Former cop guilty in shooting of Selma police officer

Photo of Michelle Casady

SAN ANTONIO — A former cop accused of shooting two officers who responded to a domestic disturbance call at his home in September 2013 was found guilty of aggravated assault of a public servant on Tuesday.

Jessie Hernandez, 35, faces up to life in prison. 

This trial, which started last week in state District Judge Lori Valenzuela's court, is only for the charge related to the shooting of Selma Police Officer Tiffany Kierum, who was shot in the face, and not for the shooting of her back-up partner, Sgt. Jesse Balderamas, who was shot in the leg but returned fire and wounded Hernandez. That charge is still pending. 

Hernandez served as a police officer in Corpus Christi and Robstown and left the field in 2009.

A spokesman at the CCPD previously said he was dismissed for "misconduct," but did not clarify. 

RELATED: Two Selma police officers, suspect wounded in gunfire

During closing arguments, Hernandez' defense attorney John "Bud" Ritenour urged jurors not to make a snap judgment and to carefully consider the evidence during deliberations. 

He reminded them of testimony they'd heard from Hernandez' father, who was in the home at the time of the shooting, and said he believed his son was attempting to commit suicide when the gun was fired. 

District Attorney Nicholas LaHood delivered closing arguments for the state, and, echoing a word Ritenour used once during his closing argument, called the idea that Hernandez accidentally wounded the officers "bullshit" at least six times. 

At least three times he addressed individual jurors by name as he wrapped up the state's case. 

"I'm gonna call it crap and I'm not going to apologize for it," he said, later adding "I make no apologies for my enthusiasm. I am the way God made me."

The courtroom was crowded yet quiet as the jury's verdict was read aloud -- there was no visible reaction from Hernandez or Kierum, who was in uniform and sitting in the front row of the gallery for the announcement.

Twitter: @michellecasady