BROWNSVILLE — The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office is considering re-indicting the father of San Benito City Commissioner Carol Lynn Sanchez’s children, accused of shooting at her father, because prosecutors have been unable to meet with the alleged victim, a court document states.
The document filed in 107th state District Court states prosecutors have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Cusberto Sanchez, the alleged victim.
On Feb. 11, state District Judge Benjamin Euresti pushed back David Lee Hernandez’s trial from Feb. 17 to April 27 after prosecutors “were unable to meet with the victim in this case,” Assistant District Attorney Arturo Villarreal wrote in his request for the trial’s postponement.
Carol Lynn Sanchez has “influenced” her father Cusberto Sanchez to “remain uncooperative,” Villarreal wrote in his request.
“The state respectfully asks that this matter be continued so that additional efforts to meet the victim can be made,” Villarreal wrote.
Carol Lynn Sanchez, an attorney, declined comment on Friday.
Villarreal’s motion for continuance is signed and file stamped Feb. 12, 2020, in the Cameron County District Clerk’s office.
Euresti’s order granting the motion is signed and dated Feb. 19.
In his request, Villarreal stated a crime victim advocate was unable to contact Cusberto Sanchez following telephone calls Dec. 2 and Jan. 3 while investigator Eugene De Leon “made several attempts to make contact with the victim to no avail” between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6
On Jan. 7, De Leon made a phone call, reaching Cusberto Sanchez, Villarreal wrote.
“When investigator De Leon identified himself, Mr. Sanchez ended the call,” Villarreal wrote. “Investigator De Leon called again but no answer. Investigator De Leon left a voicemail message and left a business card in the mail box. Mr. Sanchez has not contacted our office.”
In his request, Villarreal states Carol Lynn Sanchez “hindered the indictment process.”
“It is of note that Carol Sanchez, an officer of the court, was present at the victim’s home when the defendant fired the weapon at the victim, her father,” Villarreal wrote. “The evidence will show that she was present and that she saw the defendant fire the weapon, however she has been uncooperative with the state from the beginning of the investigation and in being so hindered the indictment process.”
Villarreal stated prosecutors subpoenaed Carol Lynn Sanchez to testify in the case.
“The state ultimately chose to issue a grand jury subpoena to have her testify before the grand jury in order that we could proceed properly with the indictment process,” Villarreal wrote. “It is our belief that Carol Sanchez continues to impede the process, influencing the victim, her father, to remain uncooperative.”
Villarreal states prosecutors are considering dismissing the case in order to re-indict Hernandez.
“It may be necessary for the state to dismiss this case if the victim continues to remain ensconced, discommoding the trial process,” Villarreal wrote. “The state will then evaluate our options and re-indict the case, if necessary.”
In January, Euresti pushed back the trial, originally set for Jan. 21, to Feb. 17 after Villarreal requested the court give defense attorney Nat Perez more time to review state evidence gathered during the case’s discovery phase.
Hernandez, 33, of San Benito, is charged with threatening Cusberto Sanchez “with imminent bodily injury by shooting at (the) victim” July 7 in the case in which he faces a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon, a second-degree felony filed under the Family Code as aggravated assault date/ family/house w/ weapon.
The indictment handed down Nov. 20 also charges Hernandez with deadly conduct in discharging a firearm, a third-degree felony; and possession of a firearm by a felon, a third-degree felony.
The case stems from a July 7 incident in which San Benito police accused Hernandez of firing a Taurus semi-automatic pistol at Cusberto Sanchez, apparently narrowly missing his face, at the family home in San Benito, according to the indictment and a detective’s affidavit.
In the affidavit, Detective Manuel Alvarez identifies Sanchez’s father as SC, Hernandez’s father in- law.
According to the affidavit, SC said Hernandez was drunk when he fired the Taurus pistol at him after he refused to let his son-in-law drive his car.
“When SC refused to allow him to leave in the vehicle, David pulled a pistol from his waist area and readied the pistol by pulling back the slide and loading a bullet,” the affidavit states. “He then pointed the pistol at him and fired the pistol.”
According to the affidavit, Hernandez came close to shooting SC in the face.
“SC told me that he could feel the hot air of the burning gases pushing against his face as the bullet passed by his face,” Alvarez wrote in the affidavit. “He could feel the gunpowder hit his face.”
When he heard police sirens, Hernandez ran toward the back of the house, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, officers, who could not find Hernandez, recovered a loaded pistol and a spare loaded magazine behind a concrete block used to support the house.
On July 9, officers used a warrant to arrest Hernandez.