Fort Worth woman gets 25 years for guilty plea in murder
07/16/2014 12:37 PM
07/16/2014 12:38 PM
A Fort Worth woman received a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to murdering a man in 2012.
Jennifer Soto Muniz, 32, of Fort Worth and her boyfriend, Fidencio Pinales, were charged with murder in the shooting of Guadalupe Hernandez on July 7, 2012.
Muniz agreed to a plea bargain for 25 years in prison, said Randy Bowers, the attorney who represented her in this case. Pinales, who pleaded guilty to murder in February after agreeing to a plea bargain, also received a 25-year prison sentence, court documents say.
“She was facing 15 to life because she had been to the penitentiary before and she decided she just did not want to take the chance,” Bowers said. The plea bargain “caps your liability.”
At the time of the murder, Pinales was arguing with the victim about money he said Hernandez owed him, Bowers said.
Hernandez was driving in the 3000 block of Northeast 28th Street about 5:40 a.m. July 7 ,when shots were fired at him from a pickup in which Muniz and Pinales were riding, investigators have said.
Hernandez put his vehicle in reverse to escape, but the assailants pursued him, firing several more shots, police said. Hernandez's vehicle eventually crashed into a telephone pole and the other vehicle drove off.
Hernandez, who was shot in the head, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pinales was identified as the shooter in the case, and Muniz drove the getaway truck, Bowers said.
Before the murder conviction, Muniz had five felony and misdemeanor convictions in Tarrant County, including one in 2010 that led to the firing of a Fort Worth police officer.
An internal investigation determined that officer Wes Featherston used excessive force when he arrested Muniz on March 14, 2010, after she led police on a 22-mile chase.
Muniz complied with the officers’ commands after she was pulled over, but Featherston intentionally tripped her, sending her facedown to the ground, police officials have said. The officer, who was not authorized to be at the scene, then repeatedly struck her with his knee, including a blow to the face that knocked her head back.
Muniz suffered a bloody nose, broken teeth and bruises. The arrest was captured on video taken from a police helicopter. Featherston was fired that September. He appealed and lost.
Muniz had six children at the time who are living with their grandmother, Bowers said.
“It has to be tough,” Bowers said. “Had she not had a drug problem, I doubt any of this would have ever happened.”
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
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