Home invasion trial postponed until February

BROWNSVILLE — The trial of the last suspect accused of participating in a home invasion a little more than eight years ago is again on hold.

Jorge Omar Cervantes was scheduled for a jury trial in the 197th state District Court Monday morning but those proceedings are on hold until Feb. 6.

Cervantes is charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a count of aggravated robbery, a count of engaging in organized criminal activity and a count of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony. In a separate indictment from 2016, Cervantes is charged with bail jumping and failure to appear.

In 2012, Brownsville police arrested Cervantes, along with Epigmenio Ahumada and Jorge Ramirez, and accused the trio of forcing their way into a Brownsville doctor’s home in an aggressive robbery where the suspects tied up house staff and forced the homeowner to withdraw money from several banks.

Judge Migdalia Lopez granted the delay pending a ruling from the Court of Appeals on a writ of habeas corpus Cervantes’ former lawyer, Victor Ramirez, filed in early January. Ramirez argued in the motion that Cervantes can’t be charged again because of a November mistrial. Lopez denied the motion and Ramirez appealed, placing the proceedings on hold.

Last November, after three days of testimony, Lopez declared a mistrial, which Ramirez requested, after the Brownsville Police Department turned over an original case file that contained documents and evidence the defense had not seen prior to the trial.

An investigator with the police testified that the documents had been lost while being transferred from special investigations to the PD’s records department. When the case file was discovered, police immediately notified the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.

Cervantes’ co-defendants were convicted for their roles in the home invasion years ago and are serving 10-year sentences for burglary of a habitation.