Capital murder suspects face new indictments

Gabino Salinas, Hector Ruben Guerra, Sandy Lutz, Benjamin Chavez Sanchez

Three men and a woman accused of murdering a man and leaving his body in an orchard in 2017 are facing additional charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated kidnapping.

Gabino Salinas, 34, Benjamin Chavez Sanchez, 22, Hector Ruben Guerra, 45, and Sandy Lutz, 29, are all charged with capital murder for the Nov. 7, 2017, killing of 32-year-old Jose Angel Martinez.

On Aug. 1, a grand jury issued a new indictment against the men accusing them of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Sanchez and Salinas are additionally charged with possession of marijuana, more than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds.

All four entered not guilty pleas to the original indictment.

On Friday morning, 206th state District Judge Rose Guerra Reyna arraigned Salinas on the new charges. Judges will arraign Sanchez and Guerra next week.

Salinas, who uses a cane for balance because of a leg injury, entered not guilty pleas to the charges and remains held on a $1.25 million bond.

The trio is accused of threatening Martinez’s roommate, Ricardo Moreno, with a firearm and “committing or attempting to” kidnap the man, according the indictment.

Moreno was the victim’s roommate and was found alive.

The suspects are accused of brutally murdering Martinez, a street-level drug dealer, in retaliation for an assault on Salinas earlier in the year where he injured his leg, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said at a news conference after the man’s arrest.

According to Guerra, Martinez was shot, taken from his home and dragged into an orchard where investigators found “more evidence of a violent crime.”

The search for Martinez began after one of his neighbor’s saw large amounts of blood streaked across his driveway.

Last week, Salinas rejected a plea deal that would send him away for the rest of his life without a chance at parole, which is the automatic sentence he would receive if convicted of capital murder at trial.

Salinas is also charged with possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine, court records show.