Gun possession case tied to 2018 police shooting of teen underway

Police say Snowden had gun, which caused officer to shoot Roundtree


SAN ANTONIO – The memory of Charles Roundtree Jr., 18, and the police bullet that killed him loomed large over the 399th Criminal District Court on Monday.

"There's no way around it. You're going to hear something about that," Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Evan Patterson told jurors.

But it was another gun that was at the center of the trial — the one prosecutors say Davante Snowden had on him on Oct. 17, 2018, when San Antonio Police Officer Steve Casanova came to the door of a near Northwest Side home.

Prosecutors say Snowden reached for a gun, which caused Casanova to open fire.

Casanova hit Snowden in the back and Roundtree, who was also in the home, in the chest, said Snowden's attorney, Alex Washington.

Police said Snowden had a prior felony conviction and was out on bond for a previous felony possession charge. So he is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Delivering their opening statements, both the prosecution and defense attorneys told jurors that the body camera footage of the incident would play an important role. However, they had very different interpretations of what it would show.

"You're going to see him (Snowden) reaching for something. You're going to see him reaching for a firearm," Patterson said.

"You're going to see his (Casanova's) eyes lie to you because you're not going to see a gun, and that's the state's case," Washington told jurors.

A 9 mm handgun was found outside of a bedroom window of the home, prosecutors said, and a matching magazine was found inside the bedroom. The ammunition inside the gun matched that inside the magazine, too.

Snowden's lawyer said his client's prints or DNA, however, weren't on either the gun or magazine.

"Davante has always said that he never had a weapon. The witnesses in the home said he didn't have a weapon, but I believe that the police department had to say something to cover up the shooting that took place at (the home)," Washington told KSAT prior to the opening statements.

A grand jury decided last week not to indict Casanova in the shooting. However, he is still named in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court by Roundtree's family.

Casanova is expected to testify during Snowden's trial.

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