Hearing begins to determine if juvenile murder suspect to be tried as adult
Judge Romero Molina heard three witness testimonies Wednesday during the transfer hearing of a juvenile suspect in connection to the disappearance and murder of Chayse Olivarez.
The hearing was held at the Starr County Court of Law to determine if the juvenile suspect’s case should be transferred to adult court.
Starr County attorneys presented Texas Ranger Eric Lopez, who is one of the officers investigating the case.
Lopez testified that the incident started because Jose Luis Garcia Jr., one of the adult suspects in this case, was upset after Olivarez allegedly stole $67 worth of drugs from Garcia. The alleged action caused Garcia to put a plan in place for the murder of Olivarez, according to Lopez's testimony.
Olivarez was allegedly lured into an abandoned house where he was shot and killed. Lopez, the officer who found the body remains of Olivarez in a lagoon area near the abandoned house, said the remains were found inside black, plastic bags.
Lopez said Olivarez’s body was dismembered and burned with diesel fuel.
Lopez testified the juvenile suspect who appeared in court Wednesday had shown Lopez where the body had been burned. Lopez alleged that the juvenile suspect had helped in disposing the body of Olivarez.
The defense presented two witnesses — Yahara Torres and Maria Guadalupe Torres — who testified to the character of the juvenile suspect. They said the suspect has a “good reputation” and is “law-abiding.” Both say they live houses down from the suspect and his family.
A third witness for the defense was expected to testify on Wednesday, but was rescheduled for Thursday.
The judge is expected to rule on the motion to transfer the hearing after testimony of the psychologist is presented. That ruling will take place at the discretion of the judge.
If the motion to transfer this hearing is granted, the district attorney will take the case and present it to a grand jury. The grand jury will then decide if there is enough evidence to indict the suspect. If the motion to transfer is denied, the Starr County attorney will retain jurisdiction over the juvenile suspect’s case.