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High-profile murder trial starts in Hidalgo County

Monday marked the first day of testimony in a high-profile murder trial in Hidalgo County.

Monday marked the first day of testimony in a high-profile murder trial in Hidalgo County.

Former hospice administrator Monica Melissa Patterson, 50, of San Juan is accused of killing an elderly man for money — and stealing thousands from Comfort House, the nonprofit organization she headed.

A grand jury indicted Patterson on the charges of capital murder, misapplication by a fiduciary and two counts of theft.

The allegations shocked Hidalgo County.

Patterson is the daughter of former Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Commissioner Hector "Tito" Palacios and the sister of County Court at Law Judge Jay Palacios.

She's represented by a powerhouse legal team that includes attorney Ricardo Salinas of Mission, attorney O. Rene Flores of Edinburg, attorney Calixtro Villarreal of Rio Grande City and attorney Fernando Mancias of Edinburg.

The trial started Monday with an opening statement by the prosecution and two witnesses from Comfort House.

Testimony will continue Tuesday.

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