Co-defendant gives chilling account of deadly dope deal

Michael Aguilar says he saw Charles Robnett fire gun during marijuana buy

A man on trial for capital murder opened fire during a marijuana buy, a witness for the prosecution testified Tuesday.

SAN ANTONIO – A group of teenagers' plans to steal $50 worth of marijuana took a deadly turn the night of Oct. 16, 2017, in northeast Bexar County.

According to Michael Aguilar, who was among the group, the group met with Gary Barnhardt on a dark street to buy the marijuana.

But Aguilar said the group, including Charles Robnett, were not planning to buy the pot -- they were going to steal it.

Aguilar testified Tuesday during Robnett's trial on capital murder charges.

Aguilar said that Barnhardt was sitting in his car and passed the marijuana to Aguilar, who was standing outside the car.

"I get the weed and I pretend to look through my pocket for the money, and I take a step back and, uh, I kinda look at it. And I look at Charlie, and then Charlie pulls out his gun," Aguilar testified.

What Robnett did next worried Aguilar.

"He just like kinda started flashing it around, and that's when I turned and we were supposed to run off, so I'm walking away picking up my pace," Aguilar said.

Aguilar said that's when the shooting started.

"I started hearing gunshots, and I kinda jumped up. And I looked back, and I seen him firing the gun," Aguilar testified.

Aguilar said another teen in the group, Emmanuel Herrera, also fired several shots into Barnhardt's car.

Herrera is also charged with capital murder and is awaiting trial.

Robnett and Herrera are facing life in prison without the possibility of parole is they're convicted on a capital murder charge.

In exchange for his testimony, charges against Aguilar have been reduced to aggravated robbery and a prison term of no more than 10 years.

Testimony in Robnett’s trial will resume Wednesday in Judge Frank Castro’s 399th District Court.

About the Authors:

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

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.