Defense attorneys fire back amid new allegations in Villalobos case
Wed, 27 Mar 2013 01:52:26 GMT —
Defense attorneys are firing back amid new allegations against former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos.
A federal case against former district attorney is expected to head to trial later this year.
Prosecutors recently filed a motion where they outlined new witnesses who are bringing new allegations to light.
Those witnesses will allegedly testify about a long history of fixing lawsuits and fixing criminal cases where Villalobos made tens of thousands of dollars.
But Joel Androphy, a defense attorney for Villalobos, told Action 4 News that the allegations are false.
It TMs a futile attempt to intimidate my client, Androphy said in a telephone interview. This is all desperate talk.
Drug Trafficker Bribe
Among the new witnesses is Carlos Justino Ramos, who once worked for Villalobos as an investigator and assistant.
Ramos, who went by the name Justin Ramos, worked for Villalobos despite having two previous convictions for marijuana in Kleberg and Travis Counties.
Prosecutors plan to have Ramos testify that he paid Villalobos $3,000 dollars and then-special prosecutor David Sanchez a $1,000 dollars.
All of alleged bribes were to have Ramos TM criminal record expunged at a time when he planned to run for Brownsville City Commissioner.
Sanchez went on to be elected as the 444th State District Court Judge while Ramos was pleaded guilty to an unrelated marijuana trafficking case where he received six years in federal prison.
Judge Sanchez did not return a request for comment but court records show that he TMs not facing criminal charges at this time.
Defense Fires Back
Androphy told Action 4 News that the allegations made by Ramos and other new witnesses are false and will be disproven in court.
The grand jury would not have indicted for this, Androphy said. They TMre frivolous allegations. Again, it TMs desperate people saying and doing desperate things.
Androphy claims Ramos and the other witnesses are all interesting in getting their federal prison sentences shortened.
The Houston-based defense attorney said the new allegations are all part of an intimidation tactic by federal prosecutors to get his client to plead guilty.
Whenever the government TMs concerned that their indictment won TMt survive, when they TMre concerned that they won TMt be able to make their case, they make up spurious allegations to muddy the water, Androphy said.
Androphy said his defense team is expected to fight the new allegations during an April 11th hearing at Brownsville TMs federal courthouse.