not what it should have been.
Don't know how many have been following this case, but here are three snap shots.
Pair get 60 years in undercover HPD officer's death | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
Pair get 60 years in HPD officer's death
By BRIAN ROGERS
June 7, 2010, 4:58PM
Jurors this afternoon sentenced two people to 60 years in prison for the June 23, 2009 shooting death of undercover Houston police Officer Henry Canales.
Xiomara Mendez-Rosales, 37, and Andres Nava-Maldonado, 42, were convicted Friday of felony murder and engaging in organized crime.
Both were sentenced to 60 years in prison for felony murder. Mendez was sentenced to 20 years for engaging in organized crime. Nava was sentenced to 7 years for organized crime. Those sentences are expected to run concurrently.
During closing arguments, First Assistant District Attorney Jim Leitner said the pair, both illegal immigrants, should be sentenced to the maximum amount of time in prison for felony murder, which carries a punishment range from five years to life in prison.
Defense lawyer Bob Loper defended Mendez, who was with Nava when Canales, 42, was fatally shot by Roberto Pedroza Carrillo in a gunfight during a sting in southwest Houston. Carrillo also was shot and killed.
The jury found Mendez and Nava to be Carrillo’s accomplices and complicit in the felony murder, which is charged when a death occurs while a felony is being committed.
Loper asked jurors to consider that neither Mendez nor Nava pulled the trigger on Canales. He called the request that they be sentenced to life, "Abominable, horribly absurd and unreasonable."
"If she gets life, what do actual killers in the future get? Life plus 10? No such animal exists," Loper said.
Canales was trying to sell "stolen" televisions, valued at more than $35,000 to Carrillo, Mendez and Nava in a parking lot at Hillcroft near Bellaire.
"We want a fair and just and thoughtful verdict in this case," said Nava’s lawyer, Casey Keirnan, "Shakespeare said, and I think he said it best, ‘Justice is at its best when it’s seasoned with mercy.’"
Prosecutors argued that Mendez set up the deal, and Nava told Carrillo to shoot Canales.
"He wanted Roberto Carrillo to end Henry Canale’s life and that’s just what he did," said Julian Ramirez, an assistant Harris County district attorney. Ramirez held a photo of Canales up to jurors as he spoke.
"They may have gone out there to buy stolen televisions, they may have gone out there to steal that truck, but what they stole was much more valuable than that. They ended up stealing this man, from us," he said.
The two were not charged with the murder of a police officer because Canales did not have time to identify himself as an officer.
Jurors began deliberating about 1:00 p.m. in state District Judge Mary Lou Keel’s court.
Two Illegal Immigrants Found Guilty in Death of Houston Police Officer; Both Face Life In Prison For Their Role in Shooting - KIAH
Two Illegal Immigrants Found Guilty in Death of Houston Police Officer
Katishia Cosley KIAH
June 4, 2010
They now face life in prison after a jury found them guilty Friday.
It only took jurors about five hours to find 37-year-old Xiomara Mendez-Rosales and 42-year-old Andres Nava-Maldonado guilty of engaging in organized crime and felony murder.
The family of fallen HPD officer Henry Canales were visibly, still emotional as they left the courtroom for a short break Friday afternoon.
On the other side, defense attorneys for Xiomara Mendez-Ramirez and Andres Nava Maldonado said while they weren't surprised by the verdict of two counts each including felony murder; it certainly wasn't what they hoped for.
"I thought they were not guilty, I think you all heard it, you heard me argue it," said Casey Kiernan, attorney for Nava.
During the three week trial, jurors heard audio tapes of officer Canales' last words, recorded while he was working undercover trying to sell the defendants stolen TV's.
He was shot and killed by Roberto Carrillo, who was also killed.
The defense attorneys for the accomplices argued their clients should be charged with attempted theft, but not murder because they didn't know Carrillo had a gun and didn't intend for anyone to get hurt or worse yet - killed.
"I don't know on what grounds they made this decision - what reasons prompted them to do this whether it was the tape, the words, whether they felt like they should have anticipated it or not, but now they have to take a look at who these people are and determine what the appropriate punishment is," Kiernan said.
Meanwhile, District Attorney Pat Lykos and Chief Charles McClelland said they were pleased with the verdict and hope it will provide some closure for the family.
"We think justice has been served for the Canales family, of course there's always going to be that loss that can never be replaced," the Chief said.
The jurors went home around 3:30 Friday afternoon. They will return to court Monday morning to continue hearing testimony in the punishment phase.
Family of a slain Houston police officer is calling for changes in the law | abc13.com
Officer's family upset about lesser chargesFriday, September 18, 2009
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The family of a Houston police officer is outraged after the two people accused of killing him are now facing reduced charges.
In their first public comments, the family of a Houston police officer killed in the line of duty back in June, is calling for change as the result of a grand jury's decision Thursday.
Officer Henry Canales was shot to death, and the man who pulled the trigger was killed by other officers. But two other suspects involved found out Thursday the longest they will serve in prison if convicted is life with the possibility of parole.
The two surviving suspects in the murder of Officer Canales will be in court Friday. For three months they had been charged with capital murder. They were indicted on a lesser charge Thursday.
When Xiomara Mendez Rosales and Andres Nava Maldonado walk back into court again, they'll be facing a new charge of felony murder. For the family of the Houston police officer they're accused of killing, it just doesn't fit.
"It seems like a great injustice," said sister Lucia Canales.
Officer Canales' brother, sisters and father sat down with us to speak publicly for the first time since his killing. It's been a hard three months.
"There's a big hole. It will never be the same," said sister Sandra Canales.
They're fueled only by family support and Canales' legacy.
"I remember him smiling all the time, never being upset," said Sandra.
Canales, 42, was working undercover as part of a sting operation back in June when he was killed. Investigators say he was posing as a person trying to sell stolen TVs. The buyer shot Canales before being shot himself. Mendez and Nava were there that night and labeled as accomplices. For three months they had been charged with capital murder. That changed Thursday.
"They were all in on it. They knew what the outcome was going to be," said brother Jesus Canales, Jr.
Legal experts say the grand jury likely reduced the charges because the suspects didn't know they were dealing with a police officer and the surviving ones didn't pull the trigger. The Canales' family wants change.
"Automatic capital murder charges on anybody who kills an officer, whether they know he was an officer or not," said Lucia.
They're deciding how to make a difference for the sake of their brother. He was the life of their family. A man dedicated to all of their children. He was an officer, but a father first.
Those family members aren't sure if they'll attend the court hearing on Friday, but they do plan to be at the trial. They will face some tough tests in the upcoming months. Henry Canales birthday is in November and for more than 20 years, he played Santa Claus for the family's holiday celebration.
Thursday's court appearance
Two people accused in the murder of a Houston police officer are facing lesser charges.
A Harris County grand jury Thursday indicted Andres Nava Maldonado and Xiomara Mendez Rosales on felony murder charges. Each was originally charged with capital murder, which would have made them eligible for the death penalty. The lesser charge means the maximum sentence they can receive is life in prison.
They are both accused of being accomplices in the June shooting death of officer Henry Canales. He was working undercover in a sting operation, when the gunman, Roberto Carrillo, shot and killed him. Another undercover officer then shot and killed Carrillo.
Maldonado and Rosales are also each charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. They're due in court Friday.