San Antonio, Texas, May 30, 2017: Last week, a Bexar County jury sentenced 37-year-old Sherman Robinson to 65 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On Wednesday, jurors found Robinson guilty of Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon Against a Public Servant in connection with the October 2015 shooting of Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Canales.
On October 30, 2015, Deputy Canales, who is assigned to the K-9 Unit, was given information that drug dealing was taking place in the 8000 block of Midcrown, on the city’s northeast side. Deputy Canales went to the location and observed the defendant, later identified as Sherman Robinson, acting very suspicious by walking back and forth across Midcrown and never taking his eyes off of Deputy Canales. Eventually the defendant walked into the apartment complex at the location and Deputy Canales continued his patrol. A short while later when Deputy Canales drove back by the location, he once again saw the defendant about to cross Midcrown. Deputy Canales stopped his patrol vehicle to speak with the defendant, but as soon as he stepped out of his vehicle, the defendant opened fire with a .380 caliber handgun. The first shot hit Deputy Canales in the right forearm and the second shot hit him in the chest. The first shot disabled Deputy Canales’ arm, making it impossible for him to draw his sidearm and defend himself. Deputy Canales fled around his patrol vehicle as the defendant continued to fire at him. Deputy Canales then sought shelter behind a nearby tree and was able to draw his firearm with his left hand. The defendant fled into the apartment complex. Evidence later showed Robinson was less than 12 feet away from Deputy Canales when he fired his .380 caliber gun at him.
Canales was able to call for help and give a description of the defendant and the direction in which he fled. Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Windcrest and San Antonio Police Departments, responded to the area. A Good Samaritan also assisted Deputy Canales who had suffered injuries from the gunshots. While trying to evade officers in the apartment complex, Robinson once again shot at officers who were pursuing him. Robinson was caught a short while later hiding underneath a car in the apartment complex with the gun he used to shoot Deputy Canales just inches from his hand.
Meanwhile, Deputy Canales was rushed to San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) where he underwent 8 hours of surgery to repair his right arm. The bullet that struck Deputy Canales in the chest was stopped by his ballistic vest. Deputy Canales endured months of rehabilitation and ultimately returned to work.
On the stand, Deputy Canales told jurors he thought he was going to die that night and talked about his devastating injury. He also spoke of the loss of his father, San Antonio Police Officer Antonio Canales, who was killed in the line of duty in 1972. Deputy Canales says that he uses this horrific experience to train new officers about being ready for anything and fighting to survive when placed in similar situations. Since this incident Deputy Canales and his family regularly work with organizations that support injured and fallen officers (both human and K-9) and their families.
The defendant also testified claiming he feared for his life and said he would shoot Deputy Canales again if in the same situation. Jurors took about one hour to convict Robinson of shooting Deputy Canales. After hearing punishment evidence, the jury returned a 65-year prison sentence. Prosecutors asked Presiding Judge Laura Parker to stack the 65-year sentence on top of a 99-year sentence that Robinson received last year for a Felon in Possession of a Firearm charge. Judge Parker granted the request, making Robinson’s total sentence to 164 years. Robinson will have to serve his 99-year sentence before his 65-year sentence begins.
Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon Against a Public Servant is a first degree felony, punishable by 5-99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. However, due to Robinson’s extensive criminal history, his punishment range was enhanced to 25 years to life in prison. Because of the nature of the offense, Robinson will have to serve at least 30 years on the Aggravated Assault before he becomes eligible for parole. Assistant District Attorneys Joe Hooker and Alfred Ramirez from our Criminal Trial Division prosecuted the case against Robinson.