June trial set for suspect in 2016 double-murder

EDINBURG — A trial date has been set for a 20-year-old Starr County man accused of fatally shooting a father and 3-year-old north of Rio Grande City in November 2016.

Visiting state District Judge Jose Longoria, who was appointed to hear the case, scheduled the trial on Friday for June 17, nearly two and a half years after a Starr County grand jury indicted Jesus Angel Rebollar on two counts of capital murder.

The charges stem from the Nov. 6, 2016 shooting of Hector Garcia Jr., 41, and Julian Garcia, 3, who Starr County sheriff’s investigators said were gunned down by several individuals in a truck.

Rebollar is the only suspect arrested in connection to the shooting. He was 17 years old at the time and remains in custody, having been unable to post bond.

The case, which was moved from Starr to Hidalgo County in April 2018, has faced numerous delays due to conflicts in the attorneys’ schedules and substantial delays in forensic testing by the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab in Weslaco.

Rebollar’s attorney, O. Rene Flores, and prosecutor, Gilberto Hernandez, told the judge that firearms and DNA analyses were received within the last three weeks, with the crime lab sending the DNA lab report on Tuesday.

The attorneys will meet with the judge in early May for a final pretrial hearing to address any outstanding issues.

If convicted of either capital murder charge, Rebollar automatically faces life in prison.