BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The suspects arrested in connection to the killing of a San Benito officer were arraigned Thursday afternoon.
Rodrigo Axel Espinosa Valdez and Rogelio Martinez remain jailed Wednesday on charges of capital murder. On Thursday afternoon, they made their first appearance in front of a judge.
During the arraignment, the court heard of Martinez’s extensive criminal history, which includes eight arrests dating back to 2019.
When determining the bond amount, Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz called Martinez a “threat to the community” and a flight risk.
His bond was set at $2 million on two counts of aggravated assault of a public servant and capital murder of a peace officer.
Saenz said that Espinosa Valdez was also a flight risk, given that he was not a U.S. citizen and had no ties to the community. His bond was also set at $2 million on one count of evading arrest/detention with a motor vehicle and capital murder of a peace officer.
The two men were arrested in connection to the deadly shooting of San Benito police officer Lt. Milton Resendez Tuesday night.
At a news conference Wednesday, Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said the two were initially stopped for speeding on the beach at South Padre Island. While the driver was being questioned, the passenger moved into the driver’s seat and the driver jumped into the bed of the truck, speeding off from police.
This was the start of the first pursuit, in which gunfire was exchanged by the suspects and pursuing officers. Authorities then “fell back” out of concern for the safety of citizens in the area.
Hours later that same night, Espinosa Valdez and Martinez were spotted again in a black Ford Expedition. A second pursuit began, reaching San Benito, where Lt. Resendez was shot as his vehicle crossed paths with the suspects.
The chase then returned to Brownsville where the two men were eventually apprehended by DPS troopers.
On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement calling the incident a “senseless act.”
“Hearts across Texas grieve with the family and loved ones of the San Benito Police Officer whose life was tragically taken while protecting his fellow Texans,” Abbott said.