Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kleberg County, TX -- Guadalupe Guerrero Convicted of Burglary of a Habitation

Kleberg County, TX -- The trial of Guadalupe Guerrero culminated this week in the105th District Court. The District Attorney, John Hubert, said that Guadalupe Guerrero was charged with Burglary of a Habitation with Intent to Commit or with Commission of an Assault, a Second Degree Felony. The jury deliberated for almost 4 hours and came back with a Guilty verdict. The Defendant withdrew his request for the jury to assess punishment.

By withdrawing his request for the jury to assess punishment, the Defendant was able to come to an agreement with the state regarding punishment only. Both sides agreed on 10 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice but that the sentence should be suspended and that the Defendant would be placed on probation for 10 years and a $1,000 fine. No days in jail were assessed by the Judge since the defendant was arrested on a warrant out of Nueces County on a conviction in that county of Resisting Arrest.

This case revolved around a 911 call to the Kingsville Police on March 16, 2008 after 2:00 am in the morning. In the tape the victim was heard to say that someone was breaking into her apartment, then a statement that he was breaking in, a male voice, then the word “STOP” and the recording terminates. The police responded within minutes. They saw an open door, a broken frame, and hear cries for help from the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom they testified that they saw the Defendant on top of the Victim with the Victim face down on the bed. Both officers testified that they saw the Defendant reach up and push the Victim’s head into a pillow, muffling her cries. The officers took control of the scene, arresting the Defendant. The officers stated that the Victim was very scared but immediately stated that she did not want to file charges. At trial she stated that was still her intent and that she had made up with the Defendant, who was a past boyfriend.

District Attorney Hubert, who tried the case, said the jury had a difficult time convicting the Defendant. "This was a typical crime of domestic violence where the Victim did not want to proceed forward with the case. But the evidence was substantial against the Defendant. In the end, it was apparent to the jury that the Victim was trying to cover for her ex-boyfriend and the truth was that she was assaulted.” Hubert also praised the jurors for their hard work. “The jury considered all of the evidence and looked at it from every angle. In the end, the jury sent a strong message to victims of domestic abuse that Kleberg County does care about you. It also sent a message to the offenders that the law enforcement won’t just ignore crimes of violence.”

The Defendant will remain in custody pending his return to Nueces County to serve his remaining jail time on the Resisting Arrest conviction.

Other Analysis from the Trial

In this case the Victim filed 3 affidavits of non-prosecution stating that she would not show up for Court. However, the Victim continually stated to the DA that the assault had happened. Additionally, there was evidence from a 911 tape, photos from the scene, and officer testimony of what they saw. During trial she both agreed that it happened and then recanted the story. The jury was unconvinced of her recantation.

"We worked hard to get the Victim to the trial so the Defense could ask her questions. But, she didn’t want to be there and made it very difficult for us to try the case," said Hubert. "The 6th Amendment guarantees the right of a Defendant to face his accuser, even one who is reluctant to be there."

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