EDINBURG — More than two years after he was gunned down near the Hidalgo County Courthouse, Joshua David Sanchez’s killer was found guilty Tuesday.
After roughly six hours of deliberations, jurors unanimously decided Tuesday morning Fabian Paredes had murdered Sanchez on Oct. 9, 2017, during what Paredes’ attorney Terry Canales argued was a road rage incident involving the two.
Paredes, 33, sitting before the court, with attorneys by his side, didn’t react much after state District Judge Fernando Mancias to read the verdict aloud.
Despite the emotion inherent in a setting as the one that unfolded Tuesday morning inside Mancias’ courtroom, both, relatives of the accused, and that of the victim, stifled their respective reactions, and could be seen wiping away tears, quietly, softly; as they each made their way out of the courtroom.
As a result of the verdict, Paredes, who has been free on bond since shortly after his arrest in connection with the shooting, had his bond revoked and placed in custody.
Paredes’ attorney, Canales, argued that Paredes, who suffers from debilitating health issues, was not a flight risk, and asked the court for a chance to argue for his release pending his sentencing hearing, which was set for Dec. 10.
The court agreed to hold a hearing for next Monday, in the meantime Paredes will be remanded to the Hidalgo County jail.
On Oct. 9, 2017, Sanchez was found inside his vehicle, suffering from a single gunshot wound about 4:30 p.m. after Edinburg police responded to a report of a major accident near the intersection of 10th Avenue and West McIntyre Street.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found a white passenger vehicle that had apparently jumped the curb and crashed into a light pole. When they approached the vehicle, they found Sanchez, suffering from one gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Police said Sanchez died en route to the hospital.
It would be a week before the police arrested Paredes and his wife, Jillian Rae Hanson-Paredes, after officers pieced together bits of evidence and were able to locate the vehicle and the home where the Paredes’ lived. Police watched the home until they located the suspects.
During their interview with police, Paredes admitted to shooting at Sanchez.
Police said Paredes, driving a red in color pickup truck, with his wife as a passenger, was arguing with an adult male, later identified as Sanchez, driving a white passenger vehicle, and subsequently fired a weapon in the direction of Sanchez resulting in his death.
Paredes used a 9mm handgun to shoot Sanchez before fleeing the scene.
Sanchez, 27, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, who had recently moved to Texas, was leaving his job at Whataburger when the incident took place, according to a relative who was at Paredes’ arraignment.
The single father left behind two young children under the age of 7, the relative told The Monitor in October 2017.
At the time of their arrest, a municipal judge also charged Hanson-Paredes with murder because she was in the vehicle with Paredes, but the DA’s office ultimately didn’t send her case to a grand jury and only her husband faced the felony charge.
Paredes is due back before the court for a hearing regarding bond, and then again Dec. 10, where the court is set to sentence Paredes. Paredes could face up to life in prison.