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District Attorney Press Releases

Posted on: September 2, 2021

Bexar County Grand Jury indicts man for June capital murder of woman, unborn child

This week, Bexar County Grand handed down more than 200 felony indictments.

Dillon Leigh Meckel is charged with capital murder of multiple persons. The indictment alleges that on June 19, 2021, Meckel intentionally and knowingly caused the death of Laura Placker by shooting her with a deadly weapon (firearm), and that Meckel intentionally and knowingly caused the death of another individual, to wit: an unborn child of Placker while said unborn child was in gestation of Placker. This case is being prosecuted by the Family Violence Division in the 290th District Court. Capital murder is punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Derrick Caldwell is charged with manslaughter. The indictment alleges that on June 10, 2021, Caldwell recklessly caused the death of Damien Gage Martinez Shabazz by discharging a deadly weapon (firearm) at and in the direction of Shabazz. This case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Trial Division in the 379th District Court. Manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Melanie Mariah Gaiton is charged with intoxication manslaughter. The indictment alleges that on June 10, 2021, Gaiton operated a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated and caused the death of Monique Rodriguez by accident or mistake, by Gaiton driving the motor vehicle into Rodriguez. The indictment also alleges Gaiton failed to take necessary and proper evasive action to avoid driving the motor vehicle into Rodriguez by failing to apply the brakes in a timely manner and/or by failing to maintain proper control over the motor vehicle and/or by failing to drive in the proper direction on a highway/roadway and/or by driving and operating the motor vehicle while under the influence of an illegal substance, to wit: marijuana and/or by driving and operating the motor vehicle while under the influence of an illegal substance, to wit: alprazolam. This case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Trial Division in the 227th District Court. Intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. A person charged by indictment is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury or a judge. Because these and potentially other cases are either pending or may be under investigation, we can make no further comment on them.

Copies of indictments may be requested from the Bexar County District Clerk. Information on court settings can be found by searching the case online or directly from the court. 

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