Turn of events in trial for former Brownsville police officer

Trial for Sunny Pedraza

A juror in the trial of a former Brownsville officer, accused of official oppression and tampering with government records, was dismissed from his duties in an unexpected turn of events.

The six jury panel was shrunk down to five on Wednesday.

Despite being asked at the very beginning, before a jury was selected, the male juror dismissed failed to report he was related to a Brownsville police officer that became a conflict when that officer took the stand.

After about an hour long recess following the juror's dismissal, the trial picked up again with Detective Sam Lucio taking the stand in the trial for former Brownsville police officer Sunny Pedraza.

He is accused of official oppression and tampering with government records.

Pedraza allegedly unjustly arrested a woman identified as Maria Arias for public intoxication while she was at her home trying to report a theft to police.

Detective Lucio was the detective assigned to the criminal case against Pedraza.

He said no one can be arrested for public intoxication if they are at their home or own property.

Lucio went on to say that two other officers, who were present the morning of Oct. 9, 2012, when the arrest happened, denied that the woman was losing balance and had slurred speech as Pedraza wrote on his arrest report.

Prosecutors also showed a video of the woman in the Brownsville jail booking area which helped highlight that the woman had perfect balance and was communicating and cooperating with officers.

Former Police Chief Carlos Garcia was in the wings waiting to take the stand.

On Monday, the judge ruled that current Police Chief Oralndo Rodriguez does not have to testify in this case.