AUSTIN, Texas - A Travis County jury finds Ruben Munoz not guilty of felony murder. The case moves the the punishment phase Wednesday morning. Munoz plead guilty to manslaughter before his trial started.
Munoz, 27, is charged with killing his girlfriend who was in the front seat of his car he crashed after traveling at speeds of more than 115 mph in March of 2014.
Before the trial started Tuesday morning Munoz plead guilty to manslaughter. He's charged with felony murder so the issue of evading and whether Munoz knowingly or intentionally fled a Travis County Sheriff's deputy that morning of the crash became the focus for both sides.
Jurors watched a short video from TCSO Sgt. Chris Roland who was out on patrol that night driving 62 mph when Munoz speeds past him on Parmer.
Roland accelerates to catch up before turning on his lights and sirens. Munoz slows down to take a left turn and around that time Roland turns his lights on. The deputy reaches a max speed of 123 mph.
Prosecutor Marc Chavez argues the video speaks for itself and that it is obvious Munoz was fleeing. Munoz' defense attorney, Brad Urrutia, says his client is not trying to hide from his actions that day but believes the state is over charging him and that he's admitted to manslaughter. Munoz admits to drinking before the crash.
"I was able to get close enough that I felt comfortable the driver would be able to see me," said Roland.
Over his radio Roland tells dispatch that the vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed and then seconds later reports that the vehicle has crashed out.
Munoz lost control and hit a utility pole. His girlfriend, Micole Medina, did not survive.
Micole's mother testified that she found out about her daughter's death through Facebook and that she was a loving mother gone too soon.
Regardless of the jury's decision Munoz faces between 5 and 99 years for the manslaughter charge. Once the jury reaches a verdict the case will move to the punishment phase.