Mark Reagan

Mark Reagan is a reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at or at (956) 683-4437.

2nd arrest made in robbery-gone-wrong murder north of Weslaco

The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office has made a second arrest in the shooting death of 32-year-old Mercedes resident Emmanuel Alvarado. Sgt. Frank Medrano said investigators have charged 21-year-old Mercedes resident Juan Jesus Hernandez with Emmanuel's death. The man's brother, Noel Alvarado, drove him to Knapp Medical Center on Tuesday after the men attempted to steal drugs and money from a residence in rural Weslaco. Alvarado is also charged with murder for his brother's death and is being held on a $1 million bond. Read the full story at

Death penalty still on table for man accused of killing trooper

EDINBURG — The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office has until Feb. 6 to decide whether to pursue the death penalty against a man accused...

Conviction upheld for McAllen man serving life for beating death

The 13th Court of Appeals will not revisit its ruling denying a 44-year-old man’s murder conviction for beating a man to death outside a bar in downtown McAllen in 2016. Victor Manuel Florido Ordonez, of McAllen, is serving life in prison for assaulting 52-year-old Eleazar Vega Vela outside Los Tres Chiflados Bar on Feb. 20, 2016. That the man remained in a vegetative state for five months until he died July 6, 2016. The appeals court denied Ordonez’s appeal in late July, and last week said it wouldn’t revisit its ruling. His only issue on appeal was that he believed the evidence was legally insufficient to convict him of murder because the state didn’t prove that he “harbored the required intent or knowledge to kill Vela.” Read the full story at

Teen indicted for hit-and-run death of Alamo motorcyclist

EDINBURG — A 17-year-old Alamo man entered a not guilty plea Tuesday morning to accusations he hit and killed a 46-year-old man and fled...

State seeks to civilly commit former Boy Scout leader convicted of child sexual assault

The state of Texas is asking a judge to civilly commit a former Boy Scout leader who was convicted of sexual assault of a child and possession of child pornography in 2007 after his prison term ends next year. Genaro Vela, now 72, has nearly finished serving a 14-year prison term on state convictions for sexual assault of a child, attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child by contact, and a federal conviction for possession of child pornography. Newspaper archives indicate Vela admitted to sexually assaulting one of his former scouts and touching several others inappropriately. Read the full story at

State seeks to civilly commit former scout leader convicted of child sex assault

EDINBURG — The state of Texas is asking a judge to civilly commit a former Boy Scout leader who was convicted of sexual assault...

McAllen warehouse death under criminal investigation

A Texas Public Information Act request to the city of McAllen has confirmed police are investigating the produce warehouse where a man died on Nov. 18, but it’s not clear what kind of crime authorities are investigating. In response to a request from The Monitor seeking the police report regarding the death of 32-year-old Luis Reymundo Pierda Martinez at Plateros Produce, the city says it’s withholding the information based on a previous Texas Attorney General opinion because city officials argue it would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of a crime. The newspaper refiled the request, which will require the city to ask AG for an opinion. Read the full story at

Family disputes police report; Edinburg man died in police custody in 2017

The last word Noreen Reyes heard her son say was "why?" More than two years after 30-year-old Christopher Reyes died handcuffed, face down in the...

Judge sets deadline for death penalty in murder case

A state district judge on Wednesday set a deadline for the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office to inform two people accused of capital murder whether the state would pursue the death penalty. State District Judge Israel Ramon Jr. ordered the state to make a decision on capital punishment by Dec. 12 in the case of 28-year-old Mission resident Edna Rivera and 26-year-old Peñitas resident Julio Cesar De Leon, who nearly had an altercation Wednesday with another inmate waiting for a hearing. The pair is charged along with 20-year-old Mission resident Alfredo Huerta over accusations they kidnapped and murdered 22-year-old Fernando Garza Jr. on July 24. Read the full story at

Peñitas man accused of kidnapping, murder, doesn’t want photo taken

McALLEN — The attorney for a 26-year-old Peñitas resident wants a judge to prohibit news media from photographing or broadcasting her client’s proceedings from...