Judge reduces Mexican Mafia member's bond from $1M to $440K
Defense attorney claims Gabriel Moreno's high bond 'retaliatory'
SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: Gabriel Moreno's bond was lowered from $1 million to $440,000 on Tuesday, but he remains in jail.
Gabriel Moreno, 37, was found not guilty in December in a high-profile murder case in which the victim was dismembered and his limbs burned in a backyard barbecue grill.
During his trial, a sharp weapon made by prisoners called a shank was found in his cell.
Moreno, a Mexican Mafia "associate," was charged with having a weapon in a jail and was released on $40,000 bail posted by his fiancee Marciella Leija.
While out on bond, he was accused in three new cases, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond in the combined new cases totaled $1 million.
The victim in the assault case was Leija.
During a bond reduction hearing Monday, Leija was questioned by prosecutor Tamara Strauch about the assault in which Moreno allegedly aimed a gun at her during an argument.
"What was this man saying to you as he held the revolver close to your face?" Strauch asked.
"Something to the effect that, 'I should just kill you,' or, 'I should shoot you,' something like that," Leija said.
Prior to the hearing, Moreno's lawyer, William Davidson, suggested that his client's high bail was the result of the not guilty verdict in the murder case.
"The DA, we believe, has been retaliatory in issuing the huge bonds for the new cases," Davidson said.
The hearing will resume Tuesday before Magistrate Judge Andrew Carruthers.
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