Elsa capital murder suspect gets lower bond, new charge

Murder trial

EDINBURG — An Elsa man accused of shooting and killing someone while trying to steal drugs last November is now facing an obstruction charge.

Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Lauren Sepulveda revealed during a bond reduction hearing for 18-year-old Jose Angel Becerra that as defense attorneys for the man sought a lower bond, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office was working on a warrant for the man for the obstruction charge.

No other details on that accusation were available as of deadline.

Jose Angel Becerra is charged along with his brother, 21-year-old Isaac Becerra, with shooting and killing 22-year-old Jesus De Jose Hinojosa outside of a Weslaco convenience store on Nov. 11, 2018.

The brothers are also accused of shooting Alejandro Mendoza during the alleged attempted robbery.

On Thursday afternoon, state District Judge Israel Ramon Jr. granted Jose Angel Becerra’s request, lowering his $300,000 bond on a charge of capital murder to $75,000 and his $50,000 bond on a charge of attempted capital murder to $25,000.

However, he will likely be arrested on the obstruction charge, prolonging his release.

The man’s defense attorneys, Rogelio Garza and Abiel Flores, said during the hearing that Jose Angel Becerra’s family could afford the lower bond.

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office opposed the move, telling Ramon on Monday, when the bond reduction hearing started, that Jose Angel Becerra made statements in July that he would flee to Mexico if released.

In his ruling, Ramon provided numerous conditions for the man if he’s released, including GPS monitoring and an order barring him from coming within 1,500 feet of a port of entry, among other conditions.

Garza and Flores sought their clients release because he has been incarcerated for more than 90 days and the state was not ready for trial as they were waiting on DNA testing results.

Sepulveda, the prosecutor, said on Thursday that the state would be ready for trial in February 2020.

The man’s brother, Isaac Becerra, also appeared in court Thursday for a status hearing where the state said it was waiting on DNA testing results.

Court records indicate he is scheduled for another hearing on Sept. 19.

Isaac Becerra remains in jail on $1.25 million in bonds and because he has several fugitive warrants out of Cameron County.

mreagan@themonitor.com