High court declines case of man who killed his wife and another man

An appellate court has declined to look at an appeal filed by a 48-year-old Mission man serving a 45-year sentence for shooting and killing his wife and her lover in 2009.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals made the ruling without a written order on Wednesday in the case of Juan Luis Salazar Huerta, who shot and killed 23-year-old Alma Rosa Huerta and 24-year-old Juan Jose Gamez on Nov. 14, 2009, after he arrived home from work and found them in a lover’s embrace.

The double homicide occurred at their apartment near the intersection of Bentsen Palm Drive and 4 Mile Line, northwest of Mission.

After the shooting, Huerta called 9-1-1 on himself and told deputies that he snapped when he found his wife with another man.

He pleaded guilty on Oct. 26, 2010, the day he was set to go to trial, according to newspaper archives.

In a letter dated Oct. 11, 2019, that Huerta sent to the 275th state District Court, he says he feel that his sentence for the killings is excessive. He also admits to the killings but says he should have only been found guilty of manslaughter, not first-degree murder.

He also says his crime could have been avoided had his wife been truthful to him.

After describing the crime and what he says was his mindset at the time, as well as laying out complaints about the criminal investigation and his representation, Huerta asks for a lower sentence or favorable statement to the parole board.

“Well Judge Cuellar honestly I don’t even kow if I am filing this document the right way but I beg you to read it and help me in any way possible to lower my sentence,” he wrote. “Because of these reasons, I am hoping that the necessary trial officials en banc will discuss the possibility of a favorable recommendation in my case any consideration given in this matter will be sincerely appreciated.”

He won’t be eligible for parole until 2032 and his maximum sentence date is Nov. 14, 2054, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.