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Prosecutor clarifies Benavides verdict
“We believe that the case law was on our side in that we believe it should have gone to the jury,” said Special Prosecutor Jason Garrahan following the June 21 outcome of Adrian Benavides’ trial.
Benavides currently is serving the remainder of his 20-month state jail sentence following his plea of guilty to evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle. Because Benavides, 29, has been in the custody of the Wilson County Jail since his March 14, 2011, arrest, 81st Judicial District Court Judge Donna Rayes gave him credit for time served.
But Benavides won acquittal on his more-serious charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant. Due to erroneous information received by the Wilson County News, it was reported that a jury determined that the prosecution team of Garrahan and Eric Fuchs failed to prove its case when it came to this charge. Garrahan said the jury did not have the opportunity to make this decision.
It was Rayes, he said, who determined that the prosecution did not prove its case. This was after the defense team of Andres Cedillos and Stephen Barrera asked for a “directed verdict,” meaning that the judge -- not the jury -- was left to determine guilt or innocence.
Benavides faced up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if he were found guilty of the assault charge. Both charges stemmed from a March 2011 incident in which he led law-enforcement personnel from three agencies on a vehicular pursuit through Floresville. The chase ended when Benavides exited his vehicle on Sixth Street in Floresville.
Cpl. Stephen Moore of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office met Benavides in the back yard of a home on Sixth Street. The corporal alleged that Benavides pointed a firearm in his direction, which caused him to fire at the suspect, striking him twice.
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