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Records reveal new details about San Benito murder

Alvaro Mata Jr., 39, of San Benito is accused of murdering his wife after she refused to unlock her phone for him. (Photo courtesy of the Cameron County Sheriff's Office)

New details from a criminal complaint allege a 39-year-old man shot and killed his wife after she refused to unlock her cellphone for him.

As CBS 4 News previously reported, Alvaro Mata Jr., 39, was charged Wednesday with the murder of his wife, 36-year-old Jessica Cortina, a teacher at Wilson elementary in Harlingen.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by CBS 4 News, Cameron County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched at about 12:10 a.m. to the 3000 block of Ebony Road in San Benito in reference to a female bleeding.

When they arrived, Emergency Medical Services personnel said a female was deceased after suffering gunshot wounds.

Upon investigation of the scene, deputies observed blood stains on the floor which led to a bedroom where they found a .22 caliber casing and a deceased female lying against the wall with "a single gunshot wound to her right arm and several wounds to her chest and abdominal area," according to the criminal complaint.

Deputies made contact with a 17-year-old, who said he was asleep when his mother ran into his room and jumped on his bed.

According to the criminal complaint:

“[The 17-year-old] advised that his mother was saying ‘call (sic) the police, your dad is trying to shoot me’.”

The criminal complaint states that’s when Mata walked into the bedroom and asked Cortina, “'do (sic) you think you deserve to live’ just before shooting her with the rifle,” according to the criminal complaint.

Mata then instructed the 17-year-old to leave the room, and closed the door. A few seconds later, he reopened it and advised the 17-year-old to call police, according to the criminal complaint.

Mata then reportedly left the area. At about 7:43 a.m., a woman—identified as Mata’s sister— informed deputies of Mata’s location. Several units were dispatched to the location, where they took Mata into custody without incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Mata waived his rights to an attorney while at the Sheriff’s Office, and provided a statement to investigators.

Mata says he arrived at Cortina’s home around midnight.

According to the criminal complaint:

“Alvaro Mata stated he walked inside and asked her who she was texting to. He stated that she told him that she wasn’t texting with anyone. Alvaro Mata stated that he asked her to unlock her phone and she wouldn’t so that made him very mad. He stated that he walked to his walk in closet where he grabbed a 22 caliber rifle from the rack and pointed it at her. He again asked her to unlock that phone and since she refused he shot her twice on her stomach area. “

Mata says he followed Cortina into the 17-year-old's bedroom, where he asked Cortina to unlock her phone again. When she refused, he shot her again, according to the criminal complaint.

Mata remains at the Carrizales Rucker Detention on a $10 million bond.

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