The family of a man killed in one of Austin, Texas’ most infamous shootings blasted the local district attorney for putting the case on the “back burner” because it didn’t fit his progressive agenda.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, is letting the nearly two-year case languish and is instead prioritizing cases that fit a political agenda, said Nick Kantor, whose brother, Doug, was killed in gang crossfire on June 12, 2021, that left more than a dozen innocent bystanders wounded.
Doug Kantor, then 25 and working for Ford Motor Co., was visiting Austin from Michigan to celebrate earning his master’s degree with friends when two rival gangs of teenagers from Killeen, Texas, opened fire on each other in the city’s packed Sixth Street entertainment and nightlife hub.
Doug Kantor, a New York native who had just bought a new home and was set to marry his high school sweetheart, was killed in the shooting and 13 other innocent bystanders were injured in the hail of bullets from both gangs that became the largest mass casualty incident in Austin in about a decade.
Nick Kantor told Fox News Digital that the case has sat on the “back burner” and “there’s an actual murderer who stands to potentially walk away if this case is in the wrong hands, which it very well may be.”
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Garza has pulled multiple prosecutors off Kantor’s case in order to focus on other cases, including the prosecution of Army Sgt. Daniel Perry, who is facing a murder charge for shooting a Black Lives Matter rioter who pointed a gun at him, Nick Kantor said, who added that Garza then appointed a prosecutor with little experience in Austin courtrooms to the case shortly before the trial was set to begin.
“Throwing anyone on a case of this magnitude a month and a half before the date of trial is just reckless,” he said, adding that he flew out to Texas last month to meet the new prosecutor and that Garza did not attend the meeting.
“That just kind of goes to show you where he really sits in this,” Kantor said.
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“Considering this case is a mass shooting in the heart of downtown Austin, there’s been a lot of courthouse talk about why the DA isn’t making this case a priority,” Doug O’Connell, Kantor’s Austin-based attorney, told Fox News Digital. “I was surprised when the DA took his most experienced trial lawyers off the case.”
Additionally, Kantor believes the case against suspected shooter De’Ondre White, who was 19 at the time of the incident, has not been handled properly. Garza has created “wiggle room” for White by not seeking charges against the several gang members who were at the scene with illegal guns, which could have potentially compelled them to testify against White in exchange for lesser charges and strengthen the case, the grieving brother of the victim said.
“He’s doing things that are clearly causing distress on the trial and on the overall outcome of the case and for getting justice for my brother,” Kantor said.
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Kantor said Garza doesn’t seem particularly interested in seeking justice for his brother, which is a sentiment that other families of crime victims in Travis County have also expressed to Fox News Digital.
“He hasn’t been on a Zoom call with me in six months because I think he’s just tired of me laying into him,” Kantor said. “He’s not anywhere near as available as he led us to believe.”
Kantor told Fox News Digital that a friend of his brother’s who was at the scene of the crime wasn’t contacted by Garza’s office until very recently.
“They’re not interested in this at all,” Kantor said.
Kantor also said that White’s trial was supposed to begin in March but was pushed back to May because Garza’s office failed to provide all the necessary discovery documents to the defense team in time. Kantor explained that the delay was a “massive inconvenience’’ to his working-class New York-based family who had booked flights, hotel rooms and requested time off work in order to be in Texas for the trial.
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“They totally dropped the ball,” Kantor said, adding that the failure to adhere to the necessary timeline was another “slap in the face” to the family.
Kantor told Fox News Digital that he is concerned the person who killed his brother will get off easy and not face justice, which is a concern shared by a retired Austin police officer, Dennis Farris.
“This one should have already gone to trial,” said Farris, president of the Austin Retired Officers Association. “There’s no reason why two years later this case hasn’t gone to trial. It’s open and shut. They’ve got eyewitnesses. They’ve got the person who did it. You have to wonder what’s going on at the DA’s office. Is it because they’re just simply incompetent? Or is it because Jose Garza really wants to let this kid, because of his age, off and doesn’t want to do anything to him?”
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Garza, who took office in 2021 after running on a platform of prosecuting police officers and “re-imagining” policing, has been accused by critics of being soft on crime – a criticism faced by other Soros-backed progressive prosecutors across the country.
Austin Police Officer Justin Berry, one of 19 Austin police officers Garza ended up indicting for his response to a Black Lives Matter riot, told Fox News Digital that Austin elected a district attorney who is either “incompetent” or “derelict in his duties.”
“Time and time again, Jose Garza has shown he works more for the perpetrators of crime than he does with their victims,” Berry said. “This is easily seen with the DA dismissing serious felony weapons charges against several other individuals that are involved in the death of Mr. Kantor and the mass shooting that led to the injuries of 13 others, forever changing their lives, especially Jessica Ramirez, a mother of five who was paralyzed after being shot.”
Kantor, who told Fox News Digital last year that Garza has been fighting the family’s wishes “every step of the way” after the person accused of instigating the gang fight was released without bail before trial, suggested that his brother’s case isn’t a priority because it doesn’t fit into the agenda Garza ran on.
“This case did not fit their narrative blaming police officers or making this about race,” Kantor said. “The way we feel is this is just not something that they want to entertain, and we’re forcing them to entertain it, so they’re reluctantly going through the process.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Garza’s office said that “our hearts continue to break for the Kantor family and our focus continues to be to support them.”
“This case remains a high priority for our office, and we continue to do everything possible to ensure justice is served,” the statement said.
“In this case, the District Attorney’s Office received new evidence from law enforcement prior to the start of the trial, and as a result, defense counsel was entitled to a continuance. This case is now set for trial on May 1, 2023, and our office looks forward to pursuing justice for the Kantor family and our community at that time.”