Crime

CONSTABLE WHITE'S DEATH: Sheriff's deputy, DNA analyst testify in trial of former Bliss soldier

EL PASO, Texas - The prosecution continues to lay out its case in the aggravated assault on a public servant trial for a former Fort Bliss soldier.

It was technical morning of testimony Wednesday as Prosecutors James Montoya and Denise Butterworth laid out a timeline of events before and immediately after they say Devon Huerta-Person hit Constable Robert White Halloween night in 2014.

White had been working as an off-duty security officer for the Terror Trail Haunted House. Huerta-Person faces 5-99 years or life in prison or probation if convicted of assaulting Constable White in 2014. He was originally charged with Capital Murder, but that charge was downgraded when the medical examiner revealed White died of pre-existing medical conditions and not blunt force.

Montoya called some of the sheriff's deputies and crime scene investigators who responded to the scene Wednesday morning, including the deputy who ended up chasing down and arresting the defendant.

Deputy Luis Guzman  was stationed in Vinton and responded to an "officer down" call that night. The jury also heard from a Texas department of public safety DNA analyst about what was found on Huerta-Person and his clothes afterward.

Deputy Guzman testified that when he arrived at the scene and came to where Constable White was, "(White) had a lot of dirt on his face and a lot of blood around his mouth and nose." Guzman also told jurors that when he chased down Huerta-Person, the defendant had a smell of alcohol.

On cross examination, Defense Attorney Omar Carmona pressed Texas DPS DNA analyst Christine Ceniceros about the fact that the only blood found on Huerta-Person or his clothes was a spot on his shoe, but that no DNA could be drawn from it. Carmona asked "there's no telling where that speck of blood came from, correct?"

Ceniceros responded "Yes."

Tuesday, the prosecution called witnesses who worked at, visited or owned the haunted house to set up a timeline of events. For its part, the defense focused on the details and inconsistencies  from testimony and statements of each witness,  pointing out where things didn't match and questioning clarity of memories years after. The defense maintains Huerta-Person did not hit Constable White that night.


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