A 35th District Court jury sentenced a Brownwood man in absentia to 60 years in prison in a drug case after the man left the courthouse mid-trial and did not return.
Jurors sentenced Jaime Arredondo, 41, Thursday afternoon after finding him guilty early Thursday of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Arredondo, who was free on bond when the trial began Tuesday, remained at large as of Thursday evening. A new warrant has been issued for his arrest with bond set at $500,000.
District Judge Steve Ellis told jurors Arredondo had “voluntary left” the trial and had not returned, and made no further remarks about Arredondo’s absence. Arredondo’s wife and mother remained in the courtroom for part of Thursday.
Arredondo was arrested on Dec. 26, 2016 following a traffic stop by a Brownwood police officer who seized just over 6 grams of methamphetamine, according to testimony.
Prosecutor Elisha Bird presented evidence of Arredondo’s criminal past and asked jurors to consider a sentence of 40 or more years.
Arredondo has also been indicted in connection with the seizure of 627 grams of methamphetamine from a Brownwood home in January 2017. Police said the seizure represented the single largest methamphetamine seizure in the city of Brownwood.
Arredondo was not among the two people arrested following that seizure, but he was indicted in February 2018 on an allegation that he conspired with seven others to sell the methamphetamine before it was seized. Arredondo was indicted for engaging in organized criminal activity, and that case is pending trial.