The Justice Journal: Vol. 45 (English)

The Justice Journal: Vol. 45

A look at cases recently prosecuted by the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney's Office.

The Justice Journal

State vs. Daniel Cruz

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Lead: Philip Teissier

2nd Chair: Klarissa Diaz

DA Investigators: Laura Brakefield & Tomicka McCloud

DA Victim Advocate: Yvonne Macias

Investigating Agency: Irving Police Department

The defendant was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14.

GUILTY and sentenced to 65 years in prison.

State vs. Gerardo Benitez Canales

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child under the age of 6

Lead: Joel Abraham

2nd Chair: Taylor Willis

DA Investigator: Edwin Gibson, Raphael Vela, Ryan Rodriguez, Walt Clifton, Joe Mundy

DA Victim Advocate: Flor de la Fuente

Investigating Agency: Irving Police Department

The defendant was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 6. It took the jury 13 minutes to return a verdict.

GUILTY and sentenced to 60 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

State vs. Ruben Lara Alvarado

Intoxication Manslaughter

Lead: Keena Miller

2nd Chair: Priscilla Pelli

DA Investigator: Claudia Mena-Marroquin, Victor Vasquez, Aleciah Taylor, Eureka Williams

DA Paralegal: Maria Cantrell

Investigating Agency: Dallas Police Department

On or about, December 20, 2020, the defendant was driving while intoxicated and violently crashed his vehicle into the vehicle driven by the victim. The defendant failed to render aid and subsequently, the victim passed away from the injuries he sustained during the violent crash. The defendant was charged with Intoxication Manslaughter and Accident Involving Death.

GUILTY and sentenced to 13 years in prison for Intoxication Manslaughter and 10 years’ probation for an Accident Involving Death.

State vs. Pedro Garciacleto

Intoxication Manslaughter

Lead: Drew Taylor

2nd Chair: Christopher Powell

DA Investigator: John Davison

DA Paralegal: Patzy Butler

Investigating Agency: Dallas Police Department

The 16-year-old victim was driving home from work around 11 pm when the defendant crossed over the median divider and caused a head-on collision. The victim was taken by ambulance with crush force injuries and later died. The defendant broke both of his legs in the crash. A blood draw showed that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration was .20.

The 21-year-old defendant entered a plea of guilty before the jury and asked that they give him probation since he had no prior criminal history. There was emotional testimony from the victim’s mother who detailed learning about the crash and saying goodbye to her son. Thirteen members of the defendant’s family testified that the defendant had never been a heavy drinker and was a good kid who made a terrible decision. On cross-examination, all of the family members testified that if the defendant was ever stranded or stuck somewhere they would have come and picked him up.

The Jury declined to give the defendant probation and opted to sentence him to 5 years in prison.

GUILTY plea and sentenced to 5 years in prison.

State vs. Devin Thomas

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Lead: London Daniels

2nd Chair: Alex Dobiyanski

DA Investigator: Victor Vasquez & Michael Csaeszar

Investigating Agency: Dallas Police Department

On March 17, 2023, the defendant and the victim were in a verbal altercation in front of a convenience store on Ann Arbor Avenue at approximately 5:00 am. The defendant pulled out a gun and began shooting at the victim, hitting them twice in the arms. The defendant fled and was tracked down in Las Vegas where he was arrested and brought to Dallas to face charges.

GUILTY and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

State vs. Stephen King

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Lead: Tristan DerMargosian

2nd Chair: Trey Stock

DA Investigator: Lee Thompson

DA Victim Advocate: Roquel Mayhorn

Investigating Agency: Lancaster Police Department

On July 21, 2022, the victim was panhandling when she approached the defendant’s car, and he forced her into his vehicle. The defendant drove the victim to a remote area located on Arrow Road, sexually assaulted her, and attempted to strike her with a hammer. After the sexual assault, the victim was able to run away and call 911. The police took the victim back to the offense location so she could collect her shoes. When the victim and officers arrived on the scene, they saw the defendant attempting to sexually assault another girl. The defendant had a history of taking vulnerable individuals to this location on Arrow Road and sexually assaulting them.  

During the guilt/innocence phase, we were able to get into two of the defendant’s extraneous offenses that took place on Arrow Road even though we could not locate the victims of those offenses. We were able to get the extraneous offenses in through SANE exam records and DNA hits coming back to the defendant.

GUILTY of Sexual Assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison.




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