The flowers are blooming, the weather is warming and the courts are bustling.
Since the reopening, many cases have begun to be cleared with arrears assistance.
In the first three weeks, about 400 cases were resolved, but the district attorney’s office said it would still take several years to close the gap.
“According to some estimates, the accumulation of pending cases in the courts may take at least three years until the courts are able to close the gap,” District Attorney Joe Gonzalez said in a statement to KSAT 12.
In those three weeks we have seen many cases that ended in begging and solving a mass murder trial in a cold case from 1987.
As for the continuation of this spring, we can expect more defendants to get their day in court, including that of former police officer Michelle Barientes and her.
She faces sabotage in government records. Dillon Collier will cover this sentence and it will be broadcast live on KSAT.com.
It will surely be an experience you will not want to miss.
Jonathan Johnson – Accused of manslaughter in the shooting death of two and wounded two more in February 2019. His trial is expected to begin April 19th.
Michelle Barientes and her The former Baxer County police officer is accused of disrupting government records and his trial is expected to begin in April 25th.
D’Lani Chairs – Accused of tampering with evidence in her son’s death, Chairs’ trial has been postponed several times. Right now, it’s expected to start April 27th.
Meet Deputy Justice Raoul Perls
Born and raised in San Antonio, Deputy Judge Raoul Perles was recently appointed to the Baxer County Children’s Court.
Pralas is the youngest of seven siblings and a Fox Tech graduate.
After high school, Perls attended UTSA and then the Thurgood Marshall Law School in Houston.
Prior to becoming a judge, Perls had a private practice and then worked in the district attorney’s office as a prosecutor in cases representing the Texas Department of Family and Defense.
In March, he was appointed to assist Judge Charles Montmayre and Judge Kimberly Barley in hearing CPS cases dealing with child abuse, neglect and domestic violence.
“In these cases, I can tell you that there are people who work tirelessly to achieve the common goal of keeping children safe and helping families,” Perls said.
When he’s not in the hall, Perles enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, playing basketball and attending Zumba classes with his wife.
Regarding his desired taco in the morning, he said that nothing meets homemade.
“It must be my mom’s chorizo with beans and chili,” Perls said.
There are often terms used in the courtroom that sound more like legal jargon than natural language. Even after years of court proceedings, sometimes I have to look for words to refresh my memory or make sure I fully understand them. In each newsletter, I include a word or other phrase so that we can build together our knowledge and understanding in the hall.
rumor: Many times you will hear lawyers oppose something that is said by quoting a rumor. It basically means that the witness did not actually hear or see anything in question but only heard or learned about it through a second hand source. It is generally not admissible as evidence in court, but there may be exceptions to the rule.
I have something new working that I am excited to talk about. A real crime podcast is in the works alongside KSAT 12 journalist Lei Waldman. We could both talk for hours about real crime pods and documentaries so it was natural for us to start one.
For the past several years I have been writing stories that look back on crimes as part of crime stories in South Texas. This series will now include the new podcast. It will first appear later this month.
See more details in this newsletter about how you can listen. I look forward to this new way of turning to our viewers who may be interested in true crime stories and want to know about the crimes that happened in San Antonio and the areas around us.
Thanks for reading,
Erika Hernandez, KSAT Court Reporter 12
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