JOURDANTON, Texas – A 34-year-old man convicted of fatally shooting a San Antonio police officer had a childhood that included "a high dose of traumatic events and experiences," a psychologist testified Monday at the defendant's punishment phase of his capital murder trial.
Dr. Cathleen Porterfield, a clinical psychologist, testified that the defendant, Shawn Puente, "suffered extensive and traumatic experiences during his childhood as he witnessed and experienced physical and mental abuse."
Porterfield told jurors that Puente and his mother were repeatedly abused by the defendant's stepfather, which the psychologist said, "led to impairments in functions and emotions."
On cross examination, Porterfield, a defense witness, said, "He (Puente) had chances to change, but chose not to."
Porterfield said that her evaluation of Puente's past ended when he was 18 years old.
Puente, 34, was found guilty last week in the slaying of San Antonio police Officer Robert "Bobby" Deckard in December 2013.
Deckard was shot to death during a high-speed chase from San Antonio into Atascosa County.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.