EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A hearing for convicted murderer, Gustavo Mireles, was held at the 13th Court of Appeals as he and his family maintain Mireles’ innocence.
Mireles is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison for the 2001 murder of Mary Jane Rebollar.
Rebollar was found dead in her truck in Donna in June 2001. Her body was stabbed over 40 times and burned.
DNA evidence linked Mireles to the murder, but his family said there is evidence that needs to be reevaluated.
“What do they have to hide? Give us the fingerprints, test the blood again,” said Leonor Mantano, Gustavo’s sister.
Mantano said she has requested official records, gathered documents, and analyzed every document received.
She said she has 50 cases worth of documents. After many years, she sought out help from The Innocence Project of Texas, an organization helping to exonerate wrongly convicted people.
“You have to prove your case to them that it’s innocent, otherwise, it’s not worth their time,” said Mantano.
She explained that when presenting her case to the organization, they did not take long to accept the case.
“We do believe he is innocent, and we do believe that he is entitled to DNA testing, and we wanted to help him,” said Jessie Freud with The Innocence Project of Texas.
She said the hearing was to decide whether to uphold the trial’s court order to grant Mireles the DNA testing.
Freud said Mireles’ family has proven to be working hard to prove Mireles’ innocence.
“I can’t say that we have another client whose family and sibling is just the most tireless advocate for the length of time that she has been his advocate,” said Freud.
She said there is no timeline for a decision from the court.