2 murder suspects arraigned on kidnapping, assault charges

EDINBURG — A man and a woman accused of participating in a murder were arraigned here on charges levied in a new indictment that additionally charges them with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Hector Ruben Guerra
Sandy Lutz

Hector Ruben Guerra, 45, and Sandy Lutz, 29, were arraigned on those charges as well as capital murder for the Nov. 7, 2017, killing of 32-year-old Jose Angel Martinez.

Also charged in the case are 34-year-old Gabino Salinas and 22-year-old Benjamin Chavez Sanchez, who entered not guilty pleas last week.

The suspects were re-indicted on Aug 1.

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

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

Moreno survived the kidnapping while Martinez did not.

Authorities allege the suspects killed Martinez, a street-level drug dealer, in retaliation for an assault on Salinas earlier in the year.

Martinez’s body was found in an orchard where investigators have said they found “more evidence of a violent crime.”

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