Testimony in capital murder trial reveals lack of evidence by SAPD

Jimmy Tran accused of 2019 robbery, murder of Andres Salinas

SAN ANTONIO – Defense attorneys in a capital murder trial pressed an SAPD detective about the lack of evidence in the case and the destruction of a potential weapon during testimony on Friday.

Jimmy Tran is on trial for the 2019 robbery and murder of Andres Salinas outside Wing Stop on the Northeast Side.

Salinas was allegedly trying to sell Tran and co-defendant Sebastian Espinar drugs when they are accused of robbing and fatally shooting him.

During cross-examination of an SAPD evidence unit detective, the defense asked if when searching the vehicle that Tran allegedly drove during the crime if they checked for gunshot residue, fingerprints or DNA.

Detective John Hilliard said he didn’t do that because he wasn’t asked to do so by lead detectives on the case.

Hilliard said what he did recover was a knife from the car.

When defense attorney Joseph Hoelscher asked why the knife wasn’t presented as evidence, Hilliard said it was destroyed by SAPD.

Several times during cross-examination the defense requested a mistrial but each time 186th District Court Judge Kristina Escalona denied the request.

The trial will continue into next week with testimony continuing on Monday.

Defense attorneys told KSAT 12 that as of right now they don’t anticipate putting Tran on the stand.

If found guilty of capital murder, Tran faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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 Texas Crime Stories.

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