Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence was ordered to appear in court on May 21, concerning a question of mishandling of evidence for the capital murder trial of Javier Vega Jr., an off-duty border patrol agent.
During today’s evidentiary hearing, Spence was questioned by the defense of Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval, one of the suspects accused of killing Vega Jr.
Attorneys Nat Perez and Adolfo Padilla, called for a mistrial last week, upon learning that the evidence for the case was not properly secured in an evidence locker as it should have been, but in the office of Daniel Solis, who was later demoted for mishandling of evidence.
“We took steps to secure that area, we sealed that office, we put basically a crime tape around the doors and everything and signs with ‘do not enter’,” Spence said.
Solis, who also was called to the stand, said evidence was brought to the office in 2017, and was properly secured.
Defense asked if he could assure the jury that no one went into his office while he wasn’t around and mishandled evidence, Solis answered: “No.”
Three other officials from Willacy County were questioned in court, including Assistant District Attorney and Prosecutor for the trial, Charles Mattingly.
However, Judge Migdalia Lopez ultimately ruled that she did not see anything that needed to be disclosed.
The defense called for a mistrial for the second time, which was denied again denied by the judge.