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Bond reduction request denied for Starr County headstone maker accused of stealing from customers

Bond reduction request denied for Starr County headstone maker accused of stealing from customers
1 week 7 hours 21 minutes ago Wednesday, July 10 2024 Jul 10, 2024 July 10, 2024 2:22 PM July 10, 2024 in News - Local

In shackles and wearing a county orange jumpsuit, a Starr County businessman appeared in court on Wednesday while dozens of his alleged victims were in the same room.

Noie Hesbrook III —former owner of Starr County Monuments — was initially arrested in February for allegedly stealing $135,000 from customers after prosecutors say he took payments for monuments and headstones he never completed.

At least 92 complaints were filed against him, officials said.

READ ABOUT THE ORIGINAL ARREST HERE

Hesbrook was arrested last month in Louisiana after missing a March court date.

On Wednesday, Hesbrook requested his $350,000 bond be reduced to $10,000, and that the case be dismissed or at least transferred to another county.

All three requests were denied.

PREVIOUS STORY: Headstone maker arrested in Louisiana returning to the Valley

“We were very happy about that outcome, we've been stressed out for many months,” Lorena Ramos — an alleged victim of Hesbrook — said. “All of these people here are going through some grief because they lost a loved one, and this gentleman with no remorse took their money and ran with it."

Some of the alleged victims have been able to get the stones they paid for, but they didn't come from Hesbrook.

Kali Soto is the new tenant of the building where Hesbrook’s business used to operate out of. He said he’s opening it as a gym next week, and that Hesbrook’s legal issues are following him.

“When I moved in I didn't know what was going on, I saw a lot of tombstones,” Soto said. “A lot of people stopped me asking where were their stones... I had people crying, coming to me and asking why did I do that to them.”

Soto said he’s given away the headstones he’s found in the building.

“I just told them, 'if it's yours, take it,’” Soto said.

Though some have left with their owners, as of Tuesday evening, there were still three headstones in Soto's front yard. 

Hesbrook remains jailed. In court, he said his family is trying to get enough money to pay his bond.

If he does post bond, Hesbrook will be required to wear a GPS monitor.

Watch the video above for the full story.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After this story initially aired on Wednesday, July 10, a Channel 5 News viewer reached out and claimed ownership of one of the remaining headstones. 

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