Joseph Tejeda gets new counsel after his lawyer asks to be taken off the case

Kingsville lawyer Sam Fugate will now represent the man accused of murdering Breanna Wood in 2016.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nueces County District Attorney’s Office representatives have confirmed that Eric Perkins, the attorney of record for capital murder suspect Joseph Tejeda, has asked to be removed as Tejeda’s lawyer.

The judge hearing the case, Manuel Banales, has granted that request, and Kingsville lawyer Sam Fugate tells 3NEWS he is now representing Tejeda.

Tejeda is scheduled to go to trial this month, accused of the 2016 murder of 21-year-old Breanna Wood.

Fugate said he hopes to go for trial as soon as possible. Tejeda has been incarcerated for more than 1800 days.

He is accused of killing Wood, mutilating her body, and leaving her remains in a box near an abandoned building close to Robstown.

The death penalty was taken off the table in August 2022 for Tejeda and Sandra Vasquez, the woman also accused of murdering Wood, after the Texas Attorney General’s Office took over Tejeda’s prosecution.

The attorney general’s office was brought in to try the case in April 2021 after allegations surfaced that Breanna Wood’s mother, Fallon Wood, was allowed access to case files and evidence.

Perkins is not the first court official to recuse himself from the case — the original judge, Jack Pulcher, recused himself from the case in 2021.

This is a developing story. Check back with for updates.

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