Longtime jurist dies

Former state District Judge Joseph Benjamin Evins, a respected figure in the Rio Grande Valley legal community who mentored individuals such as former Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, died Tuesday morning at the age of 93. A longtime Edinburg resident, Evins was a lifelong public servant who retired from the 206th state district court more than 20 years ago. He began his career as an attorney and held several positions within the county before his appointment to the court in 1973. Raised in Edinburg, Evins, one of eight children born to Mary Jane Beck and John Evins, began helping his family make ends meet as a farmworker, working the South Texas fields as a fruit and vegetable grader and packer. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Man’s body found near Donna field with gunshot wounds

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide here after a man’s body was discovered in a field.  According to Sheriff Eddie Guerra, the sheriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call at around 5:47 p.m. from a farmer who said his field worker found a body in a sugarcane field off of Valley View Road. The sheriff’s office is estimating that the victim died 10 to 15 minutes before being found by the field worker, and may have been shot multiple times where he was found.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Officials tight-lipped on Sharyland Pioneer hazing incident

A hazing incident last semester involving members of the Sharyland Pioneer High School swim team — which warranted a police investigation into allegations of conduct authorities described as “inappropriate” — prompted a response from the Sharyland school district Tuesday. “The District was recently made aware of an incident that took place off campus during the Fall 2019 Semester,” Sharyland ISD Superintendent Dr. Maria M. Vidaurri wrote in a statement. “Upon learning of the incident, an internal investigation was conducted, and the appropriate local authorities were immediately notified.” The statement was issued in response to The Monitor’s requests to confirm a hazing incident multiple sources reported to the newspaper Tuesday. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Deliberations in healthcare fraud case to resume Wednesday

The jury will continue their deliberations Wednesday in the trial for Dr. Jorge Zamora Quezada, the Edinburg-based rheumatologist accused of healthcare fraud. Jurors deliberated for about seven hours Tuesday before requesting to break for the day due to one of the jurors having to attend a class Tuesday evening. U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa excused the jury for the day but instructed them to resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Read the full story at themonitor.com

State recommends 30 years for former Border Patrol agent

The state of Texas announced Tuesday morning that it will recommend that a former Border Patrol agent accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend before abandoning their 1-year-old child spend three decades in prison. Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, appeared in Auxiliary Court for a scheduled discovery hearing when senior state District Judge Fidencio Guerra Jr. asked Assistant District Attorney Michelle Puig what the state would recommend. “Thirty years is the state’s recommendation,” Puig responded. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Edinburg police respond to officer-involved shooting

Edinburg police have responded to calls of a shooting involving a McAllen police officer at the South Texas Behavioral Health Clinic on Tuesday, a...

Source: Romantic dispute between former employees led to Edinburg police chief’s suspension

A whirlwind romance that ended in a messy dispute between the former city manager and one of his employees may have landed the police chief here in hot water. The relationship between former city manager Juan Guerra and his subordinate, former legislative affairs liaison Miriam Cepeda, was fraught with whispered rumors since its start in early 2019. Both had just started working for the city when news of their blossoming romance began to circle throughout city hall — mostly because employees believed it went against the city’s rules of conduct. As Cepeda’s supervisor, Guerra was prohibited from dating her.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

Board names interim Hidalgo, Anzalduas bridges director

Juan Olaguibel was named McAllen’s interim superintendent of bridges Monday, a director position that oversees the Anzalduas and Hidalgo bridges. Olaguibel, who has been the deputy director for nearly 10 years, will take over his interim role later this month following Superintendent of Bridges Rigoberto Villarreal submitting his resignation last week. The board of directors overseeing the Anzalduas International Bridge and Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge made the move unanimously Monday at their monthly meeting, and a search is underway for a full-time superintendent of bridges. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Lopez sworn into Agua SUD board

Franco Lopez of Mission was sworn into the Agua Special Utility District by state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa on Monday evening, replacing former District 3 Director Roger Hernandez, who resigned after being elected to the La Joya City Council. Lopez, 35, works in the La Joya ISD transportation department as a computer technician. “I’m just here for the people and hopefully do things right for them,” Lopez said Monday after being sworn in. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Court warns Mission man of contacting sex assault accusers

A Mission man facing charges of sexual assault of a minor related to a broader human trafficking case was warned about making contact with alleged victims involved in the case. During a pretrial hearing in Mario Ruiz’s courtroom; state prosecutors advised the court that Genaro Fuentes’ wife had made contact with at least one victim connected to the case against Fuentes. Fuentes, his mother Rita Martinez Moreno, and two other men are accused of sexually abusing minor children while they worked at a rural Mission bar owned by Martinez, and where Fuentes was an employee. Read the full story at themonitor.com