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Friday, December 16, 2011

[TX] Alice Police Officer Jose Gonzales allowed bail after killing wife Leslie Morin and 2 hour SWAT standoff

Leslie Morin's life has been stolen.

She was a loving and dedicated




and friend

who was always smiling, helpful to anyone who needed help, funny, and who volunteered in her free time at their son's elementary school and helped out at her father's church..

December 9, 1980 - Monday, December 12, 2011

Leave condolences for the family

A fund has been set up for the children's
ongoing care at Wells Fargo

Facebook page set up for Christmas presents
for Leslie's two children: Coastal Bend Christmas Angel's.
(See news article about it here.)

Leslie had been staying with family members for less than a couple of weeks after leaving her husband, Alice Police Officer Jose "Joey" Gonzales. He came busting into the house breaking down the door - in uniform, found Leslie and her mom hiding huddled in a bedroom closet, fatally shot Leslie multiple times, took their 8 year old son and fled. Police found him at his home and he stalled them in a 2 hour SWAT standoff - with child - that involved Corpus Christi Police, Alice Police, Department of Public Safety troopers, and Jim Wells County Sheriff's deputies. At some point even the U.S. Marshals were there. After negotiating, the young boy was allowed to come out of the house, followed by a surrendering bloody Gonzales.

It is too hard to imagine Leslie's last fearful moments,

or her mother and son's terror,

the level of loss and heartbreak.

The police say they didn't see this coming but when you see an officer who has just murdered the mother of his child, resisted captue, and has SIX stints of law enforcement officer employment with FIVE agencies, it strongly suggests that there is something that someone knew - or should have known along the way. Gonzales has worked for Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Office, San Diego Police Department, Freer Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, and for the Alice Police Department - twice.

Despite Officer Gonzales breaking down a door to a house that isn't his,  "armed with police-issued rifles and handguns" - repeatedly shooting Leslie, scaring everyone by grabbing their son and fleeing, and then waging a standoff - Judge Angelica Hernandez of the 105th District Court has granted him bail. She put conditions on his release - but what difference does that make to a man who has already committed the worst crime? What does he have to lose? WHAT was she thinking? That he deserves to be free? That he's not a danger?

Alice Echo News Journal
Ofelia Garcia Hunter
Monday, December 12, 2011 10:41 am
Updated: Dec 13, 2011.
[Excerpts] An 8-year-old boy is safe with his grandparents after a SWAT standoff with his father ended peacefully. Alice police officer Joey Gonzales surrendered and is accused of the shooting death of his wife in the Annaville area Monday morning. The woman was identified as his wife, Leslie Morin, 31. “We have officer Joey Gonzales in custody,” Alice Police Chief Daniel Bueno said during the press conference Monday.... Gonzales surrendered about 11 a.m. Monday after a brief standoff with officers... He also released his son with a suitcase to police before giving himself up. Corpus Christi Police and SWAT team were on the scene... Lt. Michael Alanis, with the Corpus Christi Police Department, said Morin was shot multiple times just after 7:30 a.m. Monday. Alanis said Morin and suspect were estranged... After shooting the victim, Alanis said the suspect fled the scene with the boy. None of the other people in the home were injured... Gonzales was an officer with the police department for six years. He left for a time to work as a Border Patrol agent, but returned to the police force.... [Full article here]

