Murder suspect declared incompetent may have not been sent to mental institution as ordered

Angel Bolanos Vasquez

A 66-year-old man charged in a 2017 stabbing murder was supposed to be in a maximum security state mental hospital as of October last year, but as of Wednesday morning it’s not clear whether he was ever taken there.

The court declared Angel Bolanos Vasquez mentally incompetent on Oct. 7, 2019, and ordered him to be committed in the maximum security unit of a mental health facility operated by the Texas Department of Health & Human Services to restore his competency, records show.

Now, it’s unclear whether that ever happened.

Bolanos, who is accused of stabbing his 55-year-old girlfriend of five months, Rita Velasquez, 14 times on Jan. 15, 2017, appeared for his scheduled status hearing on Wednesday morning.

Since then, the case has been reset three times with prosecutor Mauricio Martinez and defense attorney Carlos A. Garcia both believing Bolanos had been committed.

The parties were waiting on word from an HHS doctor on the status of Bolanos’ competency, which apparently has never arrived.

State district Judge Noe Gonzalez quizzed a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputy during the hearing about whether Bolanos ever left the Hidalgo County Detention Center for the state mental institution.

The deputy told Gonzalez he didn’t think so and said he always sees Bolanos in the jail’s infirmary. In fact, Bolanos is held in a cell adjacent to the infirmary, the deputy said.

Bolanos appeared via videoconferencing. He was in a wheelchair, his hair graying as opposed to being jet black like in his mug shot after his arrest.

The deputy told Gonzalez that Bolanos is losing his strength and his vision.

It’s not clear whether Bolanos was aware of what was happening during the proceedings.

Gonzalez reset the hearing for two weeks to provide everyone involved some time to figure out what exactly happened.

“This one fell through the cracks,” Gonzalez said, adding that it was apparent to him that Bolanos is still not comprehending a lot of things.

The judge had ordered that Bolanos be sent to the institution for 120 days or until his competency was restored.

Authorities say Bolanos stabbed Velasquez because he believed she was sleeping with another man inside the apartment they shared that night, but investigators found no evidence of anyone else being in the house.

At his arraignment, Bolanos confessed, according to newspaper archives.

“I had to kill her. I didn’t kill him because he ran off, otherwise I would have,” Bolanos said.

At the time, he told Justice of the Peace Homer Jasso that hate entered him when he killed her.

“I loved her,” Bolanos said, according to previous reports. “(But) I woke up and the hate entered me, and I killed her. I had to make pieces of her, the miserable (expletive).”

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Bolanos at about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2017, in the 3900 block of North Alamo Road in the La Mansion apartment complex in rural Edinburg.