Posted: Dec 11, 2012 9:39 PM by Mike Manzoni -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Dec 19, 2012 9:41 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Victor Perez, the man accused of punching another man on a downtown sidewalk earlier this month leaving him with severe injuries, made his first court appearance Tuesday.
Police said Perez, 23, was captured on surveillance video Dec. 1 punching Erik Schwirtlich, 25, in the face. The punch caused Schwirtlich to fall to the ground where he hit his head on the concrete sidewalk fracturing his skull.
Perez's attorney, Scott Ellison, asked State District Judge Bobby Galvan to reduce his client's $200,000 bond, arguing that it was "unconstitutional," because it was too high for an aggravated assault charge. He said bonds for second-degree felony charges are typically $20- to $25,000.
Suspects are required to put down 10 percent of the bond, or $20,000 in this case.
When prosecutors, who argued that the original bond should not be changed, played the surveillance video in court, Perez put his head down, refusing to look at the television showing the moment Schwirtlich was punched.
The victim's brother, Brad Schwirtlich, told the court that his brother could hardly speak when he was first admitted to the intensive care unit at Spohn Memorial Hospital. He said that while his brother's condition has improved, "he's definitely not the same young man he was ten days ago."
Perez's mother, Myra Ramirez, testified that neither she nor her son could afford the bond because they do not have savings accounts. She said her son has no criminal history, and has maintained a job as an auto mechanic.
Judge Galvan reduced the bond to $50,000. The reduced bond requires Perez to post $5,000. Judge Galvan said he accepted the same bond amount in a similar case in which the victim died from his injuries.
But the victim's father, Don Schwirtlich, said the suspect's financial circumstances should not have been taken into consideration. "What's that got to do with anything? That doesn't change the fact that my son doesn't know who I am half the time."
Schwirtlich said his son was scheduled to be transported to a Houston rehabilitation center Tuesday afternoon. A full recovery, he said, is likely to take five to ten years.
As of Tuesday night, Perez had not yet posted bond.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
Look at photos and videos and share them!
| Desktop Weather
Current forecast, hurricane info, and much more!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Website
Get KRISTV.com on your mobile or PDA!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Apps
Get our mobile apps on your mobile or PDA!
See the latest winning numbers!
|6 News Team
Read about your favorite KRIS-TV personalities!
|FCC Online Public File
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and more