The court hears the case of a former Wako man accused of sexually assaulting a young relative

WACO, TX (KWTX) – A jury in the 19th state Circuit Court of Appeals on whether a former Waco man sexually assaulted a young family member in 2018 failed to reach a unanimous verdict Wednesday, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.

A jury of seven women and five men told Judge Thomas West that they were hopelessly deadlocked after four hours over the fate of David Armando Solis-Bernal, 35, a heavy equipment operator for a utility company.

Jurors voted 10-2 in favor of acquitting Solis-Bernal, court officials said.

Solis-Bernal, who spent 807 days in jail awaiting his day in court, will remain in custody on $20,000 bond and an immigration detainer, according to county records. No retrial has been set for Wednesday on the second-degree felony child contact charge.

Defense attorney Abel Reyna, who is representing Solis-Bernal with attorney Steven VerSteeg, limited his comments after the mistrial was declared because the case is pending.

“I appreciate this jury’s careful consideration of all the evidence,” Reyna said.

Assistant District Attorney Will Hicks, who tried the case with Will Gray, also thanked the jury for their “time and attention.”

“It’s always valuable when members of the community can lend their voices to the process,” Hicks said. “We will carefully consider what they told us this week and move forward accordingly.”

The girl, now 12, testified Tuesday that Solis-Bernal repeatedly touched her inappropriately while she lived with the girl’s mother and siblings at the Sandstone Apartments in the 5100 block of Sanger Avenue in Waco.

Solis-Bernal denied the charges Wednesday and testified with the help of a Spanish interpreter, Dan Carroll. He told jurors that the girl asked him for a hug one night before going to bed and entered the room with her mother. Ten minutes later, the girl’s mother came out and asked him why he was touching her daughter, he said.

“I said, ‘I never touched your daughter.’ I don’t know why you say that. You can get me into a lot of trouble. “If you want me to leave your house, I will,” he testified.

Solis-Bernal said she left the house and went to the gym because she had nowhere else to go. At around three in the morning, the girl’s mother called her and said that she had written a report to the police and warned that they might be looking for her.

He said he called the police department a few days later and asked to speak with the detective assigned to the case. He was told to check back in two to three weeks.

He said he eventually moved to Dallas and found a new job, but the girl’s mother kept in touch with him on a daily basis and continued their romantic relationship by regularly visiting him at her new Dallas apartment. Solis-Bernal said the woman even signed a note for him to get a car and helped him get insurance for it.

During cross-examination of Hicks, Solis-Bernal told jurors she still doesn’t know why she did it, but said the girl lied to them, the police, forensic interviewers and a sexual assault investigator about the alleged assault. .

This is the second misdemeanor trial in the past month in the state’s 19th Circuit Court in which Reyna has represented a defendant.

On September 23, the jury in the murder trial of Quest Aljabaughn Jones, who is accused of murdering Sheryl Carter, the mother of his three children in 2019, found 11 to 1 in favor of guilt.


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