Video of corrupt Balcones Heights officer's murder shown in trial

Texas Mexican Mafia members charged in Julian Pesina's murder

SAN ANTONIO – It took almost three and a half years for the case to get to trial, but it took only seconds for two gunmen to ambush and murder a corrupt Balcones Heights police officer in May 2014.

Jurors watched video of the shooting Wednesday in the federal trial of Alfredo "Freddy Low" Cardona and Jesse "Jay" Santibanez in connection with the murder of Officer Julian Pesina. Two different angles show two people running from around the corner of a tattoo and piercing shop Pesina co-owned to blast him with numerous shots from a shotgun and a handgun.

Prosecutors said Pesina, who had been dealing drugs and claiming to be a Texas Mexican Mafia "carnal," was lured out to pay over "the dime," which is a street tax the Texas Mexican Mafia extorts from dealers. In reality, he was being set up.

The shop's security cameras and a surveillance camera the FBI had planted nearby as part of a corruption investigation involving Pesina caught the shooting.

A little after 10 o'clock, a white car pulled up in front of the shop in the 1200 block of Babcock Road before the pair of gunmen come out from the other direction.

FBI Special Agent Martin Martinez testified the one with the shotgun, who prosecutors said was Cardona, looked proficient, blasting off five shells in a matter of seconds to deadly effect.

In the FBI surveillance video, the two shooters can be seen running toward the car, but the video skips and does not capture them getting in. 

Prosecutors said the man behind the wheel was Jerry Idrogo, a sergeant in the Texas Mexican Mafia who has already pleaded guilty in Pesina's murder.

Idrogo will be back in court Thursday, though this time, it will be to take the stand against Cardona and Santibanez.

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.