SAN ANTONIO – Sentencing resumed Tuesday afternoon for disgraced ex-constable Michelle Barrientes Vela.
On Monday, a former Precinct 2 deputy accused an attorney for Michelle Barrientes Vela of asking leading questions.
Jason Castanon, who worked under Barrientes Vela in 2019 as her tenure as Bexar County Precinct 2 constable unraveled, was among the Precinct 2 personnel ordered to arrest fellow deputy Leonicio Moreno in late April of that year.
Moreno had filed to run against Barrientes Vela for constable weeks before he was arrested on a perjury warrant filed by the constable’s then-captain, Marc D. Garcia.
Prosecutors dismissed the criminal case against Moreno hours after he was marched in front of media cameras and booked into the Bexar County Jail.
Jail surveillance footage obtained by KSAT Investigates that summer showed Moreno driven into the jail’s sally port and unloaded from the vehicle, before being put back into the vehicle and driven out of the sally port.
Deputies then drove Moreno around for nearly a half-hour before finally taking him into jail to be booked, video time stamps showed.
While under cross-examination Monday, Castanon accused Jasmin Olguin, a student attorney working for the firm representing Barrientes Vela, of asking leading questions about the booking of Moreno.
Olguin, who is expected to join the firm as an associate after getting back the results of her state bar exam, continued the theme of attempting to cast doubt about Moreno’s integrity.
Moreno, the one-time training coordinator for Precinct 2 and a member of Barrientes Vela’s original command staff, was fired in 2018 and then later reinstated.
Moreno had been accused of falsifying training records for him and other members of the agency.
Barrientes Vela’s nearly two-week long trial concluded last month with a jury convicting her of altering security payment logs for Rodriguez Park and knowingly turning over false records to law enforcement after receiving grand jury subpoenas in the summer of 2019.
Barrientes Vela still faces three counts of official oppression related to her treatment of Moreno and a second Precinct 2 deputy, Christopher De la Cerda.
Prosecutors have indicated that they will dismiss those charges at the conclusion of her sentencing hearing for felony tampering.
Garcia, who was indicted alongside the former constable in January 2020, is scheduled to go to trial for aggravated perjury late next month.
The prosecution and defense said Monday they have around 15 witnesses combined still to call to testify.
Judge Velia Meza, who is issuing the punishment in this case, could do so by the end of the week.
Barrientes Vela faces between two years probation and 10 years in prison.