Alleged witness to 2014 Chacho's police shooting changes story

Recordings raise questions

SAN ANTONIO - Two audio recordings never released to the public about the 2014 shooting death of Marquise Jones are very different.

In one recording, an alleged witness paints San Antonio Police Officer Robert Encina as a peace officer who acted recklessly in using lethal force.

Meanwhile, a second recording involves a different alleged witness who changed his story in favor on the officer's action on Feb 28, 2014.

Jones' killing sparked controversy, protest and a wrongful death lawsuit. The civil proceedings are set to begin March 27. A Bexar County Grand Jury decided Encina would not face criminal responsibility in the shooting.

Jones was a passenger in a Cadillac at Chacho's and Chalucci's in the 8400 block of Perrin Beitel Road nearly three years ago. The car was involved in a minor accident with an SUV in the drive-thru, after which an argument ensued.

Security was called out to defuse the situation. Encina was working an extra-duty security job at the restaurant that night.

Alleged witness James Brantley said he saw the deadly shooting unfold. He told that to Bexar County District Attorney investigator Ruben Segovia last October.

Brantley: You know how in Chacho's you got two lines?

Segovia: There's two (inaudible)

Brantley: He's in that lane.

Segovia: One.

Brantley: I'm in the next lane. That's just how close. ..I was right there.

In April 2016, four months after a grand jury had justified Encina's officer-involved shooting, Brantley came forward. He said he had been sure the officer would be criminally charged and that fear of police retaliation and work kept him from speaking about the case sooner.

Brantley: It's going to be more problems on my behalf. These cops coming in my face. I don't want to be harassed. Not coming to my family (inaudible) for doing anything. I don't want no problems with that. I'm like, I don't want to get killed. You know what I'm saying.

Segovia: I do understand that. But if there's an officer lying and doing stuff he's not supposed to be doing then it's our job to look into that.

Segovia has worked with the DA's office for 24 years. His investigation is independent of SAPD's shooting review team, which submits its finding to the DA. He made another recording after the grand jury's decision, this time with Chacho's employee Lemore English.

English: I heard someone call the cashier a (expletive).

English and Brantley also signed sworn affidavits regarding the details of the shooting with Jones family attorney Daryl Washington six months earlier.

According to English's statement in April, he followed Officer Encina outside. He said Encina placed the Cadillac's driver against the vehicle. Brantley said he saw the same thing. English's affidavit said he saw the officer remove the keys from the ignition.

Both men said in their affidavits that Jones, 23, appeared nervous. Their documented recollection was that Jones ran from the Cadillac. English's sworn account said he looked back at him and Encina. He said without gesture, word or weapon in hand, Jones was shot by the officer.

Brantley claims he was approached by Encina after the shooting to ask if he saw Jones with a gun.

Brantley: I was like, 'Man, I didn't see nothing. You just killed a man.' That's what I told him. 'I ain't see nothing.'

Segovia: And, then what he did (do)?

Brantley: He just made a face like... 'You know what I'm saying (inaudible).' I guess he thought like I was going to agree. I was like, 'No, this dude didn't have nothing,' you know what I'm saying. He ran, pulled his pants up. He shot the (expletive) out of him. Soon as he pulled his pants up, he shot him. Shot him up.

Segovia's conversation with the alleged witness continued.

Segovia: You never saw the guy running with a gun?

Brantley: No! He didn't have no chance to shoot, dawg!

Segovia: But did you see the officer shoot him?

Brantley: Yeah. yeah.

English and Brantley allege police sent them away from the scene without taking statements about the officer-involved shooting. San Antonio Police would not comment on the allegations or the pending civil case.

City Attorney Andy Segovia said the two witnesses were not the only people at the scene.

"Other witnesses at the scene testified to seeing the gun held by Mr. Jones," Andy Segovia said.

He said he would wait to present the case in court to respect the process.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said his office conducted a complete and thorough investigation in this case.

"We respect the grand jury decision in December 2015," LaHood said.

He would not comment on what evidence or testimony was presented to the grand jury. LaHood said his office did not have any additional comments because of the wrongful death lawsuit.

English, however, had more to say in his interview with investigator Segovia. In fact, the Chacho's employee recanted his previous account of what he reportedly witnessed.

English: At that time, I was tired. I was probably like I said -- medical reasons. I've been going through heart -- medical reasons -- kidneys and stuff like that. Taking meds. I was probably that tired. So what I probably said I remembered... I don't remember. And, that's probably... did... kind of the way. But the statement I'm giving you now is the way it happened.

Segovia: OK. That's fine. I just wanted to make sure. Once again for the record... You didn't see any of the shooting?

English: No.

Segovia: You didn't see anybody with a gun?

English: No.

Segovia: You don't know why the officer did what he did?

English: No.

Segovia: And, you don't know why the person on the ground did what he did?

English: No.

He finished the interview trying to clear Encina's name.

"I just wanted to make sure this officer don't get in trouble for something he didn't do," English said. "If he did the right thing protecting hisself and the community, he did the right thing."

 

Affidavit of James Brantley in Marquise Jones case by kens5 on Scribd

Affidavit of Lamar English in Marquise Jones case by kens5 on Scribd

© 2017 KENS-TV


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