FOUND NOT GUILTY OF MURDER
Thelma Villarreal, the woman accused of fatally shooting her ex-husband's girlfriend, Alexandra Winfree, was found not guilty of murder on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Villarreal's trial began a week ago in the 347th District Court, and just hours after beginning deliberation, jurors delivered a verdict of not guilty.
Police said that on Dec. 29, 2018, Villarreal went to her ex-husband's home on the 400 block of Homecrest St. where an argument started.
That's when she reportedly shot and killed her ex-husband's girlfriend, Alexandra Winfree.
During a hearing back in Oct.2019, Winfree's mother, Alejandrina Winfree, took the stand. She claimed that Villarreal stalked her 21-year-old daughter.
"She would visit me and look out my window and say "Oh, she's there." She would drive back and forth in the middle of the night, and I was worried for (her), but nothing happened. Had I known what kind of danger she was in before," Winfree explained.
Winfree also had remorse because her daughter didn't tell her how bad the situation had become.
"She didn't rely on me as her best friend, but all her friends knew about it," said Winfree.
During the hearing, Villarreal's attorney, Gabi Canales, asked Winfree if she knew her daughter was working as a dancer at Cheetah's Gentlemen's Club with Villarreal.
Winfree said she only knew her daughter had to get a second job to pay her rent. She said she only knew her daughter was a server and was learning to dance.
The victim's brother, Diego Ramon Garcia, also took the stand, and he said his sister was working at an emergency clinic. After her death, he found out his sister went from server to dancer.
While being questioned by Defense Attorney Gabi Canales, he said, "I understand the defendant has been in jail for 275 days. My sister has been dead for 275 days as well."
Canales asked Garcia, "Do you recall making a statement to police saying it wouldn't surprise you if your sister started this fight?" He said he didn't recall making that statement.
Villarreal was arrested in December of 2018 at a home in the 7200 block of Sebastian Court but claimed she shot Winfree in self-defense.
Villarreal remained in a Nueces County jail on a $1 million bond. Judge Missy Medary set her trial date for Nov. 18., but it was pushed back to Dec. 7, 2022 when she was found not guilty of murder.