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Deputy attacked by convicted killer takes stand as sentencing phase begins

Monday ended dramatically in court after the jury found Otis McKane guilty; he then attacked a bailiff.

SAN ANTONIO — The sentencing phase of the Otis McKane trial started Tuesday after he was convicted in the killing of an SAPD detective, Benjamin Marconi, in late 2016. 

The bailiff elbowed in the face by McKane minutes after the guilty verdict was returned Monday found himself on the witness stand a day later. McKane was found guilty of shooting and killing Marconi while he was conducting a traffic stop on Nov. 20, 2016.

Monday's decision came after more than 50 witnesses and 10 days of emotional testimony since the start of the trial and two weeks of the prosecution presenting its case.

McKane was convicted of killing Marconi in an ambush-style attack outside of San Antonio Police headquarters in November 2016. McKane confessed to interrogators, saying he was angry with the police for not helping with his custody battle.

Bexar County Deputy Isidro Gonzalez was assigned to serve as bailiff of the 379th Criminal District Court four years ago and his contact with McKane goes back to the days of jury selection in March of 2020.

The deputy testified before the court, saying he never had an issue with McKane prior to Monday when the defendant attacked him after Judge Ron Rangel announced the verdict.

Gonzalez and fellow Deputy Jason Jarvis told the jury they suspected McKane was getting ready for a fight after he began unbuttoning his shirt and undoing his tie.

Gonzalez asked McKane twice to get up with no response. Video showed the moment where McKane elbows Gonzalez on the left side of his face.

Jarvis, Gonzalez and a host of other law enforcement members proceeded to tackle McKane.

“What were you concerned about?” asked one of the prosecutors.

“Him either trying to take a weapon from one of us and trying to escape," Gonzales said in response. "I don’t know what he’s thinking (when) he’s getting violent. It’s the just the safety of everybody else in here."

Tuesday marked day one of the punishment phase of the trial.

McKane walked into the courtroom with no handcuffs.

The jury will ultimately deliberate on whether McKane is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

The trial resumes Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

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