Baby caught in custody battle between maternal grandmother and father who is charged with murder

Child’s mother accidentally shot and killed by police during hostage situation last summer

SAN ANTONIO – A man who is in jail facing a murder charge for the death of his common-law wife is now fighting for custody of their 11-month old child from behind bars.

The child’s mother, Neida Tijerina, was accidentally shot and killed by San Antonio Police during a hostage situation with her common-law husband Angel Sanchez in July 2021.

Sanchez was later indicted on a murder charge for causing Neida Tijerina’s death and is currently in the Bexar County Jail.

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Since the incident, Neida Tijerina’s mother, Maria Tijerina has been caring for her four grandchildren, including the baby fathered by Sanchez.

But now, Sanchez is asking for a joint managing conservatorship with his sister, which means if a judge rules in his favor his sister would have custody of the child while he’s in jail.

“I don’t want them anywhere else, with other people they shouldn’t be with,” Tijerina said. “If they were to separate them, I wouldn’t be able to bear it.”

Attorneys for Tijerina say that this situation is something they shouldn’t be going through considering Sanchez is behind bars and had a lengthy criminal record even before he was charged with murder.

“Thoughts of why they do it are not altruistic and they are not in the best interest of the child,” Tijerina’s attorney Desi Martinez said. “We still have to go through the process and we shouldn’t have to be going through this.”

A judge could rule in several different ways including one that could give Tijerina split custody with Sanchez and his sister.

“Is it possible that he gets conservatorship, probably not, but it is possible that he gets to see his child sometime in the future,” attorney Maribel Cruz said.

Tijerina says she is trying to remain positive and hoping her grandchild can remain all together with her.

“My grandkids are my entire life and I just want what’s best for them,” Tijerina said.

KSAT 12 has reached out to Sanchez’s attorney for comment on this case but has not heard back.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 4.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 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 and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.