HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — The trial for former Hutto police officer Gregory Parris began Tuesday at the Williamson County Justice Center.

A grand jury indicted Parris in 2019 on charges stemming from a May 2018 arrest of a man named Jeremy Rogers at a home in Hutto. Parris is charged with official oppression and assault causing bodily injury.

The police department says someone called 911 saying someone was smoking marijuana and funneling the exhaust out of a garage. According to our previous coverage of this story, Parris had Rogers pinned against a truck in his friend’s driveway “within 30 seconds of walking upon the man.”

Former Hutto Police Officer Gregory Parris was indicted on two high-level misdemeanor counts related to the May 31, 2018 arrest of Jeremy Rogers. (Credit: Williamson County Government)

Parris was placed on administrative leave while under indictment but was laid off in March 2020 as the city made cuts during the pandemic.

Tuesday’s trial was set to start at 9 a.m., but opening statements did not get underway until after 2 p.m. because the prosecution and defense issued several objections over which witnesses could testify and how much of the police body camera video could be presented to the jury.

The defense deferred its opening statements, so we have not heard arguments from Parris’ attorneys yet – but Parris himself did state during the proceeding that he is “not guilty.”

Prosecutors argued that Rogers was on private property when the incident happened and that there was no probable cause for Parris to detain him.

“Before an officer can search an individual, they need probable cause to believe they’re carrying something illegal. The evidence will show that no such probable cause existed,” said Williamson County Special Prosecutor Julian Ramirez.

We were not permitted to film witnesses, but the first witness called was Hutto police officer Jamie Alcocer, who was with Parris the night of May 31, 2018. She stated that Rogers did not say anything indicating he had a weapon. She also testified that both she and Parris smelled marijuana on Rogers’ clothing, and she found that grounds for “reasonable suspicion” because they were called to the area about a narcotics complaint. She also mentioned that Rogers had an “offender” identification card in his wallet, indicating he had been in trouble with the law before.

Rogers was initially charged with public intoxication, felony assault on an officer and resisting arrest. Prosecutors dismissed those charges one month later.

In August 2020, Rogers and the City of Hutto agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit.

The lawsuit cost the city $225,000. The suit states Rogers suffered a closed head wound and had to have his right ear sewn up at the hospital.

“Neither the City of Hutto nor Gregory Richard Parris ever expressed a desire to settle this lawsuit. Both Mr. Parris and the City have denied that they are liable to Mr. Rogers for any of his alleged claims, and the settlement signed by Mr. Rogers expressly disclaims any admission of liability by any defendant,” Archie Carl Pierce, the city’s attorney in the civil suit, wrote to KXAN shortly after the settlement.

May 2018 mugshot of Jeremy Rogers.

The incident was recorded on Hutto Police Department body cameras – Parris’ as well as one belonging to Alcocer. Alcocer is still employed with the police department as an evidence/crime scene officer, according to the city’s website.

Alcocer was named in the civil lawsuit but was not charged with any crimes. Her body camera video captured the wide shots of the interaction between Parris and Rogers.

KXAN’s Brianna Hollis was inside the courtroom Tuesday. Follow her Twitter account for more details on this case.