SAN ANTONIO “A five-year-old murder case in which two mistrials ended in a plea deal.
Nathan Knowles was previously charged with the murder of Michael Berlanga in 2017.
The dispute between the men escalated in the 1600 quarter in Northern Zarzamor and ended with a fatal shot at the unarmed Berlanga.
In July 2019, Knowles went to trial, but a mistrial was declared after a jury deadlocked.
In January 2020, a retrial began, but it also ended in error due to an evidence problem.
In court on Tuesday, Knowles agreed not to contest the lesser charge of manslaughter.
His lawyer asked the judge to consider a four-year sentence, but the 437th Circuit Court, Joel Perez, sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
Berlanga’s mother, wife and son appeared as witnesses during the hearing to talk about what life was like after his assassination.
All three were emotional and remembered him as a good man who took care of his family.
“We will worry about this for the rest of our lives,” Merna Berlanga said. “We should have grown old together.”
The family, although relieved that the case is closed, said no sentence would be fair.
“No matter what the verdict is, it won’t be what we’re looking for,” Michael Berlanga Jr. said.
District Attorney Joe Gonzalez released the following statement regarding the case.
“This was a complex case, as evidenced by two previous mistrials. However, I am glad that we were able to somehow close the victim’s family and ensure that the defendant was held accountable and punished for his actions on that fateful day.
False trial announced in Nathan Knowles murder case
Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.