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D.A. Mark Gonzalez to remain on Joseph Tejeda homicide case
The family of Breanna Wood is celebrating a small victory Monday after a judge ruled in favor of the Nueces County District Attorney's Office remaining on the case as prosecution, and keeping it in Nueces County.
Briana Whitney, KIII 7:07 PM. CDT May 15, 2017
CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The family of Breanna Wood is celebrating a small victory Monday after a judge ruled in favor of the Nueces County District Attorney's Office remaining on the case as prosecution, and keeping it in Nueces County.
The defense attorney of 26-year-old Joseph Tejeda, the man accused of killing Wood last year, claimed there was a conflict of interest keeping District Attorney Mark Gonzalez on the case, but a judge did not agree.
After 45 minutes of testimony Monday morning, the judge came to a quick decision to deny the defense's motion.
Tejeda was arrested for the murder of Wood, but had also been arrested for an unrelated burglary that happened just weeks before the murder took place in October of 2016. Originally, a lawyer who works for Gonzalez was appointed to Tejeda's burglary case, but since took himself off the case so it did not appear there was any conflict of interest for Gonzalez to be the prosecutor in the Tejeda murder case.
Tejeda's defense attorney argued that because the other lawyer does work for Gonzalez, the DA could not fairly be involved in the murder case without prejudice from the other case his contracted employee was on; but Gonzalez argued he had no knowledge of the prior burglary case nor had he ever met with Tejeda, and the judge agreed.
"I'm happy, happy, happy, and I know Bre's smiling," Breanna's mother Fallon Wood said. "She's a fighter like her mom. I'm very confident in Mark Gonzalez, in our D.A., and I'm super excited he's on it. He's ready. He's ready to fight."
The reason the Wood family calls this a victory is because if the judge had ruled in favor of the defense, the case could have been moved to Austin.
So far, no trial date has been set.
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