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Joseph Tejeda to receive new attorneys, could delay trial six months

Man charged with capital murder to receive new attorneys
Breanna Wood Case
Posted at 3:36 PM, Dec 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 14:32:13-05

Joseph Tejeda, the mancharged with capital murder in the 2017killing of Breanna Wood, will receive new attorneys.

"I need a new attorney, man," Tejeda told visiting judge, Manuel J. Banales, before that cases and others were called at a status hearing Friday.

At several points throughout the hearing, during which he was arraigned on a new charge of engaging in organized criminal activity, Tejeda asked for a new attorney.

One of Tejeda's attorneys, Dee Ann Torres, had filed a motion asking to withdraw from the case due to medical reasons. That motion was granted.

His other attorney, Fred Jimenez, was removed after a request by both Tejeda and Jimenez.

"It’s been six years and two months I haven’t had one bond reduction," Tejeda told Banales. "My attorney is not fighting for me. He keeps trying to convince me to sign life sentences and 40 years, sir, when I feel I’ve been here six years without conviction on anything that I’ve been accused of, sir, and I want a fair trial. I just want somebody that’s going to fight for my life, sir."

Initially, Banales declined to withdraw Jimenez from Tejeda's cases. But, after hearing from the attorney decided to remove him.

"Judge, there might be some conflict right now," Jimenez said. "He previously told me he seriously doesn’t want me as his lawyer. He’s not gonna work with me. He’s not gonna listen to me. It may just be a conflict. I explained to him that if the court granted his motion that this case could be delayed until summer. He says he’s fine with that. He doesn’t want me as his lawyer; it’s very difficult to represent a client who is not listening to you. He’s listening to other people at the jail. He has some absurd theories as to what he should be charged with, and he doesn’t pay attention to me."

Banales said that it may take a new attorney three to six months to get up to speed on the capital murder case and that by requesting a new attorney, Tejeda essentially waived any claims to that his rights to a speedy trial were being violated.

He also said that he was concerned about his ability to find a new attorney, given the media attention the case had garnered.

Tejeda is not the only defendant charged in the killing of Wood who will receive a new attorney.

David Klein filed a motion to withdraw from the case ofSandra Vasquez, who is also charged with capital murder in her killing.

Klein is judge-elect of the 148th District Court and takes office on January 1.

Banales said he will sign the motion once Klein is unable to act as an attorney, which will be on Dec.31.

Tejeda was set to go to trial on his new case, engaging in organized criminal activity, next month, which he took issue with.

"But I want to know why they’re not ready to proceed on the case where I’ve been here for six years that’s what I don’t understand," Tejeda said. "I haven’t been here for six years on that case, that high-profile case I’d like to go to trial on what I’ve been accused of first."

The Texas State Attorney General said it is ready to go to trial on that case and the capital murder case but has discretion over which case to prosecute first.

The next hearing will be January 6.