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Federal Judge Grants Mistrial in EPISD Trial

U.S. Federal Judge David Briones granted a mistrial motion by defense lawyers in the case of five former El Paso Independent School District administrators.

On Wednesday morning, after two weeks of testimony, defense lawyers for James Anderson, Mark Philip Tegmeyer, Nancy Love, Diane Thomas and John Tanner made their case before Judge Briones, stating that the U.S. District Attorneys had not made more than 249 pages available to them regarding information that could have been used to cross examine witnesses regarding an Austin High School auto shop teacher, Ruben Cordero and counselor Elizabeth Saucedo.

These documents were made available to them by email on late Sunday afternoon, according to the motion filed by defense attorneys Robert J. Perez, Elizabeth Rogers, Thomas W. Mills, Luis Islas, Sherilyn A. Bunn, and Mary Stillinger.

Initially, the motion for a mistrial was addressed on Monday by Briones, who had decided to give the defense counsel a day to review the documents that the District Attorneys provided them.

On Tuesday, the trial continued as usual with Saucedo and Austin High School Rosario Parsley testifying.

A somber, U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof spoke and broke into tears as she made her statement.

“This is very embarrassing,” Kanof said. “My counsel and I feel bad about this. And in our very long careers we have never had this happened. A great deal of time and money was spent and we leave it to the discretion of the court.”

Briones spoke to the attorney and attempted to lighten the mood.

“Believe me, I can’t and I don’t want to retry this again,” Briones said. “Ugh, can I transfer it to another judge? No, I would not settle for another judge. It will be me and it will be retried. I grant the motion for mistrial.”

The case will be re-tried at a future date.

Previous stories HERE

About Alexandra Hinojosa

“Once journalism is in your system, it’s hard to get it out… and then you realize, it’s there to stay.” – Alex Hinojosa is a full time instructor at El Paso Community College and a former El Paso Times journalist. FULL BIO

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