DA Nico La Hood angry over accusations of 'official oppression'

LaHood insists that he did not hide evidence from accused killer's defense team

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SAN ANTONIO – The trial of Miguel Martinez, 29, who is accused in the drug related murder of Laura Carter, came to an abrupt end just two days after it began last February.

His lawyers claimed that prosecutors failed to disclose that a prosecutor, not involved in the case, had a sexual encounter with a prosecution witness and did not share that information with them.

A mistrial was declared and in a meeting in the judge’s chambers between attorneys on both sides District Attorney Nico La Hood defended his position.

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“I was passionately defending two prosecutors in this office who did absolutely nothing wrong,” La Hood said.

Defense attorney Joe Gonzalez claimed that during that meeting La Hood threatened to “shut down his law practice.”

“There was absolutely no threat,” La Hood said.

But the trial judge, who was also in that meeting, testified during a subsequent hearing that there were threats that she said could be viewed as official oppression.

Asked whether he would pursue charges, Gonzalez said, “We are certainly going to avail ourselves of whatever remedies we have at our disposal.”

RELATED: Judge testifies DA Nico LaHood threatened defense attorney

The DA wants a new trial for Martinez.  Gonzalez said that would amount to double jeopardy.

“The defense is using tricks to try to get a killer back on our streets,” La Hood said.

A visiting judge who presided over that hearing will decide next week whether Martinez is granted a new trial.

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About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.