Judge orders 2 prison inmates freed during remote hearing

Evidence against John Cape, Louie Garcia in 2017 arrest was 'planted’ by informant, judge says

Two San Antonio men who had served almost two years in prison on drug charges were ordered released on bond Thursday by 226th District Court Judge Velia Meza.

SAN ANTONIO – Two San Antonio men who had served almost two years in prison on drug charges were ordered released on bond Thursday by 226th District Court Judge Velia Meza.

John Cape, 49, and Louie Garcia, 48, were arrested Aug. 10, 2017, on drug charges and were sentenced to eight and 10 years in prison in 2018.

But during the remote hearing, Meza explained that it had been discovered by the Bexar County District Attorney’s office that an informant had “planted” evidence that led to the pair’s conviction.

“This is certainly an exceptional situation," Meza said. “What’s going to happen is, I’m going to release you today on a bond. A very low bond," Meza said.

The judge set bond at $1,000, meaning the men will have to post $100 to be freed. The men said that their families are willing to post bond.

Meza said that a recent gubernatorial order prevented her from releasing the men on a public recognizance bond.

The case will be reviewed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which will rule whether to agree with Meza and formally dismiss the case.


About the Authors:

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

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.