Corpus Christi Caller Times
By Mark Collette
December 12, 2011
[Excerpts] Alice police officer Jose Gonzales III was supposed to report for duty at 7 a.m. Monday. Instead, authorities said Gonzales, wearing his police uniform pants and a jacket, and armed with police-issued rifles and handguns, went to Corpus Christi for a fatal confrontation with his common-law wife, who left him less than two weeks ago. Leslie Morin, 31, died after being shot multiple times... Authorities have not released a motive for the shooting, saying it is still under investigation. Alice Police Chief Daniel Bueno said Gonzales had been upset about the recent separation from Morin. “She left to Annaville; he stayed behind,” Bueno said... Morin and her mother were hiding in a closet when Gonzales broke open the door, grabbed Morin and shot her, Ortiz said. Morin’s mother was unharmed... Authorities in two counties searched for Gonzales before finding his pickup parked at his home in Alice within about an hour of the shooting... During the search, one of Gonzales’ superiors, Alice Police Lt. Alberto Martinez, spoke with Gonzales on the phone, even praying with him in hopes of keeping him calm... “As he kept talking to him,” Bueno said, Gonzales “kept getting calmer and calmer and calmer”... [Alice Mayor John] Lemon called the day tragic and said his heart goes out to Morin’s family. “If there’s anything that the city can do for the family, please let us know,” he said... It was Martinez who convinced Gonzales to allow the child to walk to a car where his grandparents were waiting, Bueno said, and Martinez who ultimately talked Gonzales into giving up... The day’s events stunned the close-knit Alice Police Department, which has about 50 employees. “To some of my people here, it still hasn’t sunk in,” Bueno said. He didn’t know Morin personally, but had met her when she attended department Christmas parties with Gonzales. “I like to say we’re family,” Bueno said. “It does put a sad chapter in our lives. I’ve been here 34 years. This is my second home. To see something like this is very difficult, but we want to go on and we must continue to provide our community with the best service we can”... [Full article here]

by Melissa Shroeder -
Dec 12, 2011
[Excerpts] Police Chief Danny Bueno says one his own officers, Joe Gonzales, is in custody after he allegedly shot and killed his common law wife at an Annaville area mobile home park. Around 7:30am Corpus Christi police got the call about a woman who had been shot inside a unit at the Jacksonwood mobile home park. The medical examiners office says Leslie Morin was shot multiple times. We're told the shooting scene was disturbing as there was still cake and balloons from the victim's birthday party over the weekend. Police say Gonzales forced his way inside the home as he was armed with a handgun and chased the victim to her parents bedroom where she was shot. Neighbors say they saw a man leaving the scene with a young boy who appeared to be in shock. We're told the man was covered in blood as he left the home. The suspect and the boy left the area in a Chevrolet Silverado, causing police to put out an alert not to try and confront the armed suspect... Authorities have identified Leslie Morin as the woman who was killed this morning. Neighbors say she had just recently started staying at the mobile home with her family members. [Full article here]

What sense does that make?
A judge would let this man out?

APD NEGOTIATIONS HELPED DEFUSE SITUATION: APD Chief Daniel Bueno addresses the media.
Johnny De La Zerda Jr.
Mon, Dec 12, 2011.
[Excerpts] ...Daniel Bueno, Chief of Police for the Alice Police Department, said the incident took place at 109 Highwood in Annaville. "It was through prayer and constant communication that we were able to ensure the safety of the community and nearby schools," Bueno said. "It was the work of my team and the negotiations conducted by the Alice Police Department that brought this to a safe conclusion. The child involved will now be turned over to his grandparent after being interviewed. The safety of our community and schools is our number one priority and we did everything possible to make sure that happened." Chief Bueno said the negotiations of Sgt. Albert Martinez were instrumental to bringing the situation to as best of a conclusion as possible... [Link no longer online.]

...Reporter: "Did they have any history of domestic violence before?"
Chief: "I don't have that information."...


"...I want to emphasize the fact that ur team, Alice Police Department, City of Alice, were able to make sure no one else would get hurt... to make sure that our child - and we call him our child  because *he's the son of our officer* - our child was going to be safe..." 

ALICE CITY MANAGER RAY DE LOS SANTOS - "While today is a very sad day for the City of Alice, and for the Alice Police Department, and for the *Gonzales family*, while it is a very sad day, we are very fortunate to have professionals..."

