Nueces County First Asst. District Attorney Angelica Hernandez admitted on the stand Wednesday that she gave Breanna Wood's mother, Fallon, access to files pertaining to her daughter's murder.
Hernandez, however, said the documents she allowed Fallon Wood to access were unsealed.
Hernandez’s testimony comes during a motion for dismissal hearing for Joseph Tejeda and Sandra Vasquez, the people charged with capital murder in Breanna’s 2016 death.
“It’s all public record. What am I supposed to do tell channel 6,” Hernandez said on the stand Wednesday.
In the interview, Fallon said Hernandez told her she was overwhelmed because Mark Gonzalez was never in his office and she needed help with Breanna’s case.
Fallon said when she asked what she can do to help, Hernandez showed her to a room and gave her a stack of boxes containing evidence to sort through.
When we showed the copies of what Fallon Wood had of that evidence to defense attorneys, they said they recognized the files but that it would be unethical to show them to Fallon because she is on the witness list.
"She was upset and wanted to help, and I tried to explain to her that we were trying to work a plea deal with (Joseph) Tejeda," Hernandez recalled the incident on the stand.
Hernandez said she showed Fallon interviews and evidence were from the case of Christopher Gonzalez , who plead to lesser charges surrounding Breanna’s death and once that case was closed, they(the files) became accessible to anyone.
“All of those statements, all of those CD’s, all of those documents found and reviewed, they’re a matter of public record in Nueces County,” Hernandez said.
“If it was public record, why didn’t you send her to the sixth floor?” David Klein, Sandra Vasquez defense attorney, asked.
“Because she was my victim, because she’s Bre’s mom,” Hernandez said.
Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez also took the stand responding to questions about Hernandez allowing Fallon to view evidence.
“It’s definitely uncommon in our office but the current case we’re on is uncommon,” Gonzalez said. “It’s definitely one that’s not common and I think that’s why things may have been different and that may be a reason why Mrs. Hernandez did what she did.”
During Hernandez’s testimony, defense teams showed her the evidence Fallon had copied and taken notes on but Hernandez says they didn’t come from her office.
“Ours are bates numbered,” she said.
Hernandez said Fallon was not authorized to take anything home, and if she did, it was behind her back.
Hernandez said she didn’t recall whether Fallon asked to view the files, or if she asked Fallon to view them. But, when Hernandez was asked why she would even allow Fallon to access any files, she said it was because she wanted to explain and show why the cases against some of the defendants were too weak .
Hernandez said she admitted to Fallon that the prosecutor the time (Ray Pena) gave other defendants in the case plea deals and sentencing them before they could help with the cases against Vasquez and Tejeda.
“They let these crucial witnesses go on to prison and now we have nothing to hold over them,” Hernandez said. “That is just not standard protocol in how you deal with this case and that is this office’s failing at that time and I fully acknowledged that to her.”
“Her recollection was wrong,” Hernandez said. “That’s what this is all about was her being upset that at that point that I felt the 25 year plea offer with Mr. Tejeda was more than appropriate.”
Fallon said Hernandez never told her about the state planning to offer Tejeda a plea deal but that Hernandez had expressed how overwhelmed she was and how she needed help with the case.
“I honestly think in my heart that she did this on purpose,” Fallon said in tears on the stand. “That she wanted to set me up somehow to get this case dismissed.”
Former prosecutor in the case, Ray Pena, also took the stand and said Fallon confided in him before the KRIS 6 interview about Hernandez allowing her to view evidence.
He said when he confronted Hernandez about it, she denied it.
Pena said he asked her, if he was given the files by Fallon, would she want them.
He said Hernandez told her no because at that point in time the Nueces County DA’s office had already recused themselvesfrom the case.
He said Fallon ended up giving him the envelopes of evidence but he never opened them and reported it to the State Attorney General.
The asst. AG said in court that he picked up those files from Pena on Thursday July 21, 2022.
Hernandez will be called back on the stand to answer more questions at the end of August 2022.
This is a developing story. Check back with kristv.com for updates.