The jury spent several hours deliberating in a widely publicized, two-week trial back in August.
The charges brought in this case included evidence tampering and official oppression, and centered around allegations that Vela altered and created her own handwritten cash logs for security at Rodriguez Park on the city’s west side.
Other disturbing allegations were made, however, during the course of the trial.
In 2017, Leonicio Moreno and Chris De La Cerda sued Vela, accusing her of making sexual advancements toward Moreno during a law enforcement seminar in Galveston. The lawsuit alleges Vela joined the deputies in a hot tub.
Moreno had filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Vela. She later had him arrested on perjury charges, which were later dropped. Moreno and De La Cerda lost their jobs but won them back after appealing the decision.
Testimony also included an account from one deputy who described how Vela used her deputies to handle family issues. According to the testimony from a former corporal, Vela called on her own deputies to respond to a Family Dollar where Vela’s son was accused of stealing shoes.
Former Precinct 2 Deputy Jason Castanon on Tuesday provided testimony for about 30 minutes, mostly centered around his role in Moreno’s arrest and mostly answering questions by the defense. He said Barrientes-Vela was present during the briefing of the arrest warrant before it was carried out.
“We were told there was a warrant for Moreno, and that we were going to go and find him,” Castanon said, adding he wasn’t aware until later that he was going to be the arresting officer.
The investigation into Vela’s office became public in September 2019, when FBI agents executed a search warrant at the Precinct 2 Office. Deputies testify on Vela’s last day in office, they were asked to shred some documents.
Prosecuting attorney Dawn McCraw, citing Barrientes Vela's lack of previous criminal history, said it's likely she'll receive probation instead of a prison sentence.
Barrientes Vela served as the former Constable for Precinct 2 and stepped down from her role in October of 2019. At that time, she also tried to run for Bexar County Sheriff.
The sentencing is expected to continue at least through Tuesday. Deliberations are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.