12/27/2013

San Antonio cop-killer loses federal death sentence appeal

The court has rejected the death-sentence appeal of Manuel Garza Jr., who was convicted in the '01 slaying of Officer John Anthony "Rocky" Riojas

By Michelle Mondo
San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO — A federal appeals court has rejected the death-sentence appeal of Manuel Garza Jr., 33, who was convicted in the 2001 slaying of San Antonio police Officer John Anthony "Rocky" Riojas.

On the night of Feb. 2, Riojas, an 11-year veteran, spotted Garza at a Northwest Side apartment complex as the officer worked on an operation targeting property crime in the area. Garza took off running when Riojas approached him, and the two eventually ended up in a struggle. Garza took Riojas' gun and shot him with it.

The officer's funeral was broadcast live on local television and thousands of people attended the services.

Jury selection for Garza's 2002 capital murder trial took more than a month.

Copyright 2013 the San Antonio Express-News


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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