Pharr brothers accused of killing stepfather inch closer to trial

dfwnewsa | February 22, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Pharr brothers accused of killing stepfather inch closer to trial

EDINBURG — The trial for a pair of Pharr brothers accused of the killing of their stepfather could begin as early as May.

Christian Treviño, 19, and his brother Alejandro Santos Treviño, 20, appeared before state District Judge Fernando Mancias on Thursday morning in the 93rd District Court.

Both brothers are being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and engaging in organized criminal activity following the death of their stepfather,

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Gabriel Quintanilla, after learning that he had been accused of molesting their 9-year-old half-sister.

Quintanilla’s body was discovered in a field near McColl and Whalen roads in McAllen on Jan. 20, 2022.

Christian is facing a capital murder charge since he allegedly dealt the fatal blow to Quintanilla.

Carlos A. Garcia, who is representing Christian, and Steve Barrera, who is representing Alejandro, were also present as Mancias scheduled dates for the final pre-trial hearings and trials by jury for each of their respective clients.

Mancias set Christian’s final pre-trial hearing for April 11 at 9 a.m., and a trial by jury on April 15 at 8:30 a.m. He initially elected to set Alejandro’s trial dates as his brother, but his attorney, who is from San Antonio, said that he is currently involved in a murder trial in Dimmit County that is set for April 15. He said that he would be unavailable in person or via Zoom on that date.

Christian Treviño attends a pre-trial hearing in the 93rd state District Court at the Hidalgo County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

Barrera said that dates in May would be more suited. Mancias then set Alejandro’s final pre-trial hearing for May 16 at 8:30 a.m., and a jury trial for May 20 at 9 a.m.

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Garcia then asked Mancias for Christian’s and Alejandro’s trials to be together in May, which Barrera agreed to. An attorney representing the state asked to discuss the joint trials with a supervisor. Mancias said he would schedule a jury trial for both brothers for May 20 pending any issues brought forth by the state.

“Today we asked for a jury trial on this matter. The case has kind of been pending for the last two years, and so we’re trying to get this case in front of a jury as soon as we can,” Barrera said after the hearing.

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He said that he and Garcia want the brothers to have their trials at the same time in order for the jury to get the full story from what occurred in January 2022 as opposed to the state having an opportunity to “pick and choose a narrative for each brother.”

Alejandro Treviño attends a pre-trial hearing next to his lawyer Steve Barrera in the 93rd state District Court at the Hidalgo County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

“Due to the way that the system is set up, it’s unfortunate that these brothers have had to remain in custody for over two years now on this case,” Barrera said. “They went in as teenagers and they’ve spent the last two years in custody. That’s why we want to get this thing going, to see that justice is done and bring a resolution to this.”

Both brothers remain jailed and have pleaded not guilty.

Juan Eduardo Melendez, 20, a friend of the brothers who is also facing allegations in Quintanilla’s death, is facing capital murder charges. He was released from jail on Aug. 10, 2022 on $362,000 in bonds. He also pleaded not guilty and has a status hearing scheduled for March 28 at 9 a.m.

The post Pharr brothers accused of killing stepfather inch closer to trial appeared first on MyRGV.com.

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