San Antonio/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 24, 2024
Convicted Shooter of Balcones Heights Police Sergeant Sentenced to 70 YearsSource: Bexar County Sheriff's Office

An assailant convicted of the 2021 shooting of a Balcones Heights police sergeant has been handed a 70-year prison sentence. Wilfredo Montemayor, who was involved in a vehicle burglary incident, fired multiple shots at Sgt. Joey Sepulveda, striking him several times including once in the neck. According to KENS 5, Montemayor will be nearly 100 years old before his sentence is up and is eligible to seek parole after serving 30 years of his term.

In what appears to be a swift decision, a jury took merely about two hours to decide to aggressively dole out the hefty sentence to Montemayor after hearing closing arguments last Friday. During the incident that unfolded at the Sol Apartments on February 2, 2021, Sgt. Sepulveda approached the vehicle Montemayor and his brother, Sijifredo Montemayor, were in, as they were suspected of breaking into cars. The confrontation led to a dramatic shooting caught on the sergeant's body camera, footage of which was shown to the jury, as reported by KSAT.

Mirroring the views of the Bexar County DA Joe Gonzales – who emphasized the perilous nature of police work and the need to protect those in service – the sentence aims to reflect the risks law enforcement officers take daily. "Upholding justice means protecting those members of law enforcement who are doing their jobs and risking their lives for the rest of us every day," Gonzales said in a statement obtained by KENS 5.

Defense attorney Britney Durham argued in the trial's closing arguments that Sepulveda had escalated the confrontation and did not follow proper protocol or attempt only to de-escalate the situation. "If you notice, it was only him escalating it," Durham said. "It was only him shouting. It was only him making threats." Conversely, prosecutor Jessica Schultz countered that the courtroom was solely there due to Montemayor's actions, according to KSAT.

The case has also shed light on the actions of law enforcement in dynamic situations, stirring conversations about procedures and the use of force. While Montemayor begins his long sentence, his brother Sijifredo still awaits trial. Meanwhile, Sgt. Sepulveda, who survived the harrowing experience, was present in the courtroom as the sentence was delivered, marking the closing of a chapter that began more than two years ago on a northwest side troubled by car burglaries.