Cop shooting suspects in court again

September 18, 2009 10:18:08 AM PDT
Two people accused in a police officer's death are back in court this morning. Their appearance comes a day after they learned of the new, less severe, charges against them.Authorities yesterday reduced the charges against those suspects from capital murder to felony murder. That means if convicted, they won't face the death penalty.

The move is not sitting well with the family of Officer Henry Canales, who was gunned down during a robbery sting in June.

Officer Canales' family spoke with Eyewitness News and they are extremely disappointed at the lesser charges and we heard from the attorneys on both sides as to why this happened.

Both Xiomara Mendes Rosales and Andres Nava Maldonado were in court this morning, appearing to hear a new charge against them, and for discussion about the murder charges, lessened yesterday by a grand jury from capital murder to felony murder. The two are accused in the murder of Houston Police officer, Henry Canales.

He was shot to death during an undercover sting operation, in June, in which he posed as a seller of stolen TVs. The man who shot the officer was shot himself, but Mendes and Nava, were there and charged this morning with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.

Bond was set for that charge at $100,000 for each defendant, and was set at $150,000 for the felony murder charge. The lessening of the murder charge takes the death penalty off the table and opens the door for life in prison, but with a possibility of parole, if convicted.

"It's never easy telling family disappointing news like that and I know they had hoped for the more serious charge and I can understand their disappointment," said Harris County Assistant DA Julian Ramirez. "But in the criminal justice system we pursue the highest appropriate charge that we can and these facts as know them now -- that appropriate charge is felony murder."

"He is really happy that there is not a death penalty out there. There is no way that he could get death penalty or that he could get life without parole. He is very very sorry that this officer got killed," said Nava's attorney Casey Keirnan.

"I think it was the appropriate decision," said Mendes' attorney Bob Loper. "I don't think the limited amount of facts that we have been given access to would have ever shown that there was the intent to commit the robbery of Officer Canales and that is the only way I think that the grand jury could have found the offense of capital murder."

The next court of action is set for mid October.

      QUICK HEADLINES | MORE LOCAL | GET NEWS ALERTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC13 SOCIAL NETWORKING
Find us on Facebook® | Follow us on Twitter | More social networking
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MORE FROM ABC13
ABC13 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
ABC13 wireless | Slideshow archive | Help solve crimes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments