HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Weslaco man has been sentenced for the murder of his cousin in 2020 and is likely to appeal the decision.
Manuel Martinez III, 34, was sentenced to 45 years in prison on March 2 after being found guilty of the murder of Reynaldo Villarreal, 54, in March 2020.
According to police, the murder occurred on March 14, 2020. Villarreal was found with multiple stab wounds near Westgate and 18th Street in Weslaco that he told officials were done by Martinez, his cousin. Villarreal was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Marinez was located in rural Donna and taken into custody on the same. Police said Martinez had cuts on his hands and blood on his boots.
Martinez provided investigators with a voluntary statement confessing to stabbing Villareal during an argument.
He was indicted for the murder charge in April 2020. He waived his right to a trial in October 2021 and pleaded guilty to the murder.
Fernando Macias, judge for the 93rd District Court in Hidalgo County, sentenced Martinez to 45 years in prison for the offense. He is credited for the 718 days he has spent in jail since his arrest.
On Thursday, a hearing was held to appoint a new attorney to Martinez for the court of appeals. Under Texas law, Martinez will have 30 days after his conviction to file a formal appeal.