Dallas man's lawyer says illegal search led to his arrest

A Dallas County man whose wife was shot and killed by Dallas police in January after police say she tried to run them over was in court Wednesday to fight the charges against him.

Jailed since the shooting, Virgilio Rosales is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The hearing centered around police finding a gun in the car in his car just minutes after the fatal shooting.

Family members say it was not his Rosales’ gun, and his lawyer is arguing it was an illegal search of the car that turned up the gun leading to the charges against him.

The shooting happened in the early morning hours of January 18 in the 4700 block of East Side Avenue in East Dallas. 21-year-old Genevive Dawes was shot and killed after police say she tried to run them in a car officer's believed was stolen.

"The car then reverses into one of our squad cars that was pulled up and hits it and then tries to drive forward, hitting the fence that was in front of it,” said DPD Officer Erin Evans. “It couldn't make it through there at the time and then started reversing again."

Testifying in a pre-trial hearing, Evans recalled what lead to the fatal shooting that left Dawes dead and Rosales, her common-law husband, cut with shards of glass. Rosales is charged with felon in possession of a firearm.

Rosales' relatives say the gun was not his and has been in jail since his pregnant wife and the mother of his two children was killed.

"His wife was shot nine times by the Dallas Police,” said Rebecca Garcia, Rosales’ grandmother.

Officer Evans testified because she found a 9mm handgun in the car minutes after the fatal shooting before the ambulance arrived. Evans was not one of the officers that fired on Dawes.                 

"There was a pillow in the passenger seat. I pulled back the pillow, and I could see the gun,” she said. “The gun was in between the driver's seat and the passenger's seat right behind the center console."

The hearing resumes on Monday. If the judge determines the search of the vehicle was illegal, the charges against Rosales will likely be dropped.