Man avoids trial in Jaguars strip club murder case

EDINBURG — Minutes before jurors were scheduled to be selected Tuesday for his murder trial, Genaro Maldonado decided to accept the state’s plea offer rather than take his chances with a jury.

The 31-year-old Alamo man pled guilty to the April 2016 murder of 29-year-old Jaxmany Jazan Montes of McAllen and in exchange was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Maldonado is accused of fatally shooting Montes in the early morning hours of April 17, 2016, at Jaguars Gold Club, an all-nude strip club on State Highway 107 in Edinburg.

Surveillance video released by Edinburg police in the wake of the shooting shows Maldonado entering the club, only to be thrown out along with another man by security minutes later. Police said the men were thrown out due to an altercation involving rival gang members, according to Monitor archives.

Maldonado then returned to the entrance and fired multiple rounds into the club, injuring six other men.

As part of the plea agreement, the state dismissed the 16 other felony counts in his indictment, which included attempted capital murder of multiple people; attempted murder; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Had a jury found him guilty of the most serious charges, murder and attempted capital murder, Maldonado — who elected for the judge to sentence him — could have been sentenced to life in prison.

Instead, he could become parole eligible as early as halfway through his 30-year prison sentence. A condition of his parole is that he pays approximately $5,187 in restitution to cover Montes’ funeral costs.

He will also receive credit for the more than two years he has spent in county jail since his April 21, 2016, arrest.