“We take great exception to people tampering with our witnesses,” he said.”In Texas, it is a crime to offer a benefit or coerce a person about testifying in a criminal case.”
The latest situation involved a case where Noe Rodriguez was arrested for sexual assault of a child. In that case, his common law wife, Alelaida DeHoyos, 25, was arrested for tampering with a witness — the victim, Burns said.
“(DA investigator) Bryan Norris conducted an investigation into actions that showed sufficient cause to present to a grand jury,” Burns continued. “She was arrested by Norris with assistance from the Mineral Wells police.
“She coerced the victim to testify falsely,” he alleged.
The DA said this is not the first time witnesses have been contacted inappropriately.
“We’ve had witnesses say they were contacted by the defendant or the defendant’s family,” he said.
Under state law, coercion of a witness, either through the offer of service, money or a threat of harm, is a second-degree felony, punishable by a term of two to 10 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine.
“If it’s a first-degree crime (on trial) then it goes to first degree,” he explained.
Burns said his office will not tolerate that interference.
“This office will aggressively pursue those who tamper with or coerce any victim or witness this office is prosecuting.
We will charge those who interfere with this office’s pursuit of justice.”