Emotions ran high as testimony began in 28-year-old Brandon Portillo’s jury trial Thursday.
Portillo is charged with intoxication manslaughter in the January 2020 death of Corpus Christi Police officer Alan McCollum. He is also charged with two counts of intoxication assault for causing serious bodily injury to CCPD officers Michael Love and Kiyomi Muniz.
Family of McCollum and Love were present in the courtroom as opening statements were delivered and testimony began.
“Every minute of this tragedy is on video,” Nueces County First Assistant District Attorney Angelica Hernandez told jurors during opening statements. “And at the end of this trial, we’ll be asking you to enter guilty verdicts on all three accounts. Not based on what I’m going to tell you, but based on what you’re going to hear and see with your own eyes.”
Portillo’s defense attorney, Kyle Hoelscher, echoed this statement, telling jurors, “Nobody in this courtroom is going to be able to watch these videos without an emotional effect.
“There is not going to be any dry eyes in this room by any person who is watching these videos,” Hoelscher said. “And in all likelihood, no matter what verdict you return, you are not going to like Mr. Portillo at the end of this trial.”
Hoelscher ended his opening statement by telling jurors he intended to ask them to find Portillo “guilty of DWI” — not intoxication manslaughter or assault.
Portillo was arrested in January 2020 after police say the black pickup he was driving struck McCollum and Love.
McCollum, 46, fell over the railing on State Highway 358 at Carroll Lane, the Caller-Times previously reported, citing Nueces County court records. The highway is about 15 feet above the access road.
Police said the black Chevrolet Silverado Portillo was driving struck a police vehicle, pushing it into two other police vehicles that were involved in a traffic stop. The pickup then spun and struck another pickup involved in the traffic stop, the records stated. Muniz was also at the stop and pulled Love to safety.
Kailey E. Hunt covers breaking news and public safety in South Texas. Help support more local coverage with a subscription at caller.com/subscribe.