Murder defendant seen running from burning car, witness testifies

Nathan Knowles charged in shooting death of Michael Berlanga

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SAN ANTONIO – A witness for the prosecution testified Wednesday that he saw a murder defendant running from a burning car.

Prosecutors said the burning car was an attempt by Nathan Knowles to destroy evidence minutes after he shot Michael Berlanga six blocks away outside a West Side convenience store.

Miguel Garcia testified he saw the burning car in front of his home and Knowles running from it.

"He was walking toward, up the alley, and, like I say, I saw the back," Garcia said.

One of Knowles' defense lawyers asked Garcia if he saw the murder defendant's face.

"So, completely, I didn't see his face all the way. Like I say, everything that night happened so fast," Garcia said.

Prosecutors said the burning car was registered to Knowles' girlfriend at the time. She has arson charges pending against her, prosecutors said.

Knowles was arrested three weeks after the shooting.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday in the 437th District Court.

About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.