UPDATED: Patterson’s co-defendant has week to decide on plea deal

This story was updated to include information about Monica Melissa Patterson’s transfer to state custody.

EDINBURG — Monica Melissa Patterson’s co-defendant will go to trial in April if he decides not to accept the plea deal offered by the state.

Next Monday marks the deadline by which Angel Mario Garza must decide whether to face a jury or plead guilty to capital murder for remuneration and be sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Garza, 40, allegedly suffocated 96-year-old Martin Knell Sr. in January 2015 while Patterson stood by.

Patterson was found guilty of capital murder for remuneration in November 2017 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

If Garza rejects the plea deal, jury selection will be set for April 16, with the trial beginning immediately afterward, said Judge Noe Gonzalez during a pre-trial hearing Monday.

“Your case is very different from Patterson’s,” the judge told Gaza, “because you’re not facing some of the additional charges Patterson faced.”

The charges Patterson faced included theft, attempted theft and misapplication of fiduciary property.

The judge noted that if Garza decides to go to trial, he doesn’t expect it to last more than a couple of weeks.

Patterson was transferred from Hidalgo County jail to Texas Department of Criminal Justice custody Friday. She is currently housed at Plane State Jail in Dayton while being processed and will likely be reassigned to another unit, said prison officials.