Bond reduction hearing reset for Mission woman in murder case

A Mission woman accused of playing a role in the execution-style murder of a 23-year-old man had her bond reduction hearing reset.

Edna Rivera will be back before state District Judge Ismael Ramon next week for a hearing related to a motion filed by her court-appointed attorney, Jaime Aleman, to have the woman’s current bond of $590,000, which includes the murder charge, and three other felony charges, reduced.

Rivera, along with two others, 20-year-old Alfredo Huerta, of Mission, and Julio Cesar Deleon, 25, of Peñitas, are accused of murdering 23-year-old Fernando Garza Jr. on July 24.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested the trio in late July and accused them of binding Fernando Garza Jr.’s hands and those of a man Rivera only knew as “Gordo” inside Rivera’s residence and taking the pair to an orchard where Deleon shot Fernando Garza Jr. in the face, leaving him for dead, according to probable cause affidavits in the arrest.

Rivera, claimed she did not go with Deleon and Huerta to the orchard and it’s not clear why they decided to not shoot the man Rivera knew as “Gordo.”

Probable cause affidavits don’t make it clear whether a man named Luis Domingo Dominguez is “Gordo,” but when Fernando Garza Sr., the victim’s father, was searching for his missing son he encountered Huerta and Dominguez.

Huerta told Fernando Garza Sr. that he and Dominguez had been kidnapped.

“(Huerta) state that (Deleon) had shot and killed Fernando in an orchard and that he and (Dominguez) managed to escape,” according to the charging document.

Rivera claimed her role in the murder was merely helping Deleon and Huerta bind the hands of both Garza and the aforementioned “Gordo.”

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested Deleon and Rivera the same day investigators discovered Fernando Garza Jr.’s body while Huerta was arrested nearly a week after the murder. Dominguez has not been charged in the case.

The 28-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to the murder charge during her formal arraignment hearing Oct. 21, court records show.

If convicted of the murder charge, Rivera could face up to life in prison.