SAN ANTONIO – The trial for a capital murder suspect accused in two February 2018 deaths started on Wednesday in the 187th District Court.
Richard Montez is on trial for the murders of Angel Gebara, 14, and Benito Gallegos, 69.
San Antonio police have said that Montez, along with Andres Martinez and Juan Martinez, who are cousins, were arrested following a shooting and standoff at the Cassiano Homes in February 2018.
The three were accused of shooting Gallegos during a robbery, and then shooting in the direction of a nearby apartment, hitting Gebara who was standing in the kitchen, according to court documents.
The trio barricaded themselves inside a home, police said, but ended up coming out without incident.
The Martinez cousins both cut deals in 2021 to allow them to plead down to a murder charge, instead of capital murder, in exchange for their testimony. Andres Martinez and Juan Martinez were eventually sentenced to 22 years and 24 years in prison, respectively.
Montez was supposed to start his trial on Aug. 1. However, special prosecutor Miguel Najera had the original case against Montez dismissed and he was released from jail.
Before that, Najera had requested the trial be delayed, citing “essential” witnesses who were unavailable, including the now-retired lead SAPD detective. However, State District Judge Stephanie Boyd denied Najera’s motion, later telling KSAT the defense had objected and that everyone had the right to a speedy trial.
By that point, Boyd said the case had been ramping up to trial for three years.
Rather than proceed without his witnesses, Najera asked the case be dismissed, indicating in his motion that he planned to re-indict. In the meantime, with no charge against him, Montez was released from the Bexar County jail.
A new indictment was issued for Montez in the following weeks.
He spent two months as a free man before he was taken into custody last month in Kenedy. You can read more about his case here.