LUBBOCK, Texas — Brian Suniga was in court Monday morning in Lubbock as part of an effort to overturn the death sentence against him.
Suniga was sentenced to death in May 2014 for the December 2011 robbery and shooting death of David Rowser.
According to a recent file in the court case, Suniga’s legal team claimed prosecutorial misconduct. More specifically, the defense team claimed a recording of witness Rachelle Pereida was not turned over before the trial.
Under a court case called Maryland v. Brady, prosecutors must turn over information that is favorable to a defendant.
Suniga’s team claimed that prosecutors waited until April 30 to turn over the recording between Pereida and a Lubbock Police detective.
Suniga’s most recent court filing said there is still no answer as to why disclosures were not brought to light until recently.
There are three ‘violation’ components of that case that refer back to Suniga and Pereida.
The evidence must be favorable to Suniga, it must have been withheld (either willingly or inadvertently), and it must have harmed Suniga.
According to the case file, Suniga emphasized that “Individual prosecutors have a duty, not just to disclose favorable evidence they have adduced, but also to learn of favorable evidence known to the police and others acting on the government’s behalf.”
The defense team demanded that prosecutors provide all information to the defense.
The hearing started on Monday and might last several days. We will provide updates for new information including any rulings by the judge in the case.
As of early Monday afternoon, prosecutors had not yet filed a written response to the claims of misconduct.