SAN ANTONIO – After allowing new prosecutors to review the death of Marquis Jones, who was shot and killed outside a restaurant in 2014 by off-duty San Antonio Police Officer Robert Encina, the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it will not formally reopen the case.
Last September, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales met with Jones’ family, and agreed to allow two veteran prosecutors who had not worked on Jones’ case to conduct a full review. Gonzales said that Jones’ family had also provided additional information into the shooting.
“In consideration of all available evidence, we believe that additional prosecution is not feasible at this time,” prosecutors wrote in the summary of their review.
Christopher Herring, a retired Air Force officer who represents the family, said the shooting was not justified.
In the aftermath of the shooting, a Bexar County grand jury cleared Encina of criminal wrongdoing.
Jones' family sued Encina and the city for damages in federal court, claiming Encina used excessive and unreasonable force and violated Jones' constitutional rights. They also claimed the city investigation was a cover-up and that SAPD’s lack of supervision and discipline led to the incident.
However, a jury later ruled against Jones’ family, claiming Encina didn’t use excessive and unnecessary deadly force.
Encina was working off-duty at Chacho’s on Perrin-Beitel Road on Feb. 28, 2014 when a green Cadillac rear-ended another vehicle in the drive-thru.
Encina testified that when he approached the driver’s side, he saw marijuana and alcohol in the vehicle, and a gun stashed between Jones’ legs as he sat in the front passenger seat.
Encina said he fired eight shots with his service weapon, with one hand, from the opposite side of the vehicle, as Jones ran from him.
Jones was struck once in the back by the gunfire, killing him.
Herring said that Jones was not a threat to Encina and that the officer shot at him several times from 100 feet away while he was “multitasking.” The family has also said Jones was unarmed during the incident.
“There is conflicting evidence on whether Jones had a gun,” prosecutors wrote in their review.
While some witnesses said they saw Jones with a gun, others didn’t.
“The evidence shows that a gun was found in the vicinity of Marquise Jones’ body, and he had a small amount of gunshot residue on one of his hands, but neither his fingerprints nor DNA were found on the gun,” prosecutors wrote.
Ultimately, the prosecutors said their review did not turn up evidence that would prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Encina was not acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Jones.
Read the full review of the case below: