Local Teen's Appeal Denied In Capital Murder Case

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

WACO (September 27, 2013)—An appeal sent to the 10th Court of Appeals seeking reversal of a trial court’s order that sent a juvenile to state prison after his conviction for robbery in connection with a capital murder case was denied Thursday and the trial court’s decision was affirmed.

The juvenile, unnamed because of his age, was found guilty of aggravated robbery in connection with the August 14, 2010 capital murder of a Bellmead store clerk who was stabbed to death during a robbery.

Court documents obtained from the 10th Court show the juvenile, who was 16 at the time of the incident, acted as the getaway driver for the three men who actually robbed the store and killed store owner Najmal Haq.

The appeal was based upon the juvenile’s assertion that he should have been released on probation after he served his initial sentence in the Texas Juvenile Justice Division.

The trial court sentenced the juvenile to a 25-year determinate sentence on an aggravated robbery charge.

A determinate sentence means after a juvenile has been in the juvenile justice system initially and reaches his 19th birthday, the court has the option to release the juvenile on adult probation or transfer him to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to serve the remainder of the sentence.

In this case the trial court decided to forgo the probation option and send the juvenile to the adult prison system.

In brief, the 10th Court reviewed the action by the trial court and determined it was based upon credible evidence and procedure and affirmed the trial court’s decision.

The juvenile, according to 10th Court records, is not an American citizen and upon his release from prison is to be deported to his home country.

Frederico Davilla, 29, pleaded guilty on May 24, 2012 to aggravated robbery and Judge Matt Johnson sentenced him to serve five years for his role in the deadly holdup.

Johnson sentenced Saul Medina to serve life in prison after Medina pleaded guilty to the murder.

Medina, 30, was charged with capital murder but did not face the possibility of the death penalty, said District Attorney Abel Reyna.

A fourth suspect, Mario Escobedo, remains at large and is believed to be hiding out in Mexico, Reyna said.

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