EDINBURG — A Mexican national, who was arrested after McAllen police found a man crying for help while running down a street with rope tied around his arms and legs, will have to wait another month before he faces trial here on accusations he committed a double homicide.
Martin Margarito, a 33-year-old resident of Camargo, Tamaulipas, appeared in 430th state District Court Tuesday afternoon for a pre-trial hearing before jury selection in his trial, which was scheduled for Monday, only to learn his trial, which is expected to last two to three months, would be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Hidalgo County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Lauren Sepulveda filed a last-minute motion for continuance Tuesday after a federal prosecutor told her Monday night that all of the agencies she subpoenaed for the case are also subpoenaed in a federal trial that starts Monday and is scheduled to last four weeks.
“It’s in no way related to Mr. Margarito’s case,” Sepulveda said.
The prosecutor told state District Judge Israel Ramon Jr., who reluctantly granted the motion that the conflict would make scheduling witnesses “nearly impossible.”
Defense attorneys Alejandro Alex Ballesteros and Andres A. Ramos objected to the delay, telling Ramon that their client has health problems and that his health is deteriorating and that he is worried about those issues.
Ramon scheduled the trial for late September and indicated he may request that a visiting judge hear the case in auxiliary court.
Margarito is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence on federal kidnapping charges for kidnapping and binding two people over an alleged lost load of marijuana.
Authorities arrested him Jan. 22, 2015.
Also arrested in that case was Silvestre Lopez Gomez, 22, who was convicted of two charges of aggravated kidnapping in state court and sentenced to five years in prison.
He was 17 at the time.
After Margarita’s arrest, authorities linked him to the murders of Victor Manuel Garcia and Elia Margarita, who were shot and killed.
During the hearing Tuesday, Sepulveda said multiple agencies participated in the investigation, which included kidnapping, murder and recovered weapon crime scenes in different areas of Hidalgo County.
The hearing also revealed Margarito is suffering from health problems and must have dialysis.
Last December, he collapsed in jail and spent two weeks in the hospital.