San Antonio

Pct. 2 deputy worked security at Rodriguez Park, was never paid

SAN ANTONIO – A deputy with the Bexar County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office testified Monday that he worked security at Rodriguez Park between eight and ten occasions whereas serving in a reserve capability, and was not compensated.

The revelation got here throughout day 5 of indicted ex-constable Michelle Barrientes Vela’s public corruption trial.

The testimony of Deputy Kelvin O’neil, who worked as a reserve for Precinct 2 in 2018 earlier than being employed full time, was the primary time jurors heard allegations of wrongdoing in opposition to Barrientes Vela on prime of what she’s been criminally indicted for: allegations that she tampered with security fee logs for the West Side park after which handed over false information to legislation enforcement in the summertime of 2019.

Barrientes Vela’s protection attorneys tried to downplay O’neil’s testimony Monday, mentioning that he was already a full-time deputy for Precinct 2 by November 2018 and solely served in a reserve capability for a number of months.

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Defense legal professional Jason Goss additionally acquired O’neil to concede on the stand that he was never formally interviewed by the case’s lead investigator, Texas Ranger Bradley Freeman.

O’neil as an alternative offered info to prosecutor Dawn McCraw, who worked with Freeman as an investigator on this case, his testimony revealed.

WATCH LIVE: Michelle Barrientes Vela public corruption trial

Outside the presence of the jury, prosecutors instructed the court docket that the District Attorney’s Office might have charged Barrientes Vela with an inventory of different misdemeanors, however opted to go together with probably the most severe fees.

Aside from two felony counts of tampering with proof, Barrientes Vela faces three counts of official oppression.

Prosecutors final year dismissed probably the most severe felony cost in opposition to Barrientes Vela: aggravated perjury.

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“We didn’t want to load her up with misdemeanors,” prosecutor Dawn McCraw mentioned.

The Texas Occupations Code, particularly the Private Security Act, severely limits the type of work reserve deputies can carry out.

Prosecutors asserted that Barrientes Vela’s use of reserve deputies to offer security at the park was a violation of state legislation, a Class A misdemeanor, and hinted that gathering money for security after which not paying it out to deputies was motive for falsifying security information from the park.

Again, nevertheless, these discussions passed off with out the jury current.

A trial mired by interruptions late final week moved at a sooner tempo Monday.

The prosecution acquired by way of a flurry of witnesses, together with an assistant district legal professional who spoke about how a grand jury summons works and the county’s human resources director, who testified that reserve deputies usually are not county workers.

The day started with further testimony from former Precinct 2 clerk Susan Tristan, who was showing on the witness stand for the third straight day of trial.

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She testified that she stop her position with Precinct 2 a day after the places of work had been raided after which moved to Seattle, the place she does comparable work for the county there.

Ranger Freeman on Monday afternoon took the stand for the second time.

He testified about how the felony case got here collectively, however like different witnesses, was required to maintain his testimony to the tampering fees and couldn’t contact on civil or further felony allegations in opposition to the previous constable.

Freeman was capable of testify in entrance of the jury that Rodriguez Park security information offered by Barrientes Vela had further entries than these handed over by Tristan.

Freeman confirmed Tristan was a “confidential informant.”

He detailed Tristan carrying an undercover FBI recording gadget throughout a number of days of labor and famous that the informant was required to maintain it on her at all occasions throughout the day.

Former Precinct 2 captain Marc Garcia seems in 226th District Court on Monday. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Former Precinct 2 Captain Marc Garcia, who was formally charged alongside Barrientes Vela in January 2020, made a short court docket look Monday.

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His trial for aggravated perjury is tentatively scheduled to start in late November.

The jury within the Barrientes Vela case was launched for the day round 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The trial is scheduled to renew round 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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