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August 21, 2007
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Man gets 35 years for killing Texas officer

Brian Chasnoff
The San Antonio Express-News

BEEVILLE, Texas A man who shot and killed an off-duty Beeville police officer last year during a violent crime spree accepted a plea agreement from prosecutors Monday and was sentenced to 35 years in prison, officials said.

Vincent Jessamy, 19, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of murder for the slaying of Gregory Stewart, a three-year officer and an Iraq war veteran who was walking from a North Side club when Jessamy demanded his wallet and shot him twice, said Assistant District Attorney Loretta Hewitt.

Jessamy was initially charged with capital murder, which carries a sentence of either life in prison or the death penalty.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed another charge of capital murder in connection with a separate killing that occurred during the crime spree.

After the sentencing before 186th District Judge Maria Teresa Herr, Stewart's family expressed relief that a resolution had been reached but said they wished the punishment had been harsher.

Jessamy was arrested in May 2006 with Marcus Anthony Acevedo, 20, and Jeremy Miera, 19. Police said the three orchestrated a spree that spanned about 30 minutes and left Stewart and another man dead early May 7, 2006.

The first crime occurred at 1:45 a.m. in the 1300 block of West Woodlawn Avenue when a purse was stolen from a 15-year-old girl.

Nine minutes later, Juan Antonio Cerda, 45, was sitting in his minivan outside a friend's house in the 700 block of Cincinnati Avenue when several gunshots fired from a passing SUV killed him. Prosecutors allege Miera fired those shots, Hewitt said.

About 22 minutes later, a white SUV pulled up to Stewart and a friend, who were walking from Graham Central Station to a Jim's restaurant in the 4800 block of Fredericksburg Road. A man got out and aimed a gun at the duo, demanding their money.

Stewart was shot twice. He died at University Hospital eight days later, leaving behind a 5-year-old son.

Acevedo remained Monday in Bexar County Jail, charged with capital murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. Miera also remained in the jail Monday. He was charged with two counts of capital murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, resisting arrest and possessing a prohibited knife.

Citing the coming trials for those men, Hewitt declined to explain why prosecutors offered Jessamy the plea deal.

Copyright 2007 The San Antonio Express-News

Full story: Man gets 35 years for killing Texas officer

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