Bexar County DA Gonzales says prosecutors have cut indictment backlog by 11 percent

Gonzales said he planned to cut backlog by one-third by May

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County District Attorney said the backlog of yet-to-be-indicted felony cases has been cut by 11 percent.

Joe Gonzales updated Bexar County commissioners on the progress made by the “High Risk Intake Team” on Tuesday.

The team was created in November 2023 after a spate of summer shootings of five SAPD officers in which the suspects had criminal histories.

Gonzales and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus sparred over who was to blame.

“There was a concern among many of us about areas where we could improve criminal justice,” Gonzales said.

Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced they would bring law enforcement and prosecutors together to discuss solutions. Gonzales said this is one of them.

Bexar County commissioners agreed to allow Gonzales to spend $295,000 in unused funding for six vacant positions to pay prosecutors who volunteer for extra work preparing cases for a grand jury. The so-called “High Risk Intake Team” would focus on violent crimes, repeat offenders and cases specifically highlighted by police or prosecutors.

“We’ve assigned veteran prosecutors to the more serious cases, the ones involving violent crime,” Gonzales said.

He said 45 prosecutors volunteered to do extra work to prepare cases for a grand jury.

“Those 45 prosecutors have now spent in about two and a half months, close to 900 hours, 895 hours, reducing the backlog,” said Gonzales.

When the team was launched in November, Gonzales told commissioners the plan was temporary and would be revisited by May 2024.

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.

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