Starr County man sentenced to 35 years after pleading guilty to 2017 murder of Rio Grande City teen

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A 22-year-old Starr County man pleaded guilty to murder in connection with the 2017 death of a Rio Grande City teen whose remain were found in a ranch.

Phillip Henry Selvera Jr. was sentenced Friday to 35 years, according to a Starr County district clerk. Selvera was 17 at the time of his arrest.

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Selvera was accused of shooting 17-year-old Chayse Olivares in exchange for $10,000 in July 2017. Olivares’ remains were found the following month.

Jose Luis Garcia, Jr., the man accused of paying Selvera to pull the trigger, was found not guilty of murder by a Hidalgo County jury in a Nov. 2019 trial. Garcia was found guilty of tampering with evidence and sentenced to eight years in prison.

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A Starr County district clerk said Selvera is receiving jail credit for the 1,091 day she spent in custody.

Court records show Sebastian Torres — another man charged in connection with Olivares’ death — is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 22. A fourth suspect in the case — Salvador Martinez — is scheduled to go to trial next month in Hidalgo County on charges of tampering with evidence in connection with the investigation.


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