MERCEDES, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Five people accused of taking part in the killing of a Mission teenager were arraigned Thursday in Edinburg.
A month after the murder of a Mission teenager all of the suspects went before a judge.
“I’m Judge Peña Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5 for Hidalgo County for the State of Texas. I’m going to be reading you your rights. You’re going to be signing where the X is at. What you’re signing is that I read you your rights and I gave you a bond,” Justice of the Peace Jason Pena told the accused in court.
Erik Eduardo Almaraz, Ashley Orozco, Esmeralda Orozco, Joselyn Lomeli, and Rosalba Garcia stood before JP Pena at the Hidalgo County Detention Center.
They are accused of taking part in a kidnapping that led to a fatal shooting. It happened February 23 at 3 a.m. on the 6800 block of Vera Lane in rural Mercedes where one of the victims said he was attacked by multiple armed suspects outside of his residence while they attempted to kidnap him.
“Mrs. Orozco you have two more charges,” Pena said. “First charge is aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon, which is a first-degree felony. That bond is set at $150,000.”
All of them were charged with two counts of a first-degree felony for aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon.
Police say Almaraz was armed with a rifle and hit one of the kidnapping victims causing the weapon to discharge, the bullet struck and killed 19-year-old Carlos Garcia Ruiz.
Almarez is charged with murder and his bond was set at one million dollars.
Officials say Ruiz, the teen who died, was the “ring leader” of an international human smuggling group that attempted to kidnap another victim who owed them money. Ruiz accused them of stealing some of his human smuggling business
All of the suspects remained behind bars.