Armed Oil Field Heist Trial Begins with Delayed Jury Selection
SAN ANGELO, TX- On Saturday, March 19, 2016, Tom Green County Deputies responded to a call regarding an aggravated robbery at approximately 6 a.m. The victim, who was staying in a travel trailer located on the property, awoke to find two subjects in black hoods carrying shotguns entering the trailer. The victim was restrained with duct tape and robbed of personal property. Four oil-field type “gang trucks” containing a welder, tools, vehicle titles, files and other assorted items were taken from the business during the robbery.
The suspects then attempted to drive the vehicles across the Texas-Mexico Border in Del Rio. On April 22, 2016, Marcus McVae was arrested as one of eight suspects in connection to the robbery.
Monday, the Tom Green County 340th District Court was docketed to begin the process of jury selection, but this process took far more time than expected. When asked to comment on the hours-long delay that occurred during the selection process, the prosecution said that McVae’s defense attorney, Shawntell Mckillop, was “speaking to her client.” At around 4:10 p.m., the pool of jurors was called into the courtroom to begin the next part of the selection process.
Judge Jay Weatherby initiated the proceedings by apologizing for the delay and explaining, “There are things that had to be taken care of outside of your presence, and those things have been occurring.”
Once the defense had completed its questioning of the jurors, and the court as a whole conducted a few final interviews for specific jurors, the prosecution and defense made their selections. After the jury was informed of its duties and dismissed, the court began a discussion to clarify the changing circumstances of the case and the plea bargains involved.
Apparently, two of McVae’s co-conspirators are expected to testify against him. The prosecution allegedly offered a reduced sentence and the other a consideration for leniency. The defense and prosecution also noted that the defendant was offered a plea bargain and has until the trial begins at 9 a.m to accept it. However, the defendant noted his enhancements amd expressed a disinterest in the plea bargain, so it appears that the case will go to trial Tuesday morning. If convicted of the felony, McVae faces 25 years to life as a habitual offender.
The trial kicks off at 9 a.m., unless McVae accepts the plea.