Trial of man accused of killing DPS trooper begins

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The 389th district court began the anticipated trial of Victor Godinez on Monday.

Godinez is accused of capital murder in the shooting of Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez nearly five years ago. 

In their opening argument, prosecutors said Godinez ran a red light, caused a crash and ran into a nearby neighborhood.

They say trooper Sanchez caught up with Godinez in his patrol unit and when Sanchez got down, Godinez shot him.

The jury saw footage from multiple angles from the home of Doris Valdez, who stepped outside seconds after the shooting.

Valdez, her sister and relatives were at home having a family party when they rushed outside and helped Sanchez as he laid on the ground.

Throughout the testimony, Godinez sat largely emotionless next to his two attorneys.

One of those first witnesses, Mireya Goris, was moved to tears during the first day of the trial. She says she knew the shooter was nearby, but she attempted to help trooper Sanchez, as she hoped a stranger would do for her relatives, who are in law enforcement.

The defense waived its opening argument, but questioned how video surveillance was obtained and how the evidence was collected.

Judge Letty Lopez did not permit audio recording inside the courtroom, but did permit video recording through a glass panel.

The start of a trial is four years in the making, with an opening statement by lead prosecutor Joseph Orendain.

"This case is about the reality every police officer faces every day," Orendain said.

Testimony is set to resume on Tuesday.

For a timeline of events, watch the video below.


7 Days