‘Mud Pits’ shooting case likely to go to trial this fall

EDINBURG — The trial of a Hidalgo man accused in the shooting death of a Weslaco man is likely to begin late this fall.

Jesus Alejandro Cuevas, who is accused of shooting to death Moises Tamez in May 2016 appeared for a pre-trial hearing Thursday before 332nd state District Judge Mario E. Ramirez Jr.

During the hearing, the defense, represented by O. Rene Flores, stated it was waiting on documents from the state, including a translated statement of accused.

The state, represented by Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorneys Monica Auger and Carisa Rivera Casarez, agreed to provide the aforementioned documents.

Additionally, the state made a motion to have Cuevas’ indictment amended, after it was learned the victim’s name was misspelled in the second paragraph of the document.

Cuevas, 29, is accused of shooting and killing Moises Tamez the night of May 22, 2016, in the parking lot of a Stripes convenience store, according to police records.

“At about 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2016, officers responded to a call of a shooting in progress in the 5700 block of South 10th Street in McAllen; when they arrived Tamez was face down with a gunshot wound to his head,” the report states.

Cuevas currently faces a capital murder charge and a felony drug charge after a subsequent search of his residence led to the discovery of more than 33 grams of cocaine, records show.

Police records indicate the shooting was a result of a dispute earlier in the day in which Tamez, 22, of Weslaco, had a dispute with a man named Armando Ramos at the mud pits south of McAllen.

According to court records, a fist fight broke out in the store’s parking lot between Ramos and several other people, including Tamez, Angel Gerardo Lopez, his brother Cesar Isai Lopez and an unidentified 16-year-old male.

Also arrested that night was Samantha Delgadillo, a passenger in Cesar Lopez’s Nissan Altima, police records state.

“McAllen Police detectives further learned that Ramos was assaulted by the males in the Nissan Altima and the males in the brown Chevrolet Silverado,” the criminal complaint states.

During the fist fight, Ramos was assaulted and had his wallet stolen, according to the report.

Cesar Isai Lopez, of Weslaco, who was charged with aggravated robbery in connection with the Ramos assault, plead guilty, and was sentenced in December 2016 to three years in prison with more than 200 days of time served credit applied, court records show.

His older brother, Angel Gerardo Lopez, of Weslaco, who was also charged with aggravated robbery in the same incident, pleaded guilty and was subsequently sentenced in August 2017 to 10 years deferred probation, court records show.

Officials later dropped the aggravated robbery charge against Delgadillo, court records show.

Moments after the fight, the police report states, Cuevas showed up in the parking lot driving a light-colored Cadillac Escalade and fired several rounds in the direction of the Silverado, allegedly striking Tamez in the head.

“Through surveillance video and witness testimony a light-colored Cadillac Escalade pulls up to the gas pumps and shoots several rounds towards the Silverado striking and killing the victim Tamez,” the report states.

Police said Cuevas is seen driving away from the store’s parking lot headed south on 10th Street, according to the police record.

Police officials recovered .40 caliber bullets from the crime scene, the report states.

Investigators later interviewed Ramos who identified Cuevas as the driver of the light-colored Escalade, a man he knew as “Alex.”

“Ramos stated ‘Alex’ was known to carry around a .40 caliber handgun and had seen ‘Alex’ carry it around on several occasions,” the report states.

It is unknown how Ramos and Cuevas knew each other.

During an interview with police, Cuevas admitted to being present at the scene the night of the shooting and shooting at the Chevrolet Silverado, according to the complaint.

After consent was given, officers searched Cuevas’ residence in the 1100 block of North 34th Drive in Hidalgo and discovered a receipt for the pearl Escalade, muddy men’s clothing, and nine clear plastic baggies containing approximately 33.87 grams of cocaine, the criminal complaint states.

Cuevas remains free on a $30,000 bond.

Flores said after the hearing he expects the trial to begin in late October or early November pending the Court’s schedule.

If convicted of the capital murder charge, a first-degree felony, Cuevas faces up to life in prison.