Trial begins for man accused of killing girlfriend’s brother

EDINBURG — Trial began Tuesday afternoon in the case of a man accused of killing his then-girlfriend’s younger brother almost two years ago.

Victor Lee Alfaro is charged with murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Reynaldo Reyes Jr., which occurred a little after midnight on May 4, 2016, inside the Edinburg apartment Reyes shared with his sister, Nancy Lopez.

The 27-year-old defendant also faces an aggravated assault charge for allegedly pointing the murder weapon, a 9 mm handgun, at Lopez.

During opening statements Tuesday, the prosecution described Alfaro as a “love interest” of Lopez who frequently stayed at the siblings’ apartment.

Lopez, who is expected to take the witness stand later this week, was “unable to say why this had happened,” Assistant District Attorney Monica Barron Auger told jurors during her opening statement.

Alfaro ultimately gave Lopez the gun before fleeing the scene in her car, said Barron Auger, and was apprehended a few hours later in Weslaco.

The police officer who was first to the scene testified Tuesday that he found the gun on the apartment’s dining room table and that Lopez led him to the bedroom where her brother had been shot three times while in bed — twice in the buttocks and once in the head.

The case took nearly two years to go to trial due to a staffing shortage at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Weslaco crime lab, delaying lab tests, according to Monitor archives.

Among the evidence that will be presented to jurors is gunshot residue, which Barron Auger told jurors was found on Alfaro’s clothing and hands.

Alfaro’s defense team, which consists of attorneys Hector Hernandez Jr. and O. Rene Flores, reserved their opening statement until the jury has heard the prosecution’s case.

The trial is expected to last until early next week.