On Tuesday, a district court jury deliberated 25 minutes before finding Miguel Aquirre, 54, guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm. Aquirre chose to be sentenced by the judge. After hearing additional evidence on punishment, Koetter sentenced Aguirre to the maximum prison time allowed.
Aguirre still has an indictment for continuous sexual abuse of a child pending against him.
At trial, former Goliad County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaac Bridges testified that near midnight on Nov. 20, 2011, he pulled over a truck and was talking to the driver in the parking lot across Temple Street from Grace Temple Church in Goliad.
Bridges said he saw a green Camaro drive by them very slowly, then turned around and drove back where he was talking to the driver. The Camaro drove into the parking lot and stopped. The sole occupant of the Camaro had rolled the passenger window down, and when Bridges shined his flashlight into the inside of the Camaro, he saw what looked like the form of a pistol under a jacket the driver was holding in his free hand.
Bridges pointed his service weapon at the man and ordered him to drop what was in his hand, and to place his hands on the steering wheel. The driver, later identified as Aguirre, did not comply with the order, but on the second order, he did as he was told.
Bridges handcuffed Aguirre and then looked under the jacket in the Camaro. He found a fully loaded .357 magnum revolver. Aguirre told Bridges the pistol was not meant for him, but was intended for the man Bridges has stopped. Bridges testified it was apparent there were hard feelings between the two men.
In 2004, Aguirre had been sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Convicted felons may not legally possess a firearm at all for five years after they finish their sentence. Thereafter, a felon may only possess a firearm at their residence.
During the penalty phase of the trial, Koetter learned that in 1994 Aguirre had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing drugs.
“The state is very pleased with the sentence given by Judge Koetter. It sends the appropriate message that serious criminals will get serious time in Goliad County,” District Attorney Mike Sheppard said. “I appreciate the efforts of my assistant Terry Breen who tried the case along with Rob Baiamonte, Goliad County Attorney. It is great to have the assistance of the county attorney who has always been very generous in his willingness to help my office,’ he said. Sheppary is district attorney in DeWitt, Goliad and Refugio counties.
The defendant was represented by Chris Iles of Refugio.