‘Every juror cried, broke down’: Juror shares why her life is forever changed after murder trial

Jury sentenced San Antonio mother to life in prison for murder of her four-year-old daughter

For just over three weeks, 12 jurors and four alternate jurors heard the horrific details in the trial of Jessica Briones.

SAN ANTONIO – For just over three weeks, 12 jurors and four alternate jurors heard the horrific details in the trial of Jessica Briones.

Briones is now serving a life sentence for the death of her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia.

The jurors were tasked not only with hearing but seeing the numerous injuries the child endured.

“It was one of the hardest moments ever to sit through,” juror Shamika McDonald said.

McDonald was one of the jurors that found Briones guilty of murder and sentenced her to life in prison.

Briones, in 2017, took her unresponsive daughter to an SAPD substation. A day later, Olivia died from numerous injuries throughout her body.

McDonald spoke with KSAT 12 about how this experience affected her and all the other jurors.

“We became family,” McDonald said. “We were each other’s support in the midst of everything. We leaned on each other through that whole case.”

The hardest part for many in and out of that jury box was the days Olivia’s autopsy photos were shown.

“Every juror cried, broke down and then, you know, tried to regroup ourself to come back in was the hardest because we knew we had to take more photos after that,” McDonald said.

Those photos, McDonald said, were what made it clear to her what the verdict should be.

McDonald said she and all the jurors now have a bond and hope to keep Olivia’s memory alive.

“She has 16 jurors who care deeply about her,” McDonald said. “I’m just glad that we got justice for Olivia.”

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 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 South Texas Crime Stories.

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