20-year sentence for Harlingen teen

BROWNSVILLE — A jury yesterday handed down a 20-year sentence to a Harlingen teen for murdering a man at a party more than two years ago.

Frank Alan Taylor III, 19, was found guilty of fatally shooting 32-year-old Byron Pineda of Brownsville in the back.

His sentencing comes one month after the jury’s verdict followed a one-week trial in which several witnesses testified, including several of those present at the party at the Rosemont Apartments in Harlingen early on the morning of Jan. 20, 2016. That was six days before Taylor’s 17th birthday.

Police said at the time the incident began when Pineda got into a fight with a friend of Taylor. That’s when Pineda was shot in the back.

Pineda was driven to Harlingen Medical Center by two women. Officers were called to the hospital shortly after 2 a.m. in reference to a man who had died of a gunshot wound.

Police said Taylor and Pineda knew of each other but were not close friends.

“This is a perfect example of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time,” District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said in an earlier statement.

“Mr. Pineda didn’t need to die, and Taylor didn’t need to kill him. Although the jury ensured that justice was served and Taylor will pay for his crime, we should never forget there is a family whose loved one is forever gone because of the senseless act of Taylor.”

Saenz said his hope is the conviction, time and reflection bring solace to Pineda’s family.

The case was investigated by the Harlingen Police Department with assistance from the South Texas Unified Narcotics Intelligence Task Force.

Taylor was sentenced by state District Judge Arturo Cisneros Nelson.