What to know about the trial of Otis McKane, accused of murdering SAPD Det. Benjamin Marconi

Trial begins on July 12; KSAT will have daily updates

SAN ANTONIOProgramming note: Watch a KSAT video on demand preview of the trial of Otis McKane, who is accused of murdering SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi, in the video player above.

Bexar County’s first death penalty case in years is about to get underway.

Five years after SAPD Det. Benjamin Marconi’s slaying, Otis McKane will stand trial for capital murder beginning July 12.

KSAT 12 has covered the case extensively since the day Marconi was shot, including the hunt for a suspect and McKane’s arrest, Marconi’s funeral, the investigation and the hearings leading up to the trial.

Now, KSAT will be covering every day of this trial with coverage of the proceedings and daily online recaps. To follow along with the trial, sign up for our “Open Court” Newsletter by submitting your email below.

Background

On the morning of Nov. 20, 2016, Marconi was sitting in his patrol car outside SAPD Public Safety Headquarters writing a ticket when someone in a black car pulled up behind him. The driver walked up to the police unit and shot Marconi twice in the head as he sat in the driver’s seat.

A massive manhunt ensued and a tip led police to arrest Otis McKane 30 hours later.

It was later revealed that the morning after the shooting, McKane walked into the Bexar County Courthouse and was married as police searched for him.

Security footage showed him entering the courthouse, where he obtained the marriage license.

Soon after McKane was arrested, he told reporters that he lashed out because of a custody dispute with his son. Later, in an interview with KSAT reporter Katrina Webber, McKane said his comments regarding the shooting were misconstrued and refused to talk about Marconi or the case.

The trial for McKane was expected to begin in March 2020 but during jury selection, the pandemic forced all in-person hearings to be put on hold.

After a delay of more than a year, the trial will start on July 12 in the 379th District Court, presided by Judge Ron Rangel.

The prosecution team consists of lawyers Mario Del Prado, Jessica Schulze, and Tamara Strauch.

The defense team consists of lawyers Raymond Fuchs, Joel Perez and Daniel De La Garza.

This is the first death penalty case to take place in Bexar County in more than five years.

In Texas, there are several different crimes that are punishable by death. Capital offenses include the murder of a public safety officer, judge or prison guard; intentional murder carried out while committing another felony such as robbery or sexual assault or attempted escape from jail; mass murder and serial killings; murder of a child under 15 and others.

Watch a video about the case with footage from some of KSAT’s coverage below:

Otis McKane is accused of killing Detective Benjamin Marconi in 2016. As he awaits his fate in the Bexar County Jail, Paul Venema recaps the events that led up to his trial which is still on the hold due to COVID-19.
Otis McKane is accused of killing Detective Benjamin Marconi in 2016. As he awaits his fate in the Bexar County Jail, Paul Venema recaps the events that led up to his trial which is still on the hold due to COVID-19.

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Catch up on past stories in the McKane case:


About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.