EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – In Tuesday morning’s status hearing Walmart case appointed judge Sam Medrano granted the District Attorney’s office 45 days to review audio and video recordings filed on behalf of the Hoffman’s, family of Walmart shooting victim.
Today’s hearing, already postponed three times, did not end with a ruling on whether a gag order issued by Medrano on July 1 was violated nor by who.
In last week’s court filing attorney Justin Underwood, appointed to the Hoffman family, stated that the Hoffman’s believe it was Roger Rodriguez who wrote the emails sent in August, that potentially violated the gag order.
Rodriguez is a municipal judge in the Village of Vinton and, according to Underwood’s report, presented himself to the Hoffman’s as D.A. Yvonne Rosales’s representative.
The audio recordings in Spanish, translated and transcribed into English, allege multiple conversations between Hoffmann’s and Rodriguez, where Rodriguez is heard allegedly instructing the Hoffman’s not to return D.A.’s calls.
Underwood’s report also alleges Rodriguez was behind the emails sent in August and that they were sent from Hoffman’s phone.
This hearing was earlier set for September, when judge Medrano asked the D.A.’s office to locate the Hoffmann’s in order to confirm the authenticity of the emails.
D.A.’s office claimed they could not locate them, and judge Medrano appointed attorney Underwood to represent them.
In one of the audio recordings, Rodriguez allegedly asks Hoffman’s not to return D.A.’s call, in order for the D.A.’s office to say they were not able to locate them.
D.A. Rosales was not present for Tuesday’s hearing, only Assistant D.A. Curtis Cox and Patrick Crusius’s defense attorneys.
Judge Medrano also set a hearing date for January 25 of 2023, after federal deadline for death penalty on January 17.
Medrano explained after the Federal Government decides whether they will seek death penalty, the state will have a better idea on making a scheduling order.
Early this morning, D.A. Rosales also filed an emergency petition with the court of appeals to have the gag order removed from the Walmart case.
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