AP NEWS

Jury to hear closing arguments in trial over Bellaire police officer’s death

March 7, 2019

A jury is set to hear closing arguments Thursday afternoon in a trial resulting from the death of a Bellaire police officer who crashed at the end of a pursuit in 2016.

Dante Moore, 30, is standing trial the charge of evading arrest, causing death. He was behind the wheel when he led Bellaire Officer Anthony Marco Zarate on a chase through the Meyerland area in July 2016, police said.

Prosecutors allege that Moore’s evasion directly caused the 52-year-old motorcycle officer’s death. Defense attorney Danny Easterling said that Moore is responsible for fleeing, but not the death itself.

Easterling poked holes in Bellaire Police Department’s chase policy during the trial, questioning whether Zarate was allowed to continue chasing Moore past a certain period of time. Prosecutors disagreed with Easterling on his interpretation that motorcycle chases can’t exceed three minutes, and denied that the pursuit even lasted that long.

Other testimony focused on whether a lengthy chase was proper since there were reports one of the two suspects was armed with a boxcutter. Moore and his twin brother were the subject of the pursuit after an alleged shoplifting incident at the Target in Meyerland Plaza.

Zarate took off after the duo, and lost control of his motorcycle in the 8500 block of Ferris. He slammed into the trailer of a landscaping crew and was rushed to the hospital where he died.

Moore surrendered to authorities a day after the wreck. He faces 2 to 20 years of confinement if he is convicted of the evasion offense, prosecutors said.