Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez has objected to a motion requesting that he recuse himself and his assistants from a criminal case involving a former Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
The twice-amended motion, originally filed on April 29 by former trooper Marco Everett's defense attorney, Eric Perkins, calls into question First Assistant District Attorney Angelica Hernandez's investigation into Everett's alleged criminal conduct, as well as her ability to recognize a conflict of interest.
The document states that the "conduct for which (Everett) was investigated and charged had already been investigated internally by DPS and cleared."
It also points to Hernandez's alleged prior friendly relationship with Everett.
One of Everett's immediate supervisors in the agency was Sgt. Rodney Hernandez, husband of Angelica Hernandez, "who initiated the investigation and presented the case to the Grand Jury," the document states. "Marco Everett at one time had a close collegial relationship with Rodney and Angelica Hernandez attending several social functions with them and at their home."
The document goes on to say the two had a "falling out" after Everett "questioned why an incident where (Rodney) Hernandez deployed a TASER on a subject who was cuffed inside a patrol vehicle had not been investigated and Hernandez not disciplined."
The document claims Everett cannot get a fair trial "so long as Angelica Hernandez and her husband (whose personnel file will be an exhibit during the trial on the merits of this case) who will testify during this trial are in charge of the prosecution's case."
"It is clear that Angelica Hernandez either does not understand the high standards of ethical behavior expected of a District Attorney or just doesn't care," the document states.
Gonzalez, in a response to the motion dated May 9, said that in more than a year since Everett was indicted, Perkins had not objected to Hernandez's participation in the case.
The response also disputes that Hernandez's husband ever directly supervised Everett while he worked at DPS.
"Sgt. Rodney Hernandez was never the immediate supervisor of Trooper Marco Everett. Trooper Marco Everett has always been under the immediate supervision of Sgt. Benjamin Ramirez. This is an absolutely false statement of fact," the document states.
Everett faces charges on suspicion of unlawful restraint, three counts of official oppression and three counts of tampering with government records.
Indictments for Everett show he is accused of criminal conduct on two different dates in 2020.
On Jan. 10, 2020, Everett falsely claimed in a case report that he threw a man to the ground because the man was aggressive toward him, his indictment alleges.
The document alleges Everett "mistreated" the man by throwing him to the ground and made an arrest or a seizure that he "knew was unlawful," and by force or intimidation restrained the man in handcuffs.
An indictment for an incident on Feb. 26, 2020, alleges Everett falsely claimed in a report that a man held a gun to Everett as the man attempted to jump over a barrier into oncoming traffic. Everett then mistreated the man by using a Taser on him while the man was on the ground, the indictment states.
Jail records show a case was dismissed against the man in the February incident. It is not clear if the dismissal is from the same case.
Former staff writer Alexandria Rodriguez contributed to this article.
Kailey E. Hunt covers breaking news and public safety in South Texas. Help support more local coverage with a subscription at caller.com/subscribe.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Nueces County DA declines to recuse himself from DPS trooper case