Trial set for man in fatal New Year’s punch

EDINBURG — A man charged with manslaughter for throwing a fatal punch on New Year’s Day in 2018 nearly found himself back in jail after being on supervised release for a little more than two months.

Alfonso Flores Alejandro, a 42-year-old Mercedes man, appeared in court Thursday morning for a pre-trial hearing where his defense attorney announced the man would go to trial in the case where he also faces a charge of aggravated assault of a family member.

Mercedes police arrested Alejandro at 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2018, after he “knocked out” his brother-in-law Jose Duran, killing the man.

A probable cause affidavit stemming from his arrest states that a fight occurred after Alejandro’s girlfriend arrived at a residence where they were celebrating New Year’s Eve, and the family “refused to have her there and asked her to leave.”

Duran apparently confronted Alejandro when the man allegedly threw the fatal punch.

Alejandro was just released on $20,000 in bonds on Sept. 5.

On Thursday, prosecutors told state District Judge Fernando Mancias that Alejandro had tested positive for alcohol on Nov. 1, which he claimed was mouthwash.

They also said he tested positive for cocaine on Nov. 8, which Alejandro denied using.

The state asked that he be removed from supervised release pending his trial.

Mancias ordered Alejandro to take a drug test Thursday morning.

The man tested positive for alcohol.

Mancias did not revoke his bond, but admonished him that he was not to use alcohol or drugs.

A probation official also told Mancias that they had been receiving anonymous calls alleging Alejandro is continuing to use alcohol.

The trial is scheduled for Dec. 4.