Gun threat by felon nets 12 years in prison

   BAY CITY - “Officer Linsey was heroic,” said First Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Deshotels.
   “Knowing that the defendant had a loaded and cocked weapon in his hand, Officer Linsey stood between that gun and the victim,” she continued.
   Deshotels was speaking to jurors during the trial of Anthony Lee Vega, 39.
   Vega was charged with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a handgun because he has a prior felony conviction.
   According to testimony and videotape evidence, the crime took place at a Bay City apartment complex during early morning on April 30, 2017.
   Linsey told the jury he saw Vega cock a handgun while making threats toward apartment resident Adam Zavala.
   A loaded 9mm Beretta handgun was later found on the ground in a field behind the Cadillac which Vega had driven to Zavala’s residence.
   Deshotels and District Attorney Steven Reis told the jury that evidence showed Vega discarded the weapon before being arrested by Bay City Police Department (BCPD) Officer Linsey.
   The defense team, led by Joshua Rice, disputed the evidence.
   “You don’t see any of that on the video,” defense attorneys told the jury.
   Defense lawyers theorized that Zavala himself may have “planted” the weapon before police arrived.
   “To believe that theory, you would have to believe Officer Linsey was part of a conspiracy,” Reis responded.
   In addition to officers who went to the crime scene, the jury heard from Zavala and saw a video of his interview by BCPD Sergeant Leo Chevez immediately after Vega was arrested.
   Zavala testified that Vega had been at Zavala’s apartment earlier in the day drinking beer.
   Following a disagreement, Vega left.
   Evidence showed that he returned later with a handgun.
   According to court records and trial testimony, Vega has a prior felony conviction for aggravated assault and was prohibited from possessing a handgun on the night of the threat.
   After the jury convicted Vega of both offenses, a friend and family member testified that Vega had changed since his early conviction of aggravated assault.
   The five-woman, seven-man jury sentenced Vega to 12 years in prison for threatening Zavala with the gun and 5 years in prison for possessing the weapon.
   Both prison sentences will run concurrently (at the same time) according to the judgments.
   Vega will not be eligible for parole for approximately six years according to Reis.
   The trial began on Monday, July 15, 2019 in the courtroom of 23rd Judicial District Judge Ben Hardin.
   Following the sentencing on July 18, Vega was taken to jail.
   His attorneys said they will ask for a new trial.


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