On July 30, 2017, Jose Luis Garcia Jr. hid inside an unfinished concrete structure behind an abandoned house in a rural area of Roma.
When 17-year-old Chayse Olivarez and then 16-year-old Phillip Severa came around the corner, then 17-year-old Garcia, now 19, waited for the signal: Olivarez picking up a rusted barrel.
When that happened, Garcia stepped out of his hiding place and shot Olivarez, who was squatting down to pick up the barrel, two to three times.
That narrative came from Garcia’s own mouth through a videotaped interview of the man walking two Texas Rangers through the crime scene on Aug. 11, 2017.
This is video Garcia’s defense attorneys, Ricardo L. Salinas and O.Rene Flores have vigorously sought to have thrown out, arguing that Rangers obtained the evidence through an illegal arrest that started with a traffic stop based on fabricated reasons to bring Garcia to the Starr County Sheriff’s Office.
Visiting state District Judge Rogelio Valdez has allowed Garcia’s confession to remain in evidence presented to the jury.
Garcia is accused of orchestrating Olivarez’s death over anger that the victim had previously robbed him at gunpoint of four marijuana brownies and nine Xanax pills worth $67.
The State alleges Garcia paid Severa $10,000 to lure Olivarez to the rural property and to dispose of the man’s body.
In the video shown to the jury Tuesday, Garcia admits to paying Severa “10K” after Texas Ranger Eric Lopez asked the man how much he paid Severa.
Garcia said he paid that man with income he earned from selling basketball and football sports card.
The state has also accused Garcia of paying 18-year-old Sebastian Torres, then 16, $2,000 to pick up and dispose of bullet casings at the crime scene.
In the video, Texas Rangers investigators can be seen looking for evidence in a concrete burn bit at the property.
Garcia also admits that Olivarez’s body was burned after the shooting, but claimed Severa took care of disposing of the body because he didn’t want anything to do with Olivarez’s corpse.
He also maintained he didn’t know where Severa disposed of any remains not found in the burn pit.
Starr County Assistant District Attorney Gilberto Solano-Hernandez said during openings that authorities eventually discovered Olivarez’s remains, including his skull, in three black trash bags in an area known as “Lagoon.”
Garcia also showed the Texas Rangers where he and Severa disposed of the murder weapon and Olivarez’s cellphone in the Rio Grande, about five miles east of the crime scene.
Throughout the video, Garcia asks for a lawyer several times and asks if he can go home, as evidence and testimony has shown that authorities told him he was not under arrest and free to go at any time.
It’s not until Garcia agrees to take Lopez, the Ranger, to Torres’ house that it appears to finally set in that he is not going home after asking one more time if he would be allowed to go home since he was told he was only detained.
“You’re not detained, brother,” Lopez said. “You’re under arrest. That’s what those handcuffs are for.”
Until that point, Garcia had been told the handcuffs were just for his safety.
After pointing out Torres’ house, Garcia finally acknowledges his arrest.
“Oh (expletive) I’m going to jail,” he said.