Alice Echo News Journal
By: Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr.
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2011 1:07 pm
Updated: 2:31 pm, Mon Dec 12, 2011.
[Excerpts] The last call Irene Hernandez made to her friend Leslie Morin was to wish her a happy birthday. One week later, Hernandez added a photo of Morin, who she calls a sister, to her facebook page. The message posted underneath the picture said “Rest in Peace.” “It's just unreal. There were no difficulties between them as far as I saw. They were always together, very loving,” Hernandez said... Officers with the Corpus Christi and Alice Police Departments along with Department of Public Safety troopers and Jim Wells County deputies held a two hour standoff with Gonzales outside his home on Washington Street in Alice. Gonzales eventually released his son into police custody, and surrendered minutes later... Hernandez described Morin as a good mother, who liked to spend her free time during the day volunteering at Schallert Elementary School, where the couple's son attends school. “She was always with her kids, she kept to herself, but she was friendly. She was a great wife,” Hernandez said. Hernandez said the couple had been together for 10 years, and had never shown any outward signs of disagreement or violence... She called the pair a close couple, with Morin's happy nature matched well with Gonzales, whom Hernandez called a generous man when it came to his time, both with Morin and the children... “Joey would volunteer for events at school, and he was a good parent, always with the kids. Leslie's daughter was from her first marriage, but Joey, she was not different to him. He treated them the same... If we needed him for anything, he was always there. This is just something crazy, I don't know what got into him”... [Full article here]

Dec 13, 2011
[Excerpts] An Alice police officer accused of killing his common-law wife appeared in court this morning to learn the conditions of his potential release on bond... This morning a District Judge Angelica Hernandez set his bond at $250,000.... His defense attorney, Mark Gonzalez, called us today to share how his first meeting with his client went last night. The attorney says, "Mr. Gonzales was very emotional, crying, and in a state of shock. He was concerned about his son. He said he didn't do anything to himself, because he didn't want to leave his son without both parents." [Full article here]

FAMILY OF WOMAN SHOT TO DEATH MONDAY SAID THEY NEVER SAW SIGNS OF ABUSE BUT HAVE FORGIVEN HER KILLER: Alice police officer Jose Gonzales III, 44, was arrested on suspicion of murder for the death of Leslie Morin, 31
Corpus Christi Caller
By Michelle Villarreal
Posted December 13, 2011 at 6 p.m.,
updated December 14, 2011 at 6:15 a.m.
[Excerpts] The father of a woman police believe was shot to death by her common-law husband said he never saw signs of abuse in their relationship. Alice police officer Jose Gonzales III, 44, was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder for the death of Leslie Morin... "I never suspected anything," her father Arturo Morin said Tuesday. "I don't know what happened. I really don't." He said while the family is having a difficult time with her death they already have forgiven Gonzales. "We've just been praying and holding onto the word of God," he said. "I forgive him because I know the Lord will handle this. She's in a resting place now and nobody can hurt her." Gonzales has been placed on unpaid leave... Arturo Morin, a pastor at House of Surrender Christian Church in San Diego, said his daughter often helped with church functions. He described Leslie Morin as a lovable person who always was smiling and did everything for her two children. He said she would help people any way she could. "When you would go through bad trials, she was there," Arturo Morin said. "All you had to do was give her a call."... Leslie Morin left Gonzales less than two weeks ago... Judge Angelica Hernandez of the 105th District Court, ordered Gonzales, if he makes bail, to have no contact with Morin's family, including his son. He also would be subject to electronic monitoring and wouldn't be allowed access to weapons, including police-issued weapons.... [Full article here]

by Stephanie Kusy -
Posted: Dec 14, 2011
[Excerpts] We're learning more about the woman who was killed earlier this week in Annaville. Police said 31-year-old Leslie Morin was fatally shot Monday by her husband... A group of parent volunteers from Schallert Elementary gathered to remember their friend. They said they became very close to Morin over the past few years. "She loved to kid around," said one woman. "She was always laughing. Smiles, she always had a smile on her face. She was funny"... "She was very close to both her kids," a friend said.... "She will be deeply missed because she was loved by many many people," said her friend. [Full article here]

