Woman who accused boyfriend of kidnapping now charged with violating protective order

KSAT Investigates exposed flawed BCSO kidnapping case earlier this year

Melanie Hagner booking photo (Bexar County Jail)

SAN ANTONIO – A woman was arrested by San Antonio police Wednesday after investigators determined she snuck inside her ex-boyfriend’s apartment and had previously violated a protective order against her.

Melanie Hagner, 35, was taken into custody by SAPD in the 10400 block of Shaenfield Road.

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A warrant had been issued for her arrest Aug. 10 after investigators said she attempted to contact her ex via cellphone, through text messages and social media and by making blocked caller ID calls.

Hagner and the victim, Juan “Tony” Valdez, called police on one another Wednesday during a disturbance, an SAPD incident report shows.

A protective order in place since February prevents Hagner from having any communication with Valdez, charging paperwork shows.

Police determined that Hagner went inside the victim’s apartment with a spare key and would not let the victim inside the residence “unless they signed some kind of papers,” according to the SAPD incident report.

She was then taken into custody on the outstanding warrant.

Valdez was arrested by Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies last fall after Hagner told investigators he dragged her into his truck after she ran away from him and then hit her, before attempting to break into her home after again dragging her out of the truck.

He was eventually booked on charges of kidnapping, burglary of a habitation by force and family violence.

But KSAT Investigates earlier this year exposed massive flaws in BCSO’s case.

Hagner, a law school student at the time, recited portions of the Texas penal code while a BCSO deputy talked through what charges to possibly file against Valdez, body camera footage shows.

The deputy also continued to tell supervisors that Valdez dragged Hagner, even after two eyewitnesses to the incident told him Valdez had not done so.

The deputy’s supervisors seemed to express skepticism about the level of charges he wanted to file against Valdez.

A supplemental BCSO investigator’s report, written more than two months after Valdez was arrested, revealed that Hagner was the one driving the truck because Valdez hurt his knee while trying to retrieve his phone from her.

The report states that both Hagner and Valdez took part in the disturbance and that an eyewitness claimed Hager could have left but did not.

Bexar County prosecutors rejected all charges against Valdez in April, the same day Valdez and defense attorney Joe Hoelscher interviewed with KSAT about the flawed case.

In a previous written statement released to KSAT, BCSO officials defended their handling of the case against Valdez:

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office takes every domestic violence claim seriously, and will file and pursue appropriate charges in the interest of justice for victims. In this particular case, victim statements, as well as that of a corroborating witness, led to the decision to make an arrest. The BCSO considers this an ongoing case and reserves the right to reopen the case and file other charges if additional evidence comes to light.

Hagner was released from jail Wednesday and is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 2 in County Court 13, court records show.

Hagner’s listed criminal attorney, Kristine Brown, told KSAT via text message Friday:

“I do not have any comments, aside from a reiteration that all criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty. The presumption still stands, despite past media coverage that unfortunately has provided a shallow and frankly, inaccurate synopsis of what is a more complicated situation. I can only hope that should you proceed with coverage of this arrest, that you do so responsibly, without jumping to conclusions that provide the public with more unfortunate misunderstandings of how the law works. A case tried by public opinion is not a case rooted in respect for the constitutional rights of the accused.”

About the Author:

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.