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Puente trial enters punishment phase

Christelle Troell

Staff Writer

An Atascosa County jury found Shawn Ruiz Puente, 34, guilty of capital murder late Wednesday, March 21st, in the shooting death of San Antonio police officer Robert “Bobby” Deckard during a high speed chase through Atascosa County the night of Dec. 7, 2013.

Puente and his co-defendant, Jenevieve Ramos, 28, were suspects in an armed robbery that took place in San Antonio.

The trial then entered the punishment phase on Thursday, with the state and defense waiving opening arguments. Puente could receive life in prison without parole or the death sentence.

The first witness, Sgt. Martinez with the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Department, was asked by Defense Attorney Gary Taylor if persons are combative when in withdrawal.

Sgt. Martinez described conditions and procedures and reported that Puente has always been in a separation cell, had tried to escape and had hurt another officer. When he is transported, two officers are required, he stated.

The state then called Roland Treviño, a peace officer with the DA’s Office. The jury was asked to leave while he was on the stand. Defense Attorney Gary Taylor confirmed the officer had full access to case information all four years.

Treviño stated he was aware of the pre-trial hearings but no one discussed it with him.

Attorney Taylor stated that since the officer had access to the witness, his testimony would be limited to his work with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

District Judge Donna Rayes called a brief recess. Court reconvened at 10:15 a.m. Rebecca Herrera, who was previously married to Puente, was called to the stand.

Herrera, who had children of her own, married Puente in 2010 after a short courtship. She then detailed many incidents of violence that occurred after their marriage.

“After we got married, he changed,” she stated. She recounted several incidents of violence against her. She stated the police took photos of her various injuries. She stated he had made threats against her and she sought a Protective Order. The jury was shown police department photos of her various injuries. After three years of marriage, she filed for divorce.

The state then called Juan Hernandez, a SAPD officer for 32 years who is now retired. He recounted an incident on Dec 27, 1998 when Shawn’s vehicle was clocked at 93 mph. When stopped, the driver, Puente, fled on foot. He had no valid driver’s license and empty beer cans were found in the vehicle.

At the police station he was read his rights and given a breathalizer test. He was booked on DWI and arrested as he had seven active warrants. He was 17 years old at the time.

Attorney Taylor asked if the officer knew of any programs on the West Side of San Antonio for kids who get off track. The officer replied he didn’t know of any.

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