Michelle Barrientes-Vela is one of Bexar County’s prior Constables. She was elected to the Precinct 2 office. On or about May 17, 2021, Barrientes Vela was indicted on multiple counts. The offense date is claimed to be around June 26, 2019.
On or about April 22, 2022, a motion to withhold evidence was held. It was determined the evidence, audio recordings, was provided since September of 2021; however, some of the files were not clearly accessible and the prosecutors also stated they had problems accessing some of the files.
Barrientes-Vela’s defense team worked hard to get all of this audio evidence tossed out, but Judge Velia J Mesa of the 226th District Court declined to toss out the evidence. She did grant a continuance based upon the hearing. Now Barrientes Vela is scheduled for trial in late August of 2022.
This felony public corruption trial is highly anticipated. The Texas Rangers and FBI used prior Precinct 2 employee Susan Tristan to obtain audio evidence. It was also determined some of the recordings may consist of some of Tristan’s interactions with the lead Texas Ranger and the FBI Special Agent(s) assigned to the case.
In the hearing, Judge Mesa ordered the prosecution to create a transcription of the audio evidence obtained by Tristan.
Now the scheduled jurors will be told the case will not be ready for trial and has been rescheduled.
Barrinetes-Vela is accused of two felony counts of tampering with evidence; as well as, three misdemeanor counts of official oppression.
She is represented by prior Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood and his team whom established an immediate presence in criminal defense in the Bexar County area, under the law firm of LaHood Norton Law Group, PLLC, since his departure from the District Attorney’s Office.