January 11th, 2018

Nieto, Hernandez defense requests trial delay 


PRESIDIO COUNTY – United States Magistrate Judge David Fannin approved a delay on a January 9 docket call for former Presidio County Commissioner Lorenzo Hernandez and former Presidio ISD School Board trustee Carlos Nieto at the request of the defense. 
 

The request for the continuance was filed as the defense “has received discovery which consists of voluminous data, including reports, audio and video recordings,” according to federal court records.  Nieto’s attorney, Joe A. Spencer of El Paso, the motion states, received the discovery on January 5, leaving him little time to review the documents. 
Spencer was named lead counsel for Nieto following the termination of Alpine lawyer Liz Rogers’ role in the defense. 
Rogers said she is involved in a major case in El Paso and had to withdraw. But she said her former client is in good hands with Spencer, a Presidio native and formidable criminal defense attorney.

 
Lubbock attorney David Guinn remains the attorney of record for Hernandez.  Hernandez and Nieto were caught in a federal sting operation last year. The former elected officials are accused of taking payments to ensure that Presidio County awarded a contract to a records management firm, a firm that actually was a bogus company set up by federal law enforcement officers. 

 

The motion also requested a continuance on Nieto and Hernandez’s February 2 final plea deadline, and March 19 jury trial for at least 60 days. The other two requests have not been granted as of press time.