SAN ANGELO, Texas —
After deliberating for a little more than an hour — a Tom Green County jury of five women and seven men issued a verdict of not guilty Friday afternoon. 48-year-old defendent Roberto Arambula was on trial for the stabbing death of 26-year-old Rhyheme Talton in January 2020.
Testimony in the case began Tuesday — and 51st District Attorney Allison Palmer rested the state’s case Thursday. Because of corona virus precautions — the jury members were seated in the first five rows of the audience seating in the courtroom — with the prosecutors and defense attorneys facing them — with their backs to the judge.
Arambula’s defense attorney called several witnesses Thursday afternoon. The jury watched surveillance video from the Stripes Convenience store at 1322 South Abe taken January 26th, 2020.
After that, Arambula took the witness stand and told the jury “I feared for my life”. His defense attorney showed a pocket knife to the jury that Arambula said was similar to the one he always carried with a knife blade about two to two and a half inches long — that he stabbed Talton with that night inside the Stripes store.
Talton later died at the hospital. The store clerk who was working that night and a customer testified that Talton threatened people inside the store.
Arambula –who received the not guilty verdict Friday — is on parole for a prior conviction.