Sentencing resumes for felon ex-constable Barrientes Vela

Former elected official faces between two years probation and 10 years in prison

Michelle Barrientes Vela trial (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Sentencing resumed Monday afternoon for disgraced ex-constable Michelle Barrientes Vela, weeks after a Bexar County jury took less than four hours to convict her on two counts of felony tampering with records.

The first portion of sentencing in the public corruption case took place in mid-September, before being paused several weeks due to scheduling conflicts.

The one-time Bexar County Precinct 2 constable faces between two years probation and 10 years in prison.

She has elected to be punished by Judge Velia Meza, who could formally issue her ruling later this week.

Prosecutors, who already utilized a line-up of current and former Precinct 2 deputies to testify about Barrientes Vela’s tumultuous 33 months in office, could call upwards of 20 additional witnesses.

Barrientes Vela’s nearly two-week long trial concluded with a jury convicting her of altering security payment logs for Rodriguez Park and knowingly turning over false records to law enforcement after receiving grand jury subpoenas in the summer of 2019.

Barrientes Vela still faces three counts of official oppression related to her treatment of two Precinct 2 deputies who worked under her.

Prosecutors have indicated that they will dismiss those charges at the conclusion of her sentencing hearing for felony tampering.

Barrientes Vela’s former captain, Marc D. Garcia, who was indicted alongside the former constable in January 2020, is scheduled to go to trial for aggravated perjury late next month.

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About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.