Mother outraged, BCSO investigators surprised by murder case dismissal

Sheriff's investigators got no indication case wasn't sufficient for prosecution

SAN ANTONIO – A case against a man indicted for killing his wife in what Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar called a "particularly vicious" murder was dismissed Friday at the request of the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. 

John Andrew Garza was indicted for the slaying of Kylie Warren, who was fatally shot Oct. 23, 2016, in the kitchen of a home in the 8100 block of Chestnut Barr. 

The dismissal of the case left Warren's family in disbelief.

"Absolute outrage," said Cherin Ehlke, Warren's mother. "I'm at a loss for words, actually."

Ehlke said she got word of the dismissal from the DA's Office days before it became official in court, which prompted her to contact Bexar County Sheriff's investigators, who she said indicated they were unaware of the situation. 

"That conversation was a conversation of shock," she said. "The detective could not believe it was dismissed."

Salazar said it appeared there were no problems with the case.

"What we were told was that our detective did quite an outstanding job getting our case to that point," he said.

Salazar said his department received no indication from the DA's Office that the case wasn't sufficient for prosecution.

Detectives met with prosecutors the day before the case was dismissed.

"Typically, there are forms that they are able to communicate to us letting us know that there are things missing from a case file, there's more work needed here or there," Salazar said. "My understanding is that none of that came in."

When asked for comment about what appeared to be a lack of communication about the case, the DA's Office responded with a written statement that read, "This case has been dismissed for further investigation. There is an ongoing investigation, and we continue to work with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in a desire to bring justice to the family of Kylie Warren."

According to BCSO officials, Warren was the victim of repeated family violence and stalking. She also had a protective order against Garza.

Salazar said Friday the person of interest in the domestic violence case is the same person of interest in  Warren's murder case. 

Garza's attorney, Joe Ponce, said Friday that while he doesn't know what may come down the road, he supports the decision by the DA's Office to dismiss the case.

"The decision that that office made was the right decision, because what they did was serve out the interest of justice," Ponce said. 

Cody Warren, the victim's brother, an Army veteran who was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, said he has hope that the person responsible for his sister's slaying will be brought to justice, but the dismissal of the case left him distrustful of the justice system. 

"Now I get to see firsthand what I was fighting for," he said. "I regret every single day of the year I was over there fighting for people like this -- fighting for people to just push my sister aside like she's nothing."

But Cody Warren said he sees a light at the end of the tunnel -- no matter how long that tunnel might be. 

"I'd follow my mom to hell and back. I'd do anything for her," Warren said. "And if that's what it takes, that's what it takes."

"I will go as far as it takes me," Ehlke said. "I don't care if I'm sitting on the steps of the Austin Capitol building. I will continue fighting until justice is served."

Salazar said his department will continue its investigation. 

"There may be some witnesses out there that may know more than they're letting on. And we consider that those witnesses -- their lives may be in danger by nature of what they know," Salazar said. "And I think their safest route is to tell us what they know about it."

Investigators believe Warren was killed around 2 a.m., about the time a black Suburban was caught on surveillance cameras driving in the area, Salazar said.

"There is a certain personal element in the way this murder was done," Salazar said. "I won't go into all the details on it, but there is a certain personal element that, even as a seasoned investigator -- a seasoned peace officer myself, it brings chills."

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP (7867) or the BCSO Homicide Unit at 210-335-6070.

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