Defendants guilty of murder in officer's death

June 4, 2010 3:04:23 PM PDT
It didn't take a jury long Friday to convict the two people charged with killing Houston police Officer Henry Canales. Now the trial has moved into the punishment phase, which could send the couple to prison for the rest of their lives. It took jurors just a few hours of deliberation to find both defendants guilty of felony murder in the death of Officer Canales. Family members of Officer Canales left the courtroom obviously emotional, while Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland praised the verdict.

"Of course, there's always going to be that loss you're never going to be replaced, but at least in this respect, they know that some jury has rendered a final verdict," he said. "So we're very pleased."

For members of the jury, the next step is deciding how long Xiomora Mendez Rosales and Andres Nava Maldonado will spend behind bars. They can be given up to life in prison for the death of Officer Canales last June 23.

The defense attorneys argued that the pair only wanted to buy stolen TVs, and had no idea that Canales was an undercover officer.

This verdict, in their eyes, was disappointing.

"This sting won't end. This bad sting won't end," said defense attorney Casey Keirnam. "The jury still has some work to do. We'll see what they do, find out why the ruled the way they ruled."

The punishment phase of the trial has just begun, but prosecutors have already gotten the major victory they were looking for -- a guilty verdict. And Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos couldn't be more pleased.

"It's heartening to see 12 citizens of Harris County who took their oath to be a juror and who really worked at it and was quite attentive," she said.

Members of the jury were allowed to go home for the weekend. We expect them back at the courthouse Monday morning.


Load Comments