Luis Arroyo sentenced to 99 years in prison for jail escape

Arroyo escaped from Bexar County Jail in March 2018

SAN ANTONIO – A jury on Friday sentenced a 41-year-old man to 99 years in prison for making a bold escape from the Bexar County Jail.

Luis Arroyo, who was found guilty Wednesday, could have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Defendants convicted of jail escape usually are sentenced to 10 years in prison but, because of Arroyo's extensive criminal history, the jury could consider a lengthier penalty.

At the time of the escape, Arroyo was in jail on capital murder charges awaiting trial, which eventually ended in a mistrial.

Some of the state's evidence in the capital murder case was presented to the jury Thursday during the punishment phase of the trial on the escape charge.

During closing arguments on Friday, Arroyo's attorney, Joel Perez, took exception to the prosecutors' move.

"They took their best shot at Tony in the capital case, and they weren't able to convict him," Perez told the jury. "You want him to get punished for the capital, then let 12 people listen to all of the evidence."

Perez claimed that evidence critical to Arroyo's defense was omitted.

Prosecutors argued that Arroyo's extensive criminal history --  including the capital murder case -- merited a life sentence.

"You now need to speak out loud and clear to this defendant, to Bexar County and to all of our law enforcement that his action, his behavior, deserves nothing less than life," prosecutor Lorina Rummel told the jury.

Rummel noted that the 99-year sentence is equivalent to life in prison.

The trial on the escape charge may not be the last court appearance for Arroyo.

His capital murder case is still pending.

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