A Wichita Falls jury recentlly recommended probation for a 27-year old man who allegedly threatened his common-law wife and their children in 2009 before shooting himself, according to an article in the April 10 edition of the Times Record News newspaper. Daniel Anthony Enriquez shot himself under the chin. The bullet later exited through the top of his head, causing brain damage and blindness and deafness on one side of his face.
Defense Attorney Dean Sanders explained that the case took five years to reach the courtroom partly because of the recovery time for the defendant. He also had to be mentally evaluated two times by different doctors to determine whether or not he was competent to go through a trial.
Sanders told jurors this Enriquez was not being tried for anything more than threatening his common-law wife and children. He was not being tried for attempted suicide.
Enriquez fired one shot in the room before shooting himself.
Enriquez pleaded no contest to the charges.
In arguing for probation, Sanders questioned whether prison would benefit anyone in this particular case.
Prosecutor Bret Benedict argued for penitentiary time in the 89th District Court. Benedict said that whether he fired the gun directly at the victim or not, he did fire a shot before shooting himself. He said everyone in the house was endangered including the children, because of the defendant's actions that tragic day.
Benedict went on the offensive in his closing argument asking the jury to consider the fact the defendant has already been on misdemeanor probation for drug charges and admitted to using drugs after completing his probation.
Benedict further asked the 12 jurors to consider the viewpoint of the victim when Enriquez charged into the room with a loaded gun and threatened her with it while at the same time obstructing the doorway. Benedict said he then fired a shot.
The prosecutor also said that it doesn't matter where he fired the shot because he endangered the children and their mother by his actions.
Enriquez will not be formally sentenced by a judge in the 89th District Court until a pre-sentence investigation is completed. A judge will have the discretion to add additional terms of probation at the sentencing phase of the trial in approximately two weeks.
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