A 16-year-old charged with murder told Edinburg police that he and his cousin beat up a 41-year-old man on Nov. 6 after he hit his cousin’s 2007 Buick.
The teen, who The Monitor is not identifying because he is a minor, is charged with murder along with his cousin, 18-year-old Jesse Solis.
Edinburg police arrested the pair on Nov. 12 and charged them with the murder of John Joseph Young, who police initially believed had been killed in a hit-and-run between 11 and 11:15 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the intersection of 21st Ave. and Cano Street.
Solis remains jailed on a $1 million bond on the murder charge.
The investigation began on Nov. 6 when an officer responded to 21st Avenue for a man on the ground with blood on his head. When the officer arrived, EMS was already on scene.
The officer reported seeing a man on the ground on his back wearing beige shorts with no shirt and injuries to the right side of his face, according to a probable cause affidavit.
That man was Young and he was not responsive and breathing “very lightly.”
Young’s nephew showed up to the scene and told police his uncle lived in the 200 block of South 21st.
He reported hearing a “loud thump” while outside his house in his yard at around 11:10 p.m. He also told police he saw a gray passenger car traveling south hit a man, but couldn’t see the make and model of the vehicle as it fled away from the scene, according to police.
Officers at the scene spoke to his aunt, who said she had separated from Young a few months ago and had a protective order against the man, the affidavit states.
Court records show that Young was accused of assaulting the woman in late March and had been arrested by Edinburg police on Oct. 1 for violating a protective order in late August.
“Officer Miranda will testify John became upset with her earlier because she would not remove the order and would not get back with him. Officer Miranda will testify John also told her that he was going to destroy the house,” the affidavit states.
Investigators say in the affidavit that they were able to obtain surveillance video from a nearby business that showed a four-door, possibly gray or silver sedan traveling south at a high rate of speed on 21st before coming to a stop just outside the view of the camera.
“Investigator Moreno will testify as other vehicle’s headlights came into view of the camera, shadows or silhouettes could be seen walking around on the roadway,” the affidavit states.
Then, on Nov. 10, the Edinburg Police Department issued a news release titled “Fatal hit and run” that sought the public’s assistance with identifying a vehicle and a driver that was involved in a fatal hit and run collision on Nov. 6 that resulted in Young’s death.
“Young was transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead,” the release read.
The affidavit says that Young died just after midnight, less than an hour after police responded to the scene.
On Nov. 11, a man went to police and told them that his coworker told him that his brother, the juvenile, and another man, possible nicknamed “Trouble,” had beaten up a man in front of the La Espiga Bakery, which is at Cano Street and 21st Avenue, the affidavit states.
Edinburg police tracked down that man’s coworker, who provided a statement saying that his cousin “arrived at his house upset in his gray 4-door car at about 11:00 p.m. because a male that was in front of the bakery had thrown himself at his car and had broken the mirror,” the affidavit states.
In a news release announcing the arrests, Edinburg police said Young’s body had struck the side mirror of the vehicle before Solis and the juvenile returned and confronted Young, beating the man and leaving him in the roadway.
“Investigator Moreno will testify (the man) stated that a short time later Jessie and (the juvenile) arrived back at the house with blood on their arms saying that they had just beaten up the male in front of the bakery,” the affidavit states.
Police spokeswoman Arielle Benedict told the newspaper after Solis and the juvenile’s arrest that authorities are still working to determine whether the beating, the collision or a combination of both caused Young’s death.
Investigators also learned that Solis had hidden his car behind some tree branches in his yard where his stepfather had told him to put it. It’s not immediately clear whether the stepfather is facing any charges.
Edinburg police first arrested the juvenile on Nov. 11 and allege the teen admitted that he and Solis had beaten up the man by the bakery.
“Investigator Celedon will testify that (the juvenile) stated that they beat up the male because he had struck Solis’ vehicle,” the affidavit states.
Authorities then arrested Solis, who attempted to flee out of the back of his house in the 600 block of Zenon Moya, where they also found the vehicle, which investigators say had blood stains throughout the vehicle’s exterior.