Saint Anthony – A Bexar County jury on Thursday found former Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela guilty of two counts of felony tampering with records.

The jury deliberated for four hours before reaching a decision in a public corruption trial that lasted nearly two weeks.

Barrientes Vela is eligible for probation. He could face a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Barrientes Vela asked Judge Velia Meza to decide his sentence. The court is due to reconvene on September 12 to begin the sentencing phase. Until then, Barrientes Vela will be allowed to remain free.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales thanked the jury for their service and for remaining “focused on this complex case.”

“Their verdict shows that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable,” Gonzales said in a statement. “I would also like to thank our team who have worked tirelessly on this case for more than three years. Our witnesses, from those who worked with ex-cop and Texas Ranger Brad Freeman, also deserve credit for standing with facts and truth from the start.”


Barrientes Vela still faces several charges of official repression in a separate case that has yet to be tried.

The accusation is included in wide indictment January 2020 of Barrientes Vela and his former captain, Marc D. Garciacover up 33 months of turmoil in the office.

The indictment, among other allegations regarding his time in office, alleges Barrientes Vela provided Rodriguez Park’s security treasury records which he knew were fake.

WATCH: Highlights from Day 8 of Michelle Barrientes Vela trial


Here is a condensed version of what happened on Day 8 of Michelle Barrientes Vela’s trial.

During closing arguments Thursday morning, prosecutor Oscar Salinas asked the jury to ignore the “noise” surrounding the high-profile case.

Salinas called the defense arguments an “insult to the intelligence” of the jury.

“The defendant withdrew the records after being given a grand jury summons,” said Salinas, who added that Barrientes Vela then produced false documents and gave them to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.

Defense attorney Jason Goss told the jury that the guilty verdict was the jury telling the public that it was okay to launch this kind of investigation against anyone in the community.

“They set a trap and they got nothing,” Goss said, repeating his comments opening last week’s argument.

LaHood during closing arguments described the state presentation as a “wavy waltz,” as he spoke of the Freeman investigation and reminded the jury that the secret FBI recording device worn by former Precinct 2 officer Susan Tristan yielded no incriminating evidence that was gathered against Barrientes Vela.


“Be careful of the world you help create because you may have to live in it one day,” LaHood told the jury.

During his closing argument, prosecutor Dawn McCraw said Barrientes Vela’s lawyers were critical of him and Freeman because they didn’t want the jury to see the people on trial.

“To belittle Ranger Freeman and I is very insulting,” said McCraw, alluding to his 32 years as a prosecutor.

Barrientes Vela resigned at the end of 2019 after triggering the resigning state law.

A Bexar County jury returned a guilty verdict in a felony felony case with a note against indicted former cop Michelle Barrientes Vela.

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By Blanca

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