New Jury Selected In Evidence Tampering Case
BRYAN, Texas (AP) _ Another jury was chosen Wednesday to hear the trial of a former Texas A&M University cadet accused in connection with the hazing death of another student.
County Court-at-Law Judge Carolyn L. Ruffino on Monday declared a mistrial in the case of Gabriel Cuadra, 21, of Houston, after a member of the first jury spoke with a newspaper reporter.
Cuadra is charged with hazing and tampering with evidence in connection with the Aug. 30 death of Bruce Goodrich, 20, of Webster, N.Y. He is being tried first on the tampering charge.
Authorities said Goodrich died of heatstroke after three upperclassman got him out of bed and forced him to take part in so-called motivational exercises.
An indictment alleges that Cuadra, the senior personnel officer in Goodrich’s cadet unit, knew of plans for the motivational exercises, which had been banned by the school. He is accused of destroying an exercise roster after officials began investigating Goodrich’s death.
If convicted, Cuadra could be get up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Cuadra’s attorney, Henry Paine, told the new jurors that they are to decide the question of intent and indicated that the defense will contend that the former student intended to protect his cadet company and the school’s Corps of Cadets, the military-like organization around which many campus activities center.
County Attorney Jim Kuboviak reminded the jurors that the Class A misdemeanor case concerns only tampering with evidence and is not a trial on the death of Goodrich.
Three cadets who allegedly led the exercises were also indicted by a Brazos County grand jury in September on misdemeanor charges of criminally negligent homicide and hazing. Their trial dates have not been set.