State: Documents show motive; Elizondo trial begins Monday - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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State: Documents show motive; Elizondo trial begins Monday

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:30 pm

Things got heated in the Cameron County Courthouse on Thursday between a state prosecutor and defense attorney for former Brownsville Fire Chief Carlos Elizondo about whether or not documents about illegal routing should be admitted in the trial.

Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Arturo Teniente added reports that he said show the motive for the computer security breach allegedly committed by Elizondo.

Teniente said the documents were accessed illegally by Elizondo when he was on leave from the fire department and he did it to prepare a defense in the case he was indicted for.

Elizondo faces six counts of computer security breach that pertain to allegations he accessed the Brownsville Fire Department Emergency Reporting System while suspended by the city. He did not have the consent of the City of Brownsville to access the reporting system.

“In a nutshell, Mr. Elizondo is being charged with illegally accessing some reports. Those reports were accessed for a specific purpose, and that purpose being the motive in this case. There are many reasons, but one of the reasons was to prepare a defense for illegally routing ambulance calls to Intercity (ambulance,)” Teniente said. “Basically the defense wants to keep that out, because if they keep that out then the jury is going to be left with ‘oh, he’s accessing these reports but there’s no reason for it’ the reason why the defense wants the motive of the case. (These) reports are directly related to the Intercity case and basically that’s the reason why he accessed them … that’s the motive.”

Teniente said the documents should be admitted because they show the motive and that he’s allowed to bring in the evidence of motive.

“What I seek to introduce is the evidence to prove the motive,” Teniente said. “I’m allowed to bring the evidence of motive.”

Defense Attorney Eddie Lucio said the documents are irrelevant to the case and that they would be prejudicial to his client, therefore they shouldn’t be admitted. Lucio said he has not received the reports and that if the reports were admitted, it would be “a trial within a trial” with documents the prosecutor has had for years about the illegal routing.

“The issue is the issue of routing, where is all this stuff about illegal routing? He has never ever mentioned an issue of routing as part of this case until 13 days before trial,” Lucio said. “We’re going to be doing a trial within a trial with documents that they apparently have had for years and 13 days before trial they introduce this issue. I asked them for the documents today and he still hasn’t given them to me. He’s got routing reports and I’ve never seen these.”

Lucio said he would like to know how the illegal routing was determined; if there was an investigation, reports or graphs. He said Teniente should be more specific about routing and say the exact dates otherwise it would be prejudicial for his client because he would not be able to defend him.

“I want to know what specific routing they’re referring to, give me some dates,” Lucio said. “Don’t just say generally routing. When did it start, give me the dates. He’s just saying generally routing and then I can’t defend it and that’s not fair to my client, that’s prejudicial.”

Judge Benjamin Euresti Jr., of the 107th state District Court, ordered Teniente to hand in the reports to Lucio by 5 p.m. Thursday.

The trial will start Monday with jury selection. Opening statements and presentment of evidence will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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