SAN ANGELO, TX — After about five hours of deliberation, the jury recommended Ray Zapata spend six months in a state jail.
The jury returned their sentencing recommendations for each of the four counts to which Zapata was found guilty yesterday after about four hours of arguments between Zapata’s defense attorney Mark Snodgrass and the prosecution team headed by Shane Attaway. More on this tomorrow.
The jury recommended the following sentence:
- Count 1 – Forgery. Sentence of 6 months in state jail and a $10,000 fine. No probation recommended.
- Count 2 — Forgery. Sentence of 6 months in state jail and a $10,000 fine. No probation recommended.
- Count 3 — Theft. Sentence of 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The jury recommended that since Zapata had a clean criminal record that the sentence be probated under community supervision.
- Count 4 — Money Laundering. Sentence of 2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The jury recommended probation in lieu of confinement.
The judge recessed the court until Tuesday morning a 9 a.m. for the official sentencing.
Attaway said after tonight’s hearing that he will not comment on the outcome of the case. He is prosecuting the State’s case against John Young in October. Attaway confirmed the max time Zapata will spend in jail will be 6 months. He said the judge can lengthen the terms of the probation, however.
Zapata was released to go home with his family and friends. He remains on bond until presiding Judge Brock Jones delivers the official sentencing on Tuesday. At that time, Zapata will likely be booked into the Tom Green County Jail.
Texas Ranger Nick Hanna, who was the lead investigator of the case, was standing outside the courtroom doors as Zapata’s friends and family exited. A woman in that group pointed at Hanna, and with a proud snarl, stated to Hanna, (something like) ‘You didn’t get him this time, too bad.’
After the fourth sentence was read by Judge Brock Jones, Zapata's face indicated that he was relieved.