Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigators accuse an 18-year-old Edinburg man of fabricating a story about an armed intruder who shot his friend’s girlfriend, resulting in the 18-year-old’s death two days later.
Instead, detectives say Jonathan Mugia Salinas chambered a bullet and shot Alysha Renee Garza in the head at point blank range on June 22. She died on June 24.
A Hidalgo County grand jury indicted Salinas on Aug. 20 on a murder charge. He was arraigned on Sept. 21 and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He remains in jail on a $1 million bond, records show.
A probable cause affidavit states the sheriff’s department was dispatched at 6:40 p.m. to the 4500 block of Phyllis Lane in Edinburg for an aggravated robbery that was later reclassified to an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and then to murder.
When deputies arrived, they encountered Salinas, who told them an intruder shot his friend’s girlfriend, authorities say.
“Jonathan stated Alysha had already been taken to the hospital. Sheriff’s Deputies processed the scene and collected evidence,” the affidavit states.
As the investigation began, deputies learned Garza was in critical condition after being shot in the head.
“Sheriff’s investigators interviewed Alysha’s boyfriend who stated Jonathan had shot her,” the affidavit states.
Detectives say Salinas later admitted to shooting her and said he threw the gun into a canal behind their home.
Authorities recovered the weapon from the canal on June 23.
“Sheriff’s investigators obtained a voluntary statement of accused from Jonathan Salinas who admitted to shooting Alysha with a gun he believed to be empty, fabricating the story of an aggravated robbery and throwing the gun in a canal behind the home,” the affidavit states. “Sheriff’s investigators interviewed Alysha’s boyfriend who confirmed that Jonathan shot Alysha but stated there were three bullets in the gun’s magazine prior to Jonathan shooting Alysha.”
Detectives found a spent casing in the gun’s chamber and two live bullets in the magazine, authorities say.
“On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Sheriff’s Investigators re-interviewed Alsyha’s boyfriend who stated that Jonathan grabbed the gun from the dresser drawer, chambered the gun and deliberately pointed it to Alysha’s head. Jonathan was standing in front of Alysha with his arm extended and the gun within close proximity of Alysha’s head at which point he shot her,” the affidavit states.
Salinas is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in late October.