Staff writer Mitch Mitchell has had a busy day reporting on two criminal trials.
A man who drove the getaway car for a man who physically assaulted a TCU student and stole her purse received a 99-year prison sentence for his attempt to elude police during a high-speed chase.
According to prosecutors, Jesse Castanuela, 28, of Fort Worth, (shown here) pulled up behind two TCU students in small car, and his passenger, Cristian Jaimes, got out of the car and began punching one of the women in the head. He wrestled her purse away and jumped back into the car.
Castanuela led police on a five-mile chase that reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. Police spiked the Escort's tires but the pursuit continued until Castanuela lost control on South Henderson Street and crashed into another motorist.
In the other trial, prosecutors dropped the murder case against Antonio Martinez (shown here) after a witness changed his story and testified that the shooting that killed Gerardo Martinez was in self-defense.
"It's always our duty to seek justice, not necessarily a conviction," said Kelly Meador, the assistant district attorney who tried the case. "When relevant information becomes available to us, regardless of the timing, it's our responsibility to seek a just outcome. In this case, it was a dismissal."