4th Suspect Charged in Capital Murder Case
EDINBURG - Four people are behind bars after a murder in Edinburg. On Tuesday, the last suspect was charged.
A tear fell from 27-year-old Sandy Lutz Rodriguez as she stood before a judge to hear her charge.
"I was forced to do it,” said Rodriguez.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra disagreed with her statement.
"We believe she not only participated in the dismemberment of Jose’s body, but that she also assisted in digging the hole and throwing his body in the makeshift grave. After she participated in the violent crime, she went to a motel and partied with the other suspects,” said Guerra.
Guerra said the motive for the murder was retaliation from one of the suspects, Gamino Salinas. It stems from an Edinburg home invasion on Mon Mack Road in April.
"Assaulted there at that residence which caused him to lose his leg and he blamed Jose Angel for that assault,” said Guerra.
On Nov. 8, authorities got a call of suspicious circumstance at the same home of the invasion. They couldn't find the people living there, Ricardo Moreno and Jose Angel Martinez.
Investigators found large amounts blood and evidence.
"Leading from inside the house to the driveway to the orchards across the street,” said Guerra.
On Nov. 10 Guerra said investigators found Moreno alive. They found three of the suspects too. They didn’t find Martinez.
Five days later investigators found a potential murder weapon, a machete on a ranch land in Mission.
Investigators said the ranch caretaker was forced by the suspects to use another ranch off of Mayberry and Mile 6 Road.
"He was known to the suspects and he was waken up early that morning to open the gate. So suspected that’s where they took the body and buried it there on the ranch,” said Guerra.
Investigator identified Martinez through tattoos and fingerprints.
Guerra said the investigation is complete.
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