Mark Reagan

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Mark Reagan is a reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at mreagan@themonitor.com or at (956) 683-4437.

Former Edcouch administrator arraigned on theft charge

Edcouch’s former interim city manager entered a not guilty plea Monday to allegations he stole 1,220 gallons of water. Eduardo Gonzalez, 69, appeared in court for his arraignment on a count of theft by a public servant valued between $750 and $2,500. He remains free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Trial of alleged drug robbery reset

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office apologized Monday to the court and to two defense attorneys representing a 20-year-old murder suspect over a motion for a gag order that was worded incorrectly. Chief of Felonies O.J. Esquivel made the apology on the eve of jury selection for Peter Isiah Uvalle, an Alamo resident accused of shooting and killing Jonathan Joseph Alcala on Dec. 15, 2017, during an argument over Xanax. Esquivel said the motion, which was filed after The Monitor published a story detailing how an investigator with the Pharr Police Department was fired for inappropriate contact with a witness in the case, was intended to be preventative and that the wording in it was incorrect. Read the full story at themonitor.com

McAllen officer story conflicts with motorists’ he’s accused of threatening

A McAllen police officer suspended without pay after Texas Rangers arrested him for official oppression denies pulling a gun on a motorist and threatening three men following a minor accident. The McAllen Police Department announced the arrest of 20-year veteran Larry Tineo-Oliver last Thursday on charges of official oppression, terroristic threat, false report and tampering or fabricating evidence. Tineo-Oliver, who was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle, was involved in a minor accident on Aug. 15, 2019, at about 4:23 p.m. in the vicinity of 2200 W. 107 in McAllen, according to police. Read the full story at themonitor.com

McAllen hit-and-run suspect in court

The case of a 35-year-old McAllen man accused of fleeing the scene of an accident that left a person trapped in the back seat of a vehicle is in the hands of a grand jury. Juan Antonio Sanchez appeared in front of senior state District Judge Fidencio Guerra Jr. on Thursday with his attorney, Jose J. Reyes, seeking a reduction in his bonds of $125,000 on three counts of accident involving serious bodily injury and a count of intoxication assault. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Docs: Surveillance video assisted in Weslaco burglary-turned-murder investigation

A probable cause affidavit indicates surveillance footage assisted Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigators in determining a murder charge against a 41-year-old woman, who reported that she shot a man during a burglary. Sheriff’s deputies initially encountered Emma Linda Gracia on Jan. 18 at 7:34 a.m. at 1318 E. 25th St. in rural Weslaco after responding to a call of burglary of a habitation. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Monica Melissa Patterson’s capital murder conviction upheld

She befriended an elderly man in an attempt to steal his fortune. She stood by and watched as a man she hired suffocated the 96-year-old victim to death. And now, nearly four years later, she lost her first appeal. The 13th Court of Appeals affirmed 52-year-old Monica Melissa Patterson’s capital murder and theft convictions, as well as her automatic life sentence in prison for her role in the Jan. 28, 2015, suffocation death of Martin Knell in his McAllen home. The high court also confirmed her convictions for stealing more than $100,000 from Comfort House — a McAllen-based nonprofit that provides hospice care, and where Patterson served as the director at the time — to fund trips to Las Vegas as well as a graduation party for her son that cost more than $20,000, as well as her convictions for attempting to steal more than $200,000 from Knell. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Records: PSJA Memorial baseball player planned to ‘take out’ victim before ‘they took him...

A witness told Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office investigators that the 17-year-old high school baseball player from PSJA Memorial sought a gun from an associate before allegedly shooting and killing 19-year-old Genaro Isaiah "Izzy" Castillo. The sheriff's office arrested Carlos Julian Contreras on Jan. 15 and charged him with the murder of Castillo, who was found 10 to 15 minutes after he died on a caliche road in the Donna Lakes area near a sugarcane field, according to authorities. After his arrest, Contreras admitted to picking up Castillo in his white Ford F150 and driving him to the area before someone he knew only as Jorge, shot Castillo several times with a black handgun, according to a probable cause affidavit. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

State seeks gag order in 2-year-old murder case

The state of Texas is asking state District Judge Bobby Flores to issue a gag order in the cases of two men charged in the Dec. 15, 2017, shooting of a 20-year-old man. Prosecutors filed the motion Tuesday, asking Flores to bar defense attorneys from continuing to grant interviews, comment or make statements to the media or to make any statements about the case on the internet or social media until the case concludes. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen police chief announces a decade of decrease in crime

Police Chief Victor Rodriguez stood inside the old McAllen Police Department on Pecan Boulevard Friday morning with a message for the community. And he was beaming with pride in his officers, in McAllen residents and in the city’s leadership as he delivered that message. “At the end of 2019, the crime data that we’re reporting to the State of Texas and the FBI that is the lowest crime data, the lowest instances of crime in McAllen, in the last 35 years,” Rodriguez said. The chief announced the findings of the department’s annual crime report, which tracks 10 types of crime. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

DA’s office to try Alamo man in 2017 murder case

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that it’s ready to try a 20-year-old Alamo resident accused of gunning down a 20-year-old man more than two years ago during an argument over Xanax. While the state says it’s ready for trial on Jan. 27, Peter Isiah Uvalle’s defense attorney Savannah Angel Gonzalez told state District Judge Bobby Flores that she needs more time to review information on a phone the Secret Service in San Antonio is trying to un-encrypt. Read the full story at themonitor.com.