CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A district judge sentenced retired Corpus Christi police officer Tommy Cabello to 10 years in prison Tuesday after a jury found him guilty of domestic violence and tampering with evidence.
His actual time served will be closer to one and a half years -- that is when he becomes eligible for parole; and while most convicted felons when released are faced with starting life over, Cabello will have a head start.
"Our retirement benefits are guaranteed," Director of Human Resources Steven Viera said. "Once you've earned your retirement vesting provision then that's a benefit that is guaranteed, regardless of whether or not you were to retire from the City, resign, or you were terminated."
The courtroom was packed Tuesday when 214th District Court Judge Inna Klein told Cabello he will do prison time instead of probation for his crime. He was found guilty Monday of continuous family violence, tampering with witnesses and tampering with evidence.
"Quite frankly, I don't think you understand how you affected me to this day," Cabello's son said during the victim impact statement. "I know you are not a stable person to my mother, so why should I dare trust you with my siblings?"
That statement came just moments after Judge Klein sentenced the 14-year CCPD veteran to the maximum sentence of 10 years.
Raynaldo Pena, the prosecutor appointed to the case by the Nueces County District Attorney's Office due to a conflict of interest, said his job, to get a conviction, has been accomplished.
"Nobody would argue that this was not an explosive, dangerous situation," Pena said. "I'm just so glad that at least for now, that it's over. But there's always the future to worry about."
Cabello has 30 days to file an appeal, which his attorney says he most certainly will do.
"A lot of the trial was focused on things that weren't actually involved with these allegations, but be that as it may, there's such a history that it's a tough case," Cabello's attorney Nathan Berket said.