A suspect McAllen police say admitted to shooting and killing a 41-year-old man in June 2017 after seeing him with cash at the Orchard Lounge is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday morning on a charge of murder.
Alex Arevalo, a 23-year-old man from Alamo, entered a guilty plea to murder on March 27 after reaching a deal with prosecutors that recommends a 45-year sentence, court records indicate.
Arevalo, who police say pulled the trigger, is charged along with four other defendants for the June 19, 2017, killing of Nicolas Anthony Bazan, who police found dead from a single gunshot wound with his front pants pockets turned inside out.
McAllen police found Bazan’s body after the department received calls of gunshots at approximately 12:42 a.m. on June 19 and from a homeowner in the 1400 block of West Vine Avenue, who reported hearing an unknown man in his backyard calling for help.
Through surveillance camera footage taken in the area, investigators learned after a light-colored van traveling south in the 2100 block of North Main Street suddenly slowed down, the victim is seen exiting the driver’s side area of the van and running away, according to the criminal complaint.
Arevalo later told police he shot Bazan in the van while the four other suspects were inside the van, the complaint states.
During the investigation, which unfolded over the course of two months, one of Bazan’s brothers told authorities the man had “a large ‘wad’ of cash on him” on June 18, 2017, and “a large amount of meth and cash” on June 16, according to the complaint.
Arevalo’s wife also told investigators that her husband and 51-year-old McAllen resident Avero Olivarez Alaniz planned to rob Bazan after seeing him with money at the Orchard Lounge, the complaint states.
The document also states that Alaniz and Bazan had called each other late on the night of June 18, 2017.
Before the murder, police say Arevalo and Alaniz went to a home in the 1200 block of Wisteria Avenue about four blocks away from Bazan’s parents’ house “to get some meth” and that the victim is seen walking eastbound on Wisteria Avenue. The criminal complaint doesn’t say how Bazan ended up in the van.
Alaniz, along with 31-year-old McAllen resident Armando Adrian Arebalo, 35-year-old Pharr resident Roberta Martinez and 36-year-old McAllen resident Monica Ann Winkle Gomez have all pleaded not guilty to charges of capital murder and are scheduled for a jury trial on Sept. 16, court records show.