Trials Trifecta: Three murder cases unfold simultaneously in Bexar County courtrooms

James Stewart, Jiovanni Benjamin and Christoper Bustos all face up to life in prison if found guilty

SAN ANTONIO – It’s been a while since several murder trials took place at the same time at the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center, but it’s happening this week.

Currently, James Stewart is on trial in the 399th District Court, Jiovanni Benjamin is on trial in the 186th and Christopher Bustos is on trial in the 227th.

Stewart’s trial got underway on Monday.

Stewart is charged with the shooting death of his wife Tiffany Washington, 25, in April 2020.

According to testimony, Washington and Stewart were arguing over cellphones when Washington grabbed a knife and Stewart grabbed a shotgun, which he claims accidentally went off.

The entire incident took place in front of their 2-month-old baby.

Closing arguments in this case are expected on Thursday.

In the case against Benjamin, he is accused of shooting two men at a South Side apartment complex, killing one of them.

The shooting happened at the Pecan Valley Golf Club Apartments in Sept. 2020.

Currently, the state is still presenting evidence in this case.

The third trial — Bustos’ murder trial — just got underway on Wednesday.

Bustos is accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend’s friend, 36-year-old Gumesindo Gonzales.

While the defense didn’t provide opening statements, the state said there were multiple witnesses and forensic evidence to prove Bustos was guilty.

These three trials are expected to go on throughout the rest of this week and possibly into next week.

All three men are facing up to 5 to 99 years or life in prison if found guilty.


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.

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