ROBERT LEE, TX — Jasmine Moreno of Robert Lee, indicted for murder of her husband, 30-year-old Cisco Moreno, saw charges dismissed against her by the State March 23 in 51st District Judge Carmen Dusek’s court.
Jasmine, 27 at the time, was accused of murdering her husband by shooting him multiple times in the head and body the night of June 24, a Sunday. There were others at the residence when the shooting took place who told investigators they didn’t see Jasmine shoot, but came out of the bedroom and saw her holding gun, pointing at Cisco’s dead body on the floor.
Jasmine later signed a “written confession detailing the manner in which she shot Cisco Moreno more than once in the kitchen of the residence utilizing a single action revolver.” The document stated Jasmine “recalled having to cock the hammer of the pistol back for each successive shot,” according to court documents.
As the prosecution and defense were preparing for trial, Jasmine’s defense attorney Frank Sellers entered a motion to kick 51st District Attorney Allison Palmer off the case. Several months prior to the murder, Palmer had pleaded with Jasmine to go ahead with pressing charges against Cisco for assaulting her. Sellers said this disqualified not only Palmer, as she was a material witness for Jasmine’s defense, but the entire DAs office in San Angelo from prosecuting the case. A judge in Waco agreed. The prosecution was handed over to the State of Texas Attorney General’s Office.
During the course of the State AG’s investigation, the State District Attorney Pro Tem Geoff Barr, who was prosecuting Jasmine, determined Jasmine likely acted in self defense.
“Cisco Moreno repeatedly physically assaulted the Defendant in their bedroom by punching her about her head and face and by strangling her in an attempt to force her to engage in a sexual threesome with another house guest against her will. This assaultive behavior, including strangulation, had been repeated in the relationship, which is evidenced by three separate prior reports to police. Additionally, charges were filed against Cisco Moreno on behalf of the Defendant for assaultive conduct that occurred just a few months before his death,” Barr wrote.
In Texas Law, “A defendant’s use of deadly force is not a criminal offense if the defendant reasonably believed the degree of force used was immediately necessary to protect the defendant against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force. Hands, used in strangulation, constitute a deadly weapon and, therefore, constitute deadly force,” Barr wrote in the motion to dismiss.
The Motion to Dismiss was presented March 20. Judge Dusek signed the motion March 23. Jasmine Moreno is free.
Sellers, who agreed to represent Jasmine pro bono, was grateful for the outcome. Sellers was joined by Dan Hurley, David Guinn, and Mark Snodgrass.
“On behalf of Jasmine, Junior, and family, we are all grateful to have this behind us. We tip our hats to the prosecutors at the Attorney General’s Office both for doing a thorough investigation, and for ultimately doing the right thing by dismissing this case. We would also like to express our gratitude for the overwhelming amount of support given by too many to thank — all of whom, like us, believed in Jasmine’s innocence,” he said.
Former Texas Ranger Nick Hanna, who is currently the Chief Deputy Sheriff of Tom Green County, and will be sworn in as sheriff in January, investigated the murder. He said that he respects the decision of the Texas AG to dismiss the case.
“It was a difficult case to investigate,” he said. “I would have preferred it went to a jury trial and allowed Jasmine’s peers to make the decision, but I trust the judgement of Geoff Barr.”
Robert Lee is a town in Coke County of about 1,000 population located 31 miles north of San Angelo.