Note: Yet again shows the need for a protocol / procedure between
citizens and law enforcement so we can know it is really law
enforcement outside the door. ref; AZMEX I3 17 FEB 2012 for
Herrera's criminal past
Sheriff: Suspected home invaders targeted wrong home
February 17, 2012 8:43 PM
Naxiely Lopez, Twitter: @Naxiely
EDINBURG — A group of four suspected home invaders thought they were
going to rob a stash house, but they likely targeted the wrong home,
Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said.
Three men faced one count of aggravated robbery and two counts of
attempted capital murder charges Friday morning for their
participation in a home invasion and chase that ended when a deputy
shot and killed one of the suspects.
Investigators believe Manuel Enrique Mora Martinez, 24, and Victor
Manuel Castillas Herrera, 31, forced their way into a home in the
3600 block of Hailey Drive about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Treviño said.
Meanwhile, Jose Socorro Garza, 27, and Roberto Xavier Morales, 24,
served as lookouts.
Martinez and Herrera brandished a weapon at the homeowner Juan
Ramirez and demanded money, but they only made off with two cell
phones and some iPods, Treviño said.
"We don't believe that was their original intent," Treviño said.
"They admitted they were there specifically to take possession of 350
pounds of marijuana that should've been in the residence."
Investigators, however, have absolutely no evidence to lead them to
believe the home served as a stash house. "It's very possible they
might've hit the wrong home," he said.
The homeowner followed the getaway vehicle driven by Martinez and
called authorities. Deputies caught up to Martinezs' green mini van
near Highway 107 and Bentsen Palm Road about a minute later.
Martinez and Herrera exited the vehicle and ran into a populated area.
Investigators believe Herrera shot at two deputies as he tried to
flee, Treviño said. One of the deputies caught up to him and ordered
him twice to drop his weapon.
Herrera, however, made a movement that looked as if he were going to
shoot at the deputy, Treviño said, and the official responded by
firing several rounds at Herrera's upper torso. He died after being
transferred to a hospital.
Martinez barricaded himself in a home, but gave up about 15 minutes
later. He confessed to the crime and implicated Garza and Morales as
Investigators arrested the surviving three suspects and used photo
lineups to help build their case.
A judge charged them with the offenses Friday and set bond at $2.5
million each. All faced the same charges under the law of parties,
which allows the justice system to hold anyone who participated in a
crime responsible for the outcome of it.
"For example, I drive you to the bank, you go in there and rob the
bank," Treviño said. "I'm the getaway driver. I don't go in to rob,
but I'm still responsible for that bank robbery — the same thing
If convicted of the felonies, they could face up to life imprisonment
and a fine not to exceed $10,000.