Jury finds man accused of shooting at deputies guilty of aggravated assault

Man accused of firing at Smith County deputies during 2016 high-speed chase

Jury finds man accused of shooting at deputies guilty of aggravated assault

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The jury has reached a unanimous verdict in the trial of a man accused of shooting at Smith County deputies.

The sentencing phase of the trial will begin on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

The shooting happened during a high-speed chase in March 2016. Juan Alberto Quiroga, 20, is charged with aggravated assault against a public servant, which is a first-degree felony.

During closing arguments, the prosecution said Quiroga idolized his hero Ricardo Pineda and that when Quiroga’s back was against the wall, he hung an AK-47 out of the window and fired at Smith County deputy Corey Cameron.

Cameron was chasing the car prosecutors say Quiroga was in with two other men - Pineda and Jeremy Robinson.

For their closing argument, the defense aimed to discredit Robinson who testified last week that he was driving the Nissan Altima and that Quiroga and Pineda shot at the deputies.

The jury instructions include a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant or the lesser charge of deadly conduct.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The trial continued Tuesday for the man accused of shooting at Smith County deputies. The shooting happened during a high-speed chase in March 2016.

Juan Alberto Quiroga, 20, is charged with aggravated assault against a public servant which is a first-degree felony.

Tuesday is the first day for the defense to present its case. After lunch, the jury is set to hear testimony from Dr. Roy Malpass, an expert in eyewitness identification. Malpass has been a witness on numerous court cases in El Paso and San Antonio. He has worked on more than 700 cases and testified in more than 100.

Last week, jurors heard from several law enforcement officials as well as a third suspect charged in the incident.

Smith County sheriff’s detective Eric Whitaker said investigators first saw Quiroga during an investigation into known drug dealer Ricardo Pineda.

“Ricardo Pineda was a federal target of a narcotics investigation,” Whitaker said. “In these types of investigations, we do a lot more surveillance than we do action.”

Part of that surveillance was through a camera placed at an RV park. Whitaker said that camera recorded Quiroga getting into a black Nissan Altima on March 21, 2016. He said that was the car the shots were fired from moments later.

A third suspect, Jeremy Robinson, testified last week that he was driving the Altima and that Quiroga and Pineda shot at the deputies.

Pineda began serving life in prison last year after he was found guilty of aggravated assault against a public servant.

Robinson is still awaiting trial.

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