Expert witness: Marquise Jones shooting investigation appeared to be a cover-up

Testimony continues in lawsuit against city, SAPD officer who shot Jones

SAN ANTONIO – A former Austin police detective testified Wednesday that the investigation following Marquise Jones' shooting death appeared to be a cover-up

Jerry Staton appeared on the stand on behalf of Jones' family in their federal lawsuit against the city of San Antonio and the officer who fired the fatal shot at Chacho's on Perrin Beitel in 2014. The family claims the 23-year-old's civil rights were violated and is seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages in their wrongful death suit.

Staton testified he had reviewed the investigation and that there were mistakes in the scene diagram, an eyewitness was allowed to leave the scene with his vehicle and a gun apparently wasn't tested for fingerprints until two years later.

The former detective said he also concluded off-duty San Antonio police Officer Robert Encina used excessive force and was not justified in shooting Jones after a minor accident at Chacho's.

Encina's lawyer appeared to push back over whether or not his client had reason to shoot and seemed to call into question whether Staton's report was complete.

Staton also called the department's previous discipline of the officer into question.

There was a 2010 incident at Mama Margie's, which, according to the original complaint, included an intoxicated Encina insulting customers and employees and resulted in a 45-day suspension for Encina. Staton said Encina was able to serve it by forfeiting vacation and holidays, which he called "a slap on the wrist."

Regarding the shooting of Jones, the jury also heard testimony and a recorded deposition from two Chacho's employees. Both women said they did not see Jones with a gun.

Carol Shedrick, who took the stand Wednesday, said she was working the drive through that night. Shedrick said she saw beer bottles in the car and smelled marijuana or something similar.

Shedrick said she saw Encina and the driver have a confrontation. Jones moved around in the car before getting out and running away, she said.

Jones was past the front of the car when Encina fired, she recalled. While Shedrick didn’t see a gun in Jones' hand, she did not knew if had one on him.

Staton said in his testimony that a revolver was found about 20 to 25 feet away from Jones' body. However, it was not immediately tested for fingerprints. A test in 2016 did not turn up any positive fingerprints.

The jury also heard from Dr. Samantha Evans, the forensic pathologist from the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office who conducted Jones' autopsy.

Evans said Jones was shot in the mid-left back, and the bullet made a partial exit wound near his right collarbone.

The toxicology report showed Jones had been recently drinking and had used cocaine within a half hour of his death, she said. Evans said she did not test for marijuana because the chemicals can stay in the body for months and would not accurately show if someone had been using it close to their death.

The family's law team mentioned bringing Chief William McManus in as a witness, but it was not clear when that might happen.


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About the Author

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

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