JUDGE BANS GONZALES FROM CONTACT WITH 8-YEAR-OLD SON: Former Alice policeman also banned from contact with victim's family
Alice Echo News Journal
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
[Excerpts] Alice police officer Jose Gonzales, accused of fatally shooting his wife early Monday morning, was told in court that if he makes bail, he is banned from contact with his 8-year-old son and the family of the victim. The ruling was given during a hearing in front of district judge Angelica Hernandez Tuesday in Corpus Christi. The judge said if Gonzalez meets his $250,000 bail, he will be required to wear a monitoring device and attend weekly visits with a parole officer. Contact with his son and the family of his estranged wife, Leslie Morin, is prohibited. Gonzalez is in the Nueces County jail on a $250,000 bond... Gonzales fled Annaville back to Alice with his son. The boy was released after a standoff... [Full article here]

Alice Echo News Journal
By: Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr.
Wed Dec 14, 2011
[Excerpts] Arturo Morin has placed his faith in God, he said from his home on Wednesday, after forgiving the man who Alice police allege shot and killed his daughter, 31-year old Leslie Morin. “I'm a pastor. I forgive this guy”... Morin said his daughter never gave any indication that there was a problem in her relationship with Gonzales. At times when family members did try to get Morin to open up about how she was doing or how her relationship was with Gonzales, she did not elaborate. “She bottled everything up. She never gave a hint of anything going on,” Morin said. “All she said was I'm okay; everything is ok... She was a very lovable person. She had a lot of friends, and she was well liked by all of them,” Morin said. “You can tell by her facebook page, all the messages people have left. A lot of people cared about her. She'll be missed by a lot of people.” Morin said his daughter had a kind heart and never harmed anyone.... As far as the charges against Gonzales, or if the case does eventually go to trial, Morin said he does not intend on being in the courtroom. “I'm done with that,” Morin said. “I'll just pray”... [Full article here]

Alice Echo News Journal
Julie Neal
Thursday, December 15, 2011
[Excerpts] A benefit account has been set up at Wells Fargo for the family of Leslie Morin... Morin left behind a young son and daughter. Funeral Mass for Morin will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 16, 2011, at St. Francis de Paula Catholic Church in San Diego, Texas. Interment will follow at the New Collins Cemetery in Alice, Texas. [Full article here]

Alice Echo News Journal
By Pete Garcia
Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 1:48 pm
Updated: 3:31 pm, Thu Dec 15, 2011.
[Excerpts] The Alice Police Department SWAT team and its other officers did their job Monday... "It's been very difficult," Alice Police Chief Danny Bueno said. "There's a healing process we have to go through as officers and we're getting through all of the stages. I think today, it's something we're all looking at a little differently than we did a few days ago"... According to the Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office, [Leslie] Morin was shot multiple times around her body... In the days after the fatal shooting and the officer's arrest, the police department reached out to its chaplaincy program which brought in local clergy to council officers. The Texas Department of Public Safety also offered to lend its grief counselors. "It was a horrible situation which could have been far worse," Bueno said. "As an officer, you see some things and go through some things and you think you're all right, but it catches up to you... We as law enforcement officers protect and serve,... This is a single action by a single person. I ask that the public please not let the actions of one individual reflect on everyone in our department... We serve and protect and we did everything we would to handle the situation as best as we could. We protected the child involved and we made an effective arrest. We did everything in our power every step of the way"... A key part of the investigation is the alleged weapon used in the shooting. Investigators haven't released any details of the weapon or if it was Gonzales' service weapon that was used... [Full article here]

"...She leaves fond memories to be cherished by her mother...her father ... her sister ... her brothers ... and a half-sister ... Leslie's pride and joy are her children..."


