EDINBURG — One of the defendants awaiting trial in the murder of Rio Grande City teen Chayse Olivarez was ordered to be detained for five days after violating a condition of his bond.
Visiting state District Judge Rogelio Valdez ordered Jose Luis Garcia Jr. to be taken into custody and held at the Hidalgo County jail for five days after Garcia violated one of the conditions of his bond.
When Valdez reinstated Garcia’s bond on April 18, one of the conditions was that he be supervised by a parent at all times.
However, on June 28, Garcia traveled without a parent from his home in Starr County to his weekly appointment with his probation officer in Hidalgo County to submit to a required drug test.
During a hearing on whether to revoke Garcia’s bond Thursday, Garcia’s parents — Sandy Garcia and Jose Luis Garcia Sr. — testified that they were both unable to accompany him to his appointed that day.
Garcia’s father was working at the time while his mother testified that she didn’t want to leave her other children at home alone.
Instead, Garcia was accompanied by an 18-year-old woman whom his mother described as his best friend.
Garcia’s probation officer, Daniel Martinez, also took the witness stand Thursday, testifying that Garcia reports to him every Friday.
He noted that, with the exception of the June 28 appointment, Garcia always showed up with a parent and had never previously violated the conditions of his bond.
On that day, though, he received a call from Gilberto Hernandez-Solano, an assistant district attorney with the 229th District Attorney’s Office.
Martinez testified that Hernandez-Solano notified him that Garcia was on his way to his appointment without the supervision of a parent.
Upon questioning from Garcia’s attorney, O. Rene Flores, Martinez added that Gilberto-Solano said it was Chayse Olivarez’s father who had reported seeing Garcia unsupervised at a convenience store.
Martinez then called Garcia’s mother who explained the situation to him. After the appointment, Garcia’s father, who had been at work in McAllen at the time, met up with his son and followed him home.
Under questioning from 229th District Attorney Omar Escobar, Martinez said neither of Garcia’s parents called ahead of time to explain they would not be able to accompany Garcia to his appointment.
It was at that point that Judge Valdez admonished Garcia’s parents.
“I think it would be more prudent for the parents to have called the supervising officer so that that could be addressed,” Valdez said.
Valdez proceeded to order Garcia be detained for five days as a sanction for the violation, “to express that the court means business and this is not going to be tolerated in any form or fashion,” the judge added.
Upon Garcia’s release, Valdez ordered that he, again, be placed under the supervision of his parents. If they cannot accompany Garcia to his appointments, Valdez said a substitute, who is approved by the probation office, could be appointed.
The judge acknowledged that this was the first time Garcia violated his probation but that it played into his decision to only detain him for five days.
“Let this be the last time,” Valdez said, “because any condition that’s violated, I will impose a zero-tolerance rule from this day forward.”