SAN ANGELO, TX – A San Angelo man facing 20 years in prison walked away a free man thanks to the new Concho Valley Public Defenders office.
According to court documents, on Feb. 28, 2023, Joe Gutierrez, 37, of San Angelo, was found not guilty of evading arrest with a previous conviction and possession of a controlled substance.
The state was represented by Jensen Martinez and Richard Villarreal while the Gutierrez was represented by Ted Wenske and Joe Stephens of the Concho Valley Public Defender's Office. Prior to lunch the jury saw evidence that included the alleged meth, the dash cam footage from the officers car, and multiple other photographs. They also heard from a number of witnesses throughout the day including SAPD officers, DPS forensic scientists, and others.
The jury began deliberating at 5:06 p.m. and finished at 9:51 p.m.
“After hearing all the evidence and deliberating well into the night, the jury came back with the correct verdict: not guilty on both counts," stated Chief Public Defender Chief Joe Stephens. "Our office, new as it is, takes great pride in fighting for the lives and dignity of the people we represent – yesterday’s result was the just one.”
This is the first major win in Tom Green County by the Concho Valley Public Defenders Office which was approved by the Tom Green County Commissioners in Jul. 2021. Although this is its first jury trial win in Tom Green County, the Public Defender's office has earned a not guilty verdict in Sterling County as well.