Lower bond sought on ex-agent’s pending charges

A former Border Patrol agent accused of holding his 1-year-old child while shooting his girlfriend may seek to have his $1.05 million bond reduced.

Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, is charged with aggravated assault against a family member, attempted murder, abandoning a child without intent to return and abandoning or endangering child with criminal negligence.

Edinburg police arrested Cepeda on March 3 after responding to reports that Edinburg resident Brenda Hernandez, 34, had been found inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds to her back and upper torso outside a residence at 3322 Zoe St.

The woman told police Cepeda had shot her and that she believed he had taken their 1-year-old child.

Police found the child safe inside the residence.

Authorities believe Cepeda shot Hernandez when she tried to end their relationship.

Cepeda, who remains in custody, appeared in court Tuesday morning for a status hearing.

One of his defense attorneys, Hector Hernandez Jr., indicated that he may file a motion seeking a bond reduction for his client.

The attorney previously filed a motion to set and reduce his client’s bonds on June 24.

Cepeda initially did not have a bond on the aggravated assault against a family member charge and was being held on $800,000 in bonds on the remaining charges.

Jail records reflect state District Judge Keno Vasquez granted Cepeda a $250,000 bond on the aggravated assault of a family member charge.

In the previous bond motion, his defense attorney asked that his bond be reduced to $125,000 while arguing there was good cause for the reduction because Cepeda is a lifelong Rio Grande Valley resident who resides in Mission.

“Defendant’s immediate family consists of both retired and active law enforcement members who are prepared to assist in overseeing Defendant’s day-to-day activities and ensure his presence at each and every court hearing,” the motion states.

The attorney also cited Cepeda’s prior employment as a Border Patrol agent.

“Defendant is the father to a young child who he hopes to reestablish visitation with,” the motion stated.

The hearing also provide some insight into the progress of the case.

The defense announced it had finished going through paper evidence in the case and would begin reviewing video evidence, which both the defense and prosecutor said was voluminous.

Hector Hernandez Jr., the defense attorney, cited this when asking Vasquez, the judge, for more time on the case.

Vasquez gave the attorney another setting closer toward the end of the year.

“We do it the proper way,” Vasquez said while discussing the discovery process and progress of the Cepeda’s case.