Skip to Content

Trial begins for man accused of murdering El Paso Sheriff’s deputy

Update: The trial quickly hit a speedbump when officials had a problem with several of the jurors. Officials tell ABC-7 the trial is expected to resume later in the day.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Facundo Chavez, the man accused of murdering El Paso County Sheriff's deputy Peter Herrera, entered the courtroom for the first day of his trial Wednesday morning. ABC-7 has a crew inside the courtroom.

Investigators said Chavez shot Herrera during a traffic stop on March 22, 2019 in San Elizario, firing his gun 15 times, striking Herrera in the head.

Herrera died from his injuries two days later.

He was 35.

Herrera had recently gotten married and had a daughter. He had worked with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office as both a corrections officer and as a deputy.

Chavez and Arlene Pina, who was dating Chavez and was in the vehicle during the traffic stop, were both arrested in the hours after the shooting.

Her charges were reduced to manslaughter. She pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Pina told investigators that, once they were pulled over, Chavez intended to shoot the deputy. She also said she had told Chavez that Herrera was harassing her.

Sheriff Richard Wiles spoke in 2019 about Pina's involvement during the deadly encounter during a news conference, making reference to Herrera's body camera audio captured during the traffic stop.

"You can hear her make a comment and that comment is in Spanish, but translated to English is, 'Get that ***,'" Wiles said. "She's hiding with (Chavez) and is, um, trying to get somebody to come pick them up so they can escape from the scene."

When Chavez was last in court in March, his defense team had claimed the prosecution did not turn over the deputy's phones to them. The attorneys said the phones might contain evidence to establish what kind of relationship existed between Herrera and Pina.

Herrera's family denies any impropiety by Herrera.

The judge ordered Herrera's phones be released to the defense.

Article Topic Follows: ABC-7 Alert Center

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Brianna Perez


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content