Ahumada's Second Trial Underway
Wed, 24 Mar 2010 00:05:24 GMT —
It was dj vu at the Cameron County Courthouse Tuesday for the second trial against Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada.
"The check was never fedexed to me," said Joseph Tarsia, president of Tarsia Technical Industries, the vendor whose check ended up in Mayor Ahumada TMs personal bank account.
One by one, the State's witnesses took the stand inside the 107th District Courtroom.
As in the previous trial, each one was cross examined by state and defense attorneys.
"I TMm talking to him, he's talking to me and he's telling me that this for some reason or another, this check was deposited in error," Brownsville Director of Finance Pete Gonzales said.
He was one of nearly a dozen witnesses called up to the stand by the State on Tuesday. The witnesses from the defense will take the stand on Wednesday.
State attorneys hope to convince all 12 members of the jury Ahumada is guilty of the three charges he faces for allegedly depositing the city TMs check into his personal bank account.
"The second largest deposit in all that time period would've been $7,000, the average is $4,000," Roxanne Mendoza, an auditor for the Attorney General TMs Office, explained during the trial.
The arguments did not change and the state presented the same witnesses and evidence as in the first trial, which ended in October without a unanimous decision by the jury.
"Through my training as an investigator for ten years, basically when I read the letter I felt like it was a defense on behalf of Mr. Ahumada, Brownsville Police Detective Jesse Pinales testified. To exonerate him or place himself away from the check that had been deposited into his account."
If found guilty, the jury will then decide Ahumada's punishment. He faces at least six years in prison and a possible fine