Jury takes only minutes to find Jesus Manuel Deleon guilty of murdering former girlfriend.
Updated: Jun 7, 2023
It was, hands down, the fastest verdict I have ever covered.
It took an Erath County jury about five minutes on Tuesday to find Jesus Manuel Deleon guilty of murder in the shooting death of 42-year-old Dora Santamaria Hernandez.
Then he was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Hernandez died on the night of March 27, 2022 after she was shot by Deleon, her former lover, outside of a trailer home in Dublin where her boyfriend lived.
After the shooting, Deleon fled to Mexico then returned to the U.S. to turn himself in to authorities.
Texas Ranger BJ Hill traveled to Eagle Pass to interview Deleon and a video of that interview was played for the jury on Tuesday
Eagle Pass Texas Ranger Jose Sanchez acted as a translator during Hill’s interview with Deleon, who cried during questioning and told investigators he knew he "messed up.”
Deleon wasted no time fessing up to the crime; telling investigators that he had an extra-marital affair with Hernandez and that she had begun “extorting” him for money by threatening to tell his wife about the relationship.
Deleon said that a few weeks before the shooting, he purchased a 9 mm pistol from the Chicken House Flea Market and planned to use it to “scare” Hernandez.
On the day of the shooting, Deleon told investigators that he was angry because Hernandez had driven by his house several times, then decided to follow her “to talk.”
But spent casings from the 9mm pistol found blocks away from the crime scene revealed that Deleon did more than just try to talk to Hernandez; he chased her as she drove through Dublin and began firing into the back of her vehicle.
Hernandez was able to drive to her boyfriend’s trailer house but was shot by Deleon once in the chest after she exited her vehicle.
She died at the scene.
Deleon’s court-appointed attorney Andrew Ottoway declined to call any witnesses in the two-day trial held in the 266th Judicial District Court.