Sheriff testifies in drunk driving trial

Sheriff Pamerleau: 'Deputy was just doing her job'

SAN ANTONIO – On her way to work as a jail guard on the night of Dec. 15, 2013, Bexar County Deputy Sheriff Candice Rodriguez stopped to assist a stranded motorist. As she waited in her car for help to arrive she was struck from behind by an SUV driven by Rodrigo Picon-Garcia.

Picon-Garcia, 31, was drunk. His blood-alcohol level two hours after the crash was one-and-a-half times the legal limit. When the trial began Wednesday, he entered a plea of not guilty to charges of intoxication assault of a public servant.

Rodriguez, who was critically injured, was praised by Sheriff Susan Pamerleau during the trial on Thursday.

"I would have been concerned if she had not stopped and given aid," Pamerleau testified. "She had a duty to stop and help because she had seen someone who was in distress and needed help."

Rodriguez suffered a severed spinal cord and broken leg and needed extended medical care and physical rehabilitation. She was later awarded the Governor's Texas Star Award and is now back at work as a deputy sheriff.

"What I saw in Candice Rodriguez is the absolute embodiment of our core values and what I expect of a deputy sheriff," Pamerleau testified.

If he is found guilty, Picon-Garcia is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Testimony will continue on Friday in Judge Ray Olivarri's 399th Distsrict Court.

About the Author: