CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The month of September has been a particularly bloody one in Corpus Christi, with yet another homicide happening Friday afternoon, just a day after two others were violently killed in the southside.
And last week, there was yet another shooting homicide. Invariably, all of those crimes end up in the hands of the Nueces County District Attorney's Office, which is now facing a backlog of murder and capital murder cases -- and each week, it seems more are piling up.
Since 2017, 29 people have been charged with murder or capital murder in Nueces County. 18 of those defendants are still awaiting trial, and more than a dozen of them are facing capital murder charges.
"To give an idea of what the office has as a current workload, there is a pretty substantial number," First Assistant District Attorney Matt Manning said.
The daunting task falls squarely on the lap of Nueces County prosecutors.
There are currently two info boards outside the District Attorney's Office that list all the cases waiting to go to trial.
"Now to clarify to the public, that can be old cases from 2017, 2018, 2019," Manning said.
Manning said factored into those cases there could be multiple co-defendants in some of them, and some may want to be tried separately.
Another factor in the delays?
"A lot of time we're waiting on DNA, we're waiting some kind of forensic evidence, and that can take a long time to be processed before it can be put into a case file," Manning said.
So while the murder cases seem to be adding up on a frequent basis, the DA is looking to enhance its team of prosecutors. Manning said County Commissioners recently approved the addition of a prosecutor that will deal strictly with high-profile cases.
"In the last year alone I've tried, you know, a number of substantial homicide cases and major cases, and that's what we are. We are a working office," Manning said. "We put our boots on the ground and we do what needs to be done. Hold people accountable fairly and ethically."
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