"If Today Was Your Last Day"
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder child terror brutal texas state politics]


    by Stephanie Kusy
    Posted: Dec 16, 2011
    [Excerpts] The Wallgren family Christmas tree will be without a few presents this year. One family member will be missing - their baby daughter Emma who recently died from meningitis. The Wallgren's said they received an overwhelming amount of support from the Alice community. Now they are paying it forward and helping the family of Leslie Morin... The Wallgren's have set up a Facebook page "Coastal Bend Christmas Angels" for those to want to donate toys to the family for Christmas.

  2. These below excerpts are from the video, but not included in the printed article, here:

    Alice Police Officer Charged with Murder, Victim's Family Speaks,, Jessica James, Dec 12, 2011.

    Neigbbor: And we saw the suspect exit the house with the little boy. He had blood all over his left side... The father was holding his gun in his right hand and was dragging the little boy in his left down the hill to where the vehicle was running...

    (Asked about how the little boy looked)
    Neigbbor: Shocked. Traumatized. I don't think it had all hit him what had happened. He was still in pajamas...

    Reporter: This Annville resident said she can't help but wonder if the killing could have been prevented if police could have stopped Gonzales before he pulled the trigger.

    Neigbbor: There was enough time for her to stay on the phone, walking back and forth, with them, to please hurry and get here - beFORE shots were fired - for us to hear what was going on inside OUR house, to look out, to tell the kids to go get in your room, somebody's got a gun. Still no officer's on scene. To shots are fired. Still no officer's on scene. To me going to the back of the house to dial 911. Still no officers on scene.

    Reporter: She said it took 7 to 10 minutes before police arrived on scene.

    Neigbbor: More than scary...

    [According to the Corpus Christi Police Department the 911 call was made at 7:25 and the police arrived at 7:31)

  3. Custody Battle over Victim's Children
    Posted: Jan 04, 2012
    [Excerpts] The Alice police officer accused of shooting and killing his common law wife was back in court. Jose Gonzales III was shackled and cuffed inside Juvenile Judge Brent Chesney's courtroom. That, as his family members attempted to get custody of his 8-year old son... Gonzalez' family asked Wednesday that Judge Chesney consider that they be allowed to raise the son. But, in court, it was revealed that the children don't want to be separated...

    Former Officer In Court For Custody Hearing
    Jan 4, 2012
    [Excerpts] ...During the custody hearing, Gonzales' brother said he was interested in caring for the couple's son. But, Judge Brent Chesney decided the boy and Morin's daughter would stay in the custody of the state. Temporarily though, both children will remain in the care of Morin's mother because the kids requested they stay together, no matter what. Judge Chesney said, "There are plenty of good relatives probably on the paternal side. My belief is based on the fact that it's in the best interest to keep these children together at all costs. I guess that could change in the future, but I don't see that in my crystal ball." A status hearing for the two children is scheduled for February...

    1. They should stay together and with the care of Morin's mother... no matter what the cost is they should never be apart for each orther..

    2. AnonymousJuly 19, 2012

      Although Morin's mother has had charges of abuse against children in her own past when she was using a different last name? Really? How interesting you would have such an opinion.

  4. Ex-police officer indicted in wife's killing
    Mar 08, 2012
    A former South Texas police office has been indicted on a capital murder charge in the death of his estranged common-law wife. The indictment from the Nueces County grand jury also charges 44-year-old Jose Gonzales III with burglary in the Dec. 12 shooting of Leslie Morin at a house in Corpus Christi...

    Witnesses have said Morin's estranged common-law husband, Jose Gonzales III shot Morin
    By Michelle Villarreal
    Posted February 7, 2012
    CORPUS CHRISTI - A judge decided Tuesday that the children of an Alice woman fatally shot last month will remain in the state's care until a summer hearing to review the case. Child Protective Services was granted emergency custody of the 8-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl in December after Leslie Morin, 31, was shot and killed Dec. 12... An initial permanency hearing is scheduled for June 7, where the court will check the status of the case. Gonzales was terminated from the Alice Police Department on Dec. 19...


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