Barrientes Vela public corruption trial pushed to Jan. 2022

Indicted ex-constable, former captain had been scheduled for trial Monday

Michelle Barrientes Vela leaves the Bexar County Justice Center earlier this year. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The public corruption trial of indicted ex-constable Michelle Barrientes Vela has been pushed to late January 2022, Bexar County Court officials confirmed Friday.

The trials of Barrientes Vela and her former Precinct 2 captain, Marc D. Garcia, had been scheduled to begin Monday but were delayed again due to an ongoing trial in 226th District Court.

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Barrientes Vela, who faces felony charges of tampering with evidence and multiple counts of official oppression, remains free on bond nearly two years after she and Garcia were indicted by a Bexar County grand jury.

Barrientes Vela’s most serious charge, felony perjury, was dismissed by prosecutors earlier this year.

Garcia still faces a felony jury of aggravated perjury and multiple counts of official oppression.

Garcia, in all likelihood, will be tried after Barrientes Vela.

Their criminal cases have been delayed because of multiple factors, including the original trial judge recusing himself, COVID-19 court restrictions and a failed attempt earlier this year by Barrientes Vela’s defense team to have the district attorney removed from prosecuting the former constable.

As Barrientes Vela’s public corruption trial looms, another person alleges shakedown at Rodriguez Park

Barrientes Vela vacated office in 2019 before completing her first term.

The indictment claims Barrientes Vela knowingly altered security cash logs in June 2019 after being accused of shaking down a San Antonio family for several hundred dollars on Easter 2019, during a gathering at Rodriguez Park.

Both she and Garcia face the official oppression charges for their alleged treatment and harassment of two fellow Precinct 2 deputies.

County officials earlier this year settled multiple lawsuits filed by the two deputies for a combined $347,000.

About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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