Family of man killed by SAPD officer asks federal judge for new trial

Attorney: Jury did not consider whether shooting was 'objectively reasonable'

SAN ANTONIO – Less than one month after a federal jury sided against the family of a man killed by a San Antonio police officer, a lawyer filed a motion for new trial.

The request was filed Thursday by the lawyer for the family of Marquise Jones.

Jones, 23, was shot in February 2014 in a parking lot near Chacho' and Chalucci's Restaurant off Perrin Beitel Road. Officer Robert Encina was working off-duty as a security officer when a car Jones was in hit another car in the drive-through lane of the restaurant. Jones ran from the scene and Encina said he saw Jones with a gun. Encina said he feared for his life so he shot Jones in the back as he ran.

The 11-page motion said the April 6 jury verdict was "contrary to the great weight of the evidence."

"This case is, and has always been, centered on whether Defendant Robert Encina's actions -- his use of deadly force to shoot and kill Marquise Jones as he was running from the scene -- was objectively reasonable under the circumstances," the document states. "However, the jury never reached that issue. Instead, the jury only answered Question 1 -- a question that centered exclusively on whether Encina used excessive and unnecessary deadly force in violation of Marquise Jones' federal constitutional rights. The (jury) answered 'no' to Question 1 and therefore did not reach the question of whether Encina's conduct was objectively reasonable."

The jury verdict form instructed the jury foreperson to proceed to the second question if the jury answered "yes." It instructs the foreperson if the answer is "no," to sign the verdict form and inform the verdict.

Attorneys for Encina and the city of San Antonio have not filed a response to the request for a new trial. A hearing on the issue has not been set.