Just a day after two men were arrested for threatening witnesses involved in a high profile murder case, the suspects attorney is accusing the Aransas Pass police of doing the same thing.
Steve Fischer, the attorney of Lawrence Mireles, who was charged for the fatal shooting of 16-year old Jenna Hernandez in 2012, said police strong-armed witnesses in order to get statements from them.
"We have DVD-Roms of threatening, 'You're going to go to jail if you don't tell us this,'" Fischer said. "That's one thing. We have a letter from a witness who said they were going to take away her baby."
Fischer said those threats came from the Aransas Pass Police Department, who was in charge of investigating the murder of Hernandez.
"This isn't a World Series. Not a Super Bowl, where one side has to do everything they can to win," Fischer said. "It's about justice. A fair investigation."
Fischer said Aransas Pass police officers intimidated witnesses who he said will no longer respond to his calls.
Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard responded to the accusations.
"One thing people need to understand, the jury will soon hear the facts in that case, and see the videos that my officers recorded in interviews, and they will be the judge," Blanchard said. "And for anyone to speak out publicly right now, it would be inappropriate to justice, that will have to step in and make a decision."
The attorney's accusations come just days after two more arrests were made in the case. Investigators said 20-year old Joshua Davis and 22-year old John Johnson physically threatened witnesses who are set to testify against the defendant.
Captain Kyle Rhodes made those arrests. Both men, he said, are affiliated with an Aryan Brotherhood prison gang and were friends of the suspect.
"Had a witness come in and give me a statement that he was threatened with physical violence if he were to testify against these subjects, and incriminate them and their family members in this trial," Rhodes said.
Chief Blanchard said he is confident his officers did the best job they could have done with the investigation.
The victim's body was found near Redfish Bay back in June of 2012. A witness said Mireles confessed to shooting Hernandez. However, Mireles has plead not guilty. Mireles is set to go to trail at the end of the month. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
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