Justices uphold sentences imposed on Victoria man

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

March 14, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2013 at 10:15 p.m.

A Texas appellate court Thursday struck down two appeals made by the same Victoria criminal defendant.

The justices upheld the two 17-year sentences given to Alfredo Perez Jr., 18. He was charged in 2012 with engaging in organized criminal activity.

He was accused and pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit a burglary of a habitation with another individual on Nov. 4. And, on Nov. 23, he acted as a lookout with another man, opening a property with wire cutters to steal, according to Victoria County District Clerk records.

In both appeals, Perez argued his sentence was excessive.

But 13th Court of Appeals Justice Nora L. Longoria wrote that she didn't have to review his appeal because Perez should have brought up this issue earlier either during his sentencing hearing or in a post-trial motion.

Perez's attorney, Chris Iles, said he had not read the ruling as of Thursday.

Brendan Guy, the appellate chief at the Victoria County District Attorney's Office, said it is rare for defendants to bring up claims such as cruel and unusual punishment for the first time in an appeal.

He said there are a few exceptions, but this typically goes against a long-standing rule that says justices only review issues that have already been discussed during the original trial.

"It does happen every now and then, though, as this case shows," Guy said.



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