General Crime

Manuel Garza Jr. Convicted of Killing San Antonio Police Officer John Anthony “Rocky” Riojas Loses Death Penalty Appeal

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The court has rejected the death-sentence appeal of Manuel Garza Jr., who was convicted in the ’01 slaying of Officer John Anthony “Rocky” Riojas.

A federal appeals court has rejected the death-sentence appeal of Manuel Garza Jr., 33, who was convicted in the 2001 slaying of San Antonio Police Officer John Anthony “Rocky” Riojas.

On the night of Feb. 2, Riojas, an 11-year veteran, spotted Garza at a Northwest Side apartment complex as the officer worked on an operation targeting property crime in the area.

Garza took off running when Riojas approached him, and the two eventually ended up in a struggle. Garza took Riojas’ gun and shot him with it. Manuel Garza Jr.

The officer’s funeral was broadcast live on local television and thousands of people attended the services. Jury selection for Garza’s 2002 capital murder trial took more than a month.

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