Palmview man charged with attempted murder

Affidavit: Case may be tied to kidnappings

A Palmview man was charged with attempted murder last week following a shooting incident that appears to be tied to at least two kidnappings.

Ricardo Serna, 25, was arraigned May 8 on one count of attempted murder by Precinct 3 Place 2 Justice of the Peace Juan “J.J.” Peña and issued a $100,000 cash bond.

He was subsequently arraigned May 10 on one count of aggravated kidnapping by Mission Municipal Judge Ramon Rosales Jr. and given a $200,000 cash bond.

It is unclear whether the charges are related, and because the investigations are ongoing, Lt. Arnold Sepulveda, spokesman for the Palmview Police Department, was limited as to the information he could release. Palmview police are expected to issue a press release after the investigation is complete, he said.

However, the probable cause affidavit tied to the kidnapping charge states that information Mission police received from an unnamed co-defendant “indicated the incident in Palmview was related to the kidnappings,” but does not elaborate.

In reference to the attempted capital murder charge, Palmview police were called to a home in the 1000 block of Ricardo Avenue on May 6 after receiving a call that a man had been shot during a burglary, according to the affidavit. They arrived to find a man bleeding heavily on the living room floor.

Serna, who lived at the residence, told police he met the victim “several days before and that something had gone missing from his house,” he said, prompting him to call the man to return the item.

His story, however, did not hold up investigators determined Serna shot the alleged victim three times in the leg after the victim showed up at his house to ask for money Serna owed him.

The affidavit also alleges that another homeowner, who has not been charged but is accused of hitting and punching the shooting victim, agreed to call police and falsely report they had shot the victim during a purported burglary.

On May 5, a day prior to the Ricardo Avenue shooting, Mission police received a call regarding a kidnapping that occurred May 1. The alleged victim from the May 1 incident told police he was forcibly taken from his home in the 900 block of South Bryan Road by a group of armed, masked men.

A group of five men came to the victim’s house, according to the affidavit tied to Serna’s aggravated kidnapping charge, and one struck him in the face with a rifle. Someone then placed a black bag over the victim’s head and he was driven to an unknown location where he was drugged and beaten, causing him to lose consciousness.

“The victim remembered one of the times he regained consciousness he was being burned by an unknown metal object on his back,” the affidavit states, adding the victim was repeatedly demanded to pay $10,000 to secure his release. He was eventually released approximately 24 hours later and dropped off at his house.

A second kidnapping also occurred May 1 involving another victim, the affidavit notes, who was similarly tortured and branded at the same location.

The first kidnapping victim identified Serna’s photo from a lineup as allegedly being one of the people involved in the kidnapping, according to the affidavit.

The Palmview police spokesman declined to answer whether these cases are gang-related, but the affidavit for the attempted capital murder charge notes that Serna asks the shooting victim whether he was a “Sureño” gang member. The Sureños are affiliated with the Mexican Mafia gang.

Serna remained in custody at county jail Wednesday evening on the combined $300,000 bond.