Judges divided on extension of jury trial moratorium in Bexar County
SAN ANTONIO – The moratorium on jury trials ordered in March over concerns about the spreading of COVID-19 will end on Dec. 31. The decision on whether to extend the moratorium is up to Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel. “We know that we are in a current surge of COVID cases.”Jury service resumption in Bexar County gets closer lookSeveral judges in the criminal, civil and misdemeanor courts at the Bexar County Courthouse are anxious to begin conducting in person jury trials. “I believe that we should consider resuming jury trials on a case-by-case basis,” County Court 11 Judge Tommy Stolhandske said. Stolhandske also noted that Harris and Kendall counties have already resumed in-person jury trials.
San Antonio native says he’s proud to be part of promising COVID-19 vaccine trial
SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio native says he is proud to be a part of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial to help others in the community. The pharmaceutical company announced Monday that its vaccine has a 94.5% efficacy rate against the virus. Researchers conducting the Moderna trial in the San Antonio area say the pharmaceutical company’s recent results show promise. The Moderna vaccine still needs to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. With the pandemic raging throughout the country, Denham said the most vulnerable populations -- such as the elderly, first responders and other essential workers -- could begin to receive the Moderna vaccine or one like it by early 2021.
San Antonio research center begins COVID-19 patient trial for anticoagulant drug Xarelto
SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Allergy & Asthma Medical Professionals (STAAMP) research center is offering thousands of patients the brand name anticoagulant drug Xarelto for free to those with a positive COVID-19 test, mild to moderate symptoms and an underlying risk factor for the virus. The Bill and Melinda Gates Research Institute made the Xarelto trial possible. Dr. Gonzalez said COVID-19 positive patients with an underlying medical condition that puts them at high risk should call STAAMP at 210-980-7711 or visit staampallergy.com. The underlying medical conditions can include asthma, respiratory diseases, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. STAAMP Research is one of six centers nationwide chosen for the trial.
Texas Supreme Court order OKs virtual jury trials
SAN ANTONIO – In the Texas Supreme Court’s most recent order addressing jury trials during the pandemic, it said virtual civil court jury trials can be conducted starting Oct. 1. “Courts can compel attorneys for both sides, whether they agree or not, to have a virtual jury trial,” Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel said, referring to the order Monday. He said that he questions virtual trials, period. In his order, which he is drafting this week, Rangel said he has moved the date for virtual jury trials in Bexar County to begin on Nov. 1. Rangel plans to present his local order to the judges, as well as Regional Administrative Judge Sid Harle by week’s end.
Woman gets 6-year prison sentence in DWI wreck that killed man, injured 4
SAN ANTONIO – A woman convicted of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault charges has been sentenced to six years in prison. A Bexar County jury sentenced Rosalinda Olalde, who caused a DWI crash that killed a man, on Friday after several hours of deliberation. Witnesses describe emotional damage left by fatal DWI wreckOn Aug. 10, 2018, Olalde was driving drunk and crashed broadside into a car, killing 22-year-old Mario Velasquez-Palau. “Everything changed, my parents will never be the same,” said Valerie Velasquez-Palau while sobbing on the witness stand. “Losing somebody who was that close, it’s really like losing a brother.”
Witnesses describe emotional damage left by fatal DWI wreck
During closing arguments in the punishment phase of Olalde's trial, prosecutors asked the jury to sentence her to “the high end” of the punishment range. (Original Story)The damage caused by a fatal DWI crash the night of Aug. 10, 2018, went far beyond the twisted wreckage of the vehicles involved. Emotional scars left from the wreck were clearly visible Thursday during the punishment phase of Rosalinda Olalde’s trial. Olalde, 24, was found guilty Wednesday of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. He was everything to us.”Jury finds woman accused in intoxication manslaughter case guilty after deliberating for seven hoursFour passengers in Velasquez-Palau’s car were critically injured, including Guendy Murrillo, who also testified.
Woman tells of frightening late-night encounter with accused ‘Medical Center rapist'
“I saw this male all of a sudden pop up out of the big bush that was there,” Kimberly Perez testified. Perez’s description of the man who startled her matched the one given by the rape victim. The victim’s description combined with video from a nearby gas station and DNA evidence led to Harris’ arrest. Harris was 17 years old and had just graduated from Marshall High School when he was arrested. The victim of the rape for which Harris is on trial is expected to testify when the trial resumes.
Jury hears emotional account from victim of alleged ‘Medical Center rapist’
SAN ANTONIO – An emotional account recorded on a police officer's body camera of a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted was played for the jury Wednesday as the trial of the alleged "Medical Center rapist" began. Alleged Medical Center rapist claimed innocence after accepting plea deal, judge saysThe woman said that her attacker fled on foot following the incident. The woman's neighbor, Crystal Montez, testified that she heard the victim's scream for help. Montez testified. “She goes, ‘Please, I was raped,’” Montez testified.
Jury selection begins in trial of murder suspect
SAN ANTONIO – A man arrested in connection with a murder will soon have his day in court. Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of Henry Adame, who was arrested in February 2019. Adame is charged with murder in connection with the death of 32-year-old Rudy Berlanga. According to arrest documents, Berlanga and Adame got into a confrontation at a home in the 800 block of Fitch Street. The couple left the home and later returned to find the victim dead in the living room.
Jury selection begins in ‘Medical Center rapist’ case after plea deal struck down by judge
SAN ANTONIO – Jury selection began Tuesday in the case of the so-called Medical Center rapist. Anton Harris is accused of terrorizing the Medical Center area for about two years and committing five sexual assaults. Alleged Medical Center rapist claimed innocence after accepting plea deal, judge says[HI1]Last August, Harris pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault as part of a plea deal. But Judge Frank Castro rejected the plea deal, sending the case to trial. Harris is now facing the possibility of life in prison on each charge instead of the 40-year sentence he would have gotten from the plea deal.
20-year-old man found guilty in fatal shooting during drug deal
SAN ANTONIO – A jury on Wednesday found a 20-year-old man guilty of killing a man during a marijuana deal. Charles Robnett is charged with capital murder in the October 2017 fatal shooting of Gary Barnhardt, 20. Trial testimony revealed that Robnett and two other men were supposed to meet Barnhardt and Albert Ramirez, 20, during the drug deal. Drug dealer testifies as capital murder trial beginsAt some point, Robnett opened fire, killing Barnhardt and wounding Ramirez. Two other defendants, Michael Aguilar, 18, and Emmanuel Herrera, 18, are awaiting trial.
Man found guilty in intoxication manslaughter trial
SAN ANTONIO – A jury on Friday found a 29-year-old man guilty of driving drunk and at speeds of more than 100 mph when he crashed his car into a woman's vehicle, killing her. “There’s proof in the evidence that, in fact, he may not be (at) fault of this accident,” defense attorney Raymond Martinez said. "She said that she saw Ms. Martinez turn into oncoming traffic," Raymond Martinez said. The defendant’s blood alcohol level was at 0.18, which is more than twice the legal limit, trial testimony revealed. The punishment phase of the trial is set to resume Tuesday in Judge Jennifer Pena's 290th District Court.