Testimony begins Tuesday in trial of local man accused of killing 2

Todric Deon McDonald (Police photo)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Opening statements, and then testimony is set Tuesday in a Waco district court room in the trial for a man charged with capital murder in two cousins’ deaths.

State and defense attorneys on Monday seated a jury in Judge Ralph Strother’s 19th District Court where Todric Deon McDonald, 32, is on trial for the May 2014 murders of cousins Ulysses Gonzalez and Justin Javier Gonzalez at the apartments at 2600 Grimm Ave.

McDonald has been in custody in the McLennan County Jail for more than 1,730 days since his arrest on May 16, 2014.

He faces the capital murder charge, plus two counts of indecent exposure, one count of obstruction or retaliation and one count of assault on a public servant, the last four filed against him while he was in custody, jail records show.

The state is not seeking the death penalty, which means if convicted, McDonald will automatically be assessed a penalty of life without the possibility of parole.

Not being considered in the Monday trial, McDonald also is charged with theft by possession, endangering a child, failure to stop and identify, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, assault family violence by strangulation and aggravated robbery as well as one count of assault and one count of evading.

Attorneys say they expect the trial to last three to four days.

Tony Olivarez, 42, also is charged in connection with the killings, prosecutors say, but was only named as a co-defendant in the case in 2017, in spite of the fact investigators considered him a suspect long before his indictment.

Olivarez remains in custody in the McLennan County Jail where he is held in lieu of bonds totaling $1.004 million, county jail records show.

His case, being heard in 54th District Court, is set for a hearing on Aug. 17, the court docket reflects.

Police were sent at about 4:30 a.m. May 13, 2014 to an apartment at 2600 Grim, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

Officers first at the scene found two bodies inside one of the apartments.

A subsequent autopsy revealed both men died from gunshot wounds.