San Antonio

Sentencing underway for convicted ex-constable Barrientes Vela

SAN ANTONIO – Sentencing started Monday morning for Michelle Barrientes Vela lower than two weeks after a jury convicted her on two felony costs of tampering with authorities data.

Barrientes Vela, 48, who has elected for Judge Velia Meza to resolve her punishment as a substitute of the jury, faces as much as 10 years in jail.

Prosecutors, nonetheless, have mentioned “realistically” the previous Bexar County Precinct 2 constable is probably going taking a look at being sentenced to probation since Barrientes Vela has no earlier prison historical past.

A jury on Sept. 1 took lower than 4 hours to convict Barrientes Vela of tampering with safety cost logs from Rodriguez Park after which handing over false logs to regulation enforcement after receiving a grand jury summons for data in the summertime of 2019.


Michelle Barrientes Vela (middle) listens to the responsible verdict being learn in 226th District Court on Sept. 1. (KSAT)

The prison investigation stemmed from accusations that Barrientes Vela, whereas in full uniform, had shaken down a person for a whole bunch of {dollars} whereas he rented a pavilion on the park on Easter 2019.

Barrientes Vela’s former clerk, Susan Tristan, testified throughout the practically two-week lengthy trial that Barrientes Vela had instructed her to fill in new data on the park’s money logs.

Tristan described the calls for for data as “too much” and the work as “messy,” stating that the method was interfering along with her different duties.

Tristan testified {that a} important period of time that summer season was spent altering and compiling these data.

The lead investigator within the case, Texas Ranger Bradley Freeman, testified that data handed over by an lawyer for Barrientes Vela didn’t match data supplied by Tristan, who had develop into a witness for the state.


Texas Rangers and FBI brokers raided Barrientes Vela’s county places of work in September 2019. She was indicted by a Bexar County grand jury alongside her former captain, Marc D. Garcia, months later in January 2020.

Prosecutors final year dismissed essentially the most severe public corruption cost in opposition to Barrientes Vela: aggravated perjury.

What occurs to the official oppression costs?

Barrientes Vela, who was first taken to trial on the felony tampering costs, additionally faces three counts of official oppression.

Prosecutor Dawn McCraw mentioned the state intends to show up these costs as a part of sentencing this week.

“Once we accomplish the sentencing we will dismiss those cases,” mentioned McCraw.

Those costs embrace accusations that the then-constable subjected one among her deputies, Leonicio Moreno, to being wrongfully arrested in April 2019 after he filed to run in opposition to her for constable.


She can be accused of subjecting Moreno and a second Precinct 2 deputy, Christopher De La Cerda, to harassment and retaliation and making a hostile work atmosphere for them.

The county final year settled a number of lawsuits filed by the 2 deputies about their remedy at work for a mixed $347,000.

Prosecutors haven’t mentioned if Moreno or De La Cerda will likely be known as to testify throughout sentencing, though each names appeared on the state’s witness record throughout jury choice.

Both the prosecution and protection had been barred from citing the official oppression allegations throughout Barrientes Vela’s tampering trial.

Meza practically declared a mistrial late final month after Freeman mentioned on the witness stand that he believed Barrientes Vela had dedicated official oppression.


The decide ordered Freeman to attend a “show cause” listening to at a later date to find out whether or not he must be held in contempt of court docket.

The sentencing of Barrientes Vela is predicted to final two days.

Read extra protection on Michelle Barrientes Vela.

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