Second trial begins for man accused in Constable Robert White's death

Devon Huerta-Person is accused of killing Constable Robert White on Halloween in 2014.

The second trial is underway for a man accused in the 2014 death of Constable Robert White.

White died after a fight with a Fort Bliss soldier on Halloween night at a haunted house in Canutillo.

Authorities said Devon Huerta and White got into a fight, and Huerta punched White in the nose.

White started to bleed profusely and later died at a hospital.

An autopsy report said White died from cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, but the punch he received to the bridge of his nose was a contributing factor in his death.

Huerta was originally charged with capital murder, but he is now facing a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant.

Huerta's 2016 trial ended in a mistrial.

A key point in the first trial was whether Huerta's punch caused White's death or if the constable died from heart problems.

The first jury was unable to decide.

As for the retrial, an area of concern is the witnesses’ memory.

Prosecutors asked people in Huerta’s group Tuesday if they remembered specifics from the incident, but they couldn’t remember many of the specifics from what happened more than three years ago.

The last thing the jury saw before lunch Tuesday was Huerta’s interview with detectives, in which he was adamant that he did cause the constable’s death.

The trial is set to continue in the afternoon.

Wednesday afternoon, the state presented their final witness: Mario A. Rascon, El Paso County’s chief medical examiner.

He said on the stand that the blunt force trauma White suffered was considered a “significant contributor” to his death.

Rascon identified the abrasion and laceration on White’s face between his eyes.

Rascon said that while White suffered heart failure, the death could not be classified as "natural."

“Since it was part of an altercation with a third party, it’s best classified as a homicide,” Rascon said.

But during cross examination, the medical examiner said the laceration on White's face could also be consistent with White falling forward to the ground while wearing his glasses.

The medical examiner was only able to specify that the blunt force trauma to the head was a significant factor in the death.

But it’s unclear whether White fell forward -- creating that injury -- or whether the injury came from being punched in the face.

The defense is not presenting any witnesses.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Thursday morning.

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