Bexar County district attorney writes letter to crime victims urging patience as jury trials resume

‘This is going to be a slow process,’ District Attorney Joe Gonzales says in letter

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – If you’re a victim of crime in Bexar County and hoping that the defendant will be tried in court quickly, that will not be the case, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said Monday.

“Please know that this is going to be a slow process,” Gonzales said in a letter that will be mailed to crime victims.

Gonzales sent out the letter as in-person jury trials get set to resume on June 1 for the first time since they were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales joins the KSAT Q&A on Monday to discuss how his office plans to get back to work and attack a 35,000 case backlog.

The letter said there are 35,000 criminal cases awaiting trial and that new trials will be heard about every two weeks for each of the 44 Bexar County courts. The judge will have discretion which cases will be heard, but typically the judge will choose cases by age and severity of the crime.

Gonzales said most cases will be reset and that crime victims need to keep their address and phone number up to the date with the DA’s office.

In an email to the media, Gonzales said the resumption of trials “does not mean business as usual. We are all eager to get back into the courtroom, but we know it will be a while before we can resume the pace we had prior to the COVID-19 shut down. Please keep in mind that this is just the beginning of our court system returning to normal. Your health and safety are our priorities.”

You can read the letter that will be sent to crime victims below:

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About the Author:

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.