Fernandez.  The investigation found he was driving 111 miles per hour when he struck his colleagues that night.

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READ THE REPORTS:

  Investigative report: http://bit.ly/Kn4uNS
Draft vehicle homicide investigation: http://bit.ly/Kn4AFl

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According to the draft reports submitted internally by Investigator Snelgrove, corporal Fernandez that night "drove his vehicle in a willful and wanton reckless manner with disregard for the safety of persons on the roadway, Jonathan Wallace and Donta Manuel, and his passengers Usbaldo Lara and the police canine."  The drafts go on to state, "this reckless driving resulted in the deaths of Jonathan Wallace and Donta Manuel and could have caused the death or serious injury to Usbaldo Lara and the police canine.  Snelgrove concluded that, "the facts support there is sufficient as probable cause to support the following violations of Florida State Statute by Gregorio Fernandez:

Two counts of vehicle homicide in violation of Florida State Statute 782.071 (1) (a).

However, Snelgrove's recommendation to pursue criminal charges never made it to the agency's final report ultimately passed on to then State Attorney Barry Krischer.

Fernandez was never charged with any crime. Nor did he face any internal discipline for his actions that night.

A spokesperson for the State Attorney's office is not talking about this case until after the meeting with Mrs. Wallace.

Meantime, it remains unclear why the lead investigator's recommendations were taken out of the report in the first place.  The Palm Beach County Sheriff's office has yet to respond to questions about these reports.

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