Gavel

A Navarro County jury found Jaime Gonzales Serrano not guilty of tampering with evidence July 9.

Tampering with evidence is a third degree felony and carries with it a range of punishment between two to 10 years in prison.

Private Defense Attorney Joseph Aguilar represented Serrano. The prosecution was represented by Assistant District Attorney Enoch Basnett and First Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wolf. Judge Amanda Putman presided over the trial.

The not guilty verdict brought an end to charges that had been pending against Serrano since July 2017.

The prosecution argued that Serrano had tampered with evidence by removing approximately 0.1 ounces of marijuana from his pocket and throwing it to the ground behind him while in plain view of two Rice Police Department officers.

Had Serrano been charged with simple possession of that quantity of marijuana, it would have constituted a class b misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in a county jail.

"We respect the jury's decision," said Will Dixon, District Attorney regarding the verdict. "We're grateful for their service."

"We brought the case to trial because the defendant is a convicted felon and tried to conceal prescription drugs from the police at the same time he tried to conceal the marijuana. Because the defendant did not testify at trial that information did not come out before the jury."

"Defense attorney Joseph Aguilar represented his client well," Dixon said. "I'm proud of Enoch Basnett too; this was his first trial in our office as lead counsel. He will continue to improve."