Man accused of killing Trooper Sanchez has arraignment postponed

Victor Godinez

The 24-year-old man accused of killing Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez made his first appearance in court following new charges that could carry the death penalty since the officer died in late August.

And state District Judge Letty Lopez wanted to know whether he could hire a lawyer or needed on appointed.

Victor Godinez, who is charged with capital murder of a peace officer and attempted capital murder of a peace officer, told Lopez he had to talk to his mother, but thought that he could afford to hire an attorney.

Sergio Muñoz, the attorney in Godinez’s previous case that includes charges of attempted capital murder, called court staff before the man’s scheduled arraignment to tell them that Godinez had not hired him in his new case.

Lopez sharply questioned Godinez about his ability to hire an attorney and rescheduled his arraignment to next week.

“OK, well I guess we’ll find out Monday,” Lopez told Godinez.

A Hidalgo County grand jury indicted Godinez, an Edinburg resident, on Sept. 19.

Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said recently that his office would meet with Sanchez’s family to determine whether to pursue the death penalty.

“Our office has tentatively decided how they want to handle this case, but is meeting with Mr. Sanchez’s wife and family before the decision is made final,” Rodriguez said recently.

The DA said he couldn’t comment further on the case.

Authorities accuse Godinez of shooting Sanchez, 48, on April 6 after the suspect fled a car crash the trooper responded to on North 10th Street and Freddy Gonzalez Drive in McAllen.

The 24-year-old man is accused of running away after shooting Sanchez once in the head and once in the shoulder.

Two Edinburg police officers caught up with Godinez in the 1500 block of South Maltese in Edinburg.

He’s also accused of shooting at those officers, who eventually apprehended him east of Mon Mack Road and State Highway 107.

The officers were not hit and police say they recovered a .357 revolver authorities say Godinez used in the shooting.

Sanchez went through intense rehabilitation and multiple surgeries after the shooting.

However, on Aug. 24, he succumbed to his injuries following a surgery in Houston.

Godinez remains jailed on $3 million in bonds.