Jury Selection Continued Tuesday in Whiskey River Saloon Murder Trial


SAN ANGELO, Texas – Potential jurors in the Ray Vera Murder trial met for a second day in the Tom Green County Courthouse Tuesday morning after recessing Monday night without a jury being seated.  

Potential Jurors met Monday for Voir Dire or questioning by attorneys in the trial.  Vera is being tried for murder in the October 2022 stabbing death of U.S. Marine Bryce Rudisell in the parking lot of the Whiskey River Saloon in downtown San Angelo following a brawl that began on the dance floor.  

As we reported the day after the murder, a fight between a group of bikers and a group of active duty military members from Goodfellow Air Force base began on the dance floor but was quickly ended by bouncers at the bar.  

Both groups allegedly began fighting again outside in the parking lot where several people were stabbed including Rudisell, who later died in the hospital of a stab wound to the chest. 

Vera is represented by attorney Jason P. Sosa who was appointed by the Court.  Prosecuting the case is 51st District Attorney John Best.  The murder trial is being held by 51st District Judge Carmen Dusek. 

The Voir Dire session began Monday morning.  During the lunch break, Mr. Sosa announced that the State had uploaded new evidence into case that morning and advised the court that Vera would need time to review those materials and could possibly be filing Motion for Continuance depending upon what it is. The Court and prosecutors conducted Voir Dire. At 6 p.m. Monday, the court recessed for the evening. The panel was  to report at 8:30 am Tuesday for Defense Voir Dire.

Tuesday morning, potential jurors were questioned extensively, this time by defense attorney Sosa.  The questions revolved around military service, self defense, and tattoos.  

Rudisell was an active duty Marine and Murder defendant Vera was a member of a biker bang and has lots of tattoos which Sosa pointed out.  

He questioned the jury panel about their thoughts on military service. Many responded that the had children or relatives serving in the military and that would affect how they viewed the case.

Sosa also asked how potential jurors felt about fighting, conversing with many who said they had been fights when they were younger.  His questioning also revolved around the terms 'intentionally' and 'knowingly.'  

Sosa waded into there potential juror's thoughts and beliefs on self defense with questions and thought provoking statements to get to who they are; what they believe as they would hold the fate of his client in their hands.  

Sosa then questioned the panel about their thoughts on a lesser charge of Manslaughter.  He told them that if evidence showed that Vera only acted recklessly and not intentionally and knowingly, the jury could find him guilty of the lesser charge of Manslaughter which has a penalty range of two to 20 years; basically asking if they could sentence him to only two years knowing a death occurred.  

The jury panel was seated Tuesday.  Testimony will continue Wednesday morning.  

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