A jury convicted a former Palmview Police Department dispatcher of manslaughter last week but acquitted him on a more serious felony murder charge.
On Nov. 16, the jury convicted Jacobo Daniel Rivera, 24, of Palmview — a former police dispatcher and volunteer firefighter — on charges of manslaughter and evading arrest or detention causing death, according to Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez.
Attorney O. Rene Flores, who represented Rivera, didn’t respond to a request for comment after the verdict.
Rivera sped away from a state trooper on Aug. 17, 2016, and crashed a red Ford Mustang. The crash killed his girlfriend, 21-year-old Kryztal Luna, and injured Palmview police Officer Juan Martinez, who sat in the back seat.
Both charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
The jury, though, acquitted Rivera on the more serious charge of felony murder, a first-degree felony.
The manslaughter charge required the jury to find that Rivera recklessly caused Luna’s death. The felony murder charge had a higher bar, requiring that the jury find that Rivera “intentionally and knowingly” attempted to avoid arrest and caused Luna’s death in the process.