Weslaco man avoids death penalty for wife, sister-in-law's murders

Crime Scene File Photo

A South Texas man must serve life in prison without parole for killing his common-law wife and her 12-year-old sister in a fight over his drug use.

A judge in Edinburg on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea from 24-year-old Raul Garza of Weslaco.

Garza pleaded guilty to capital murder of multiple persons in the May attack. The plea deal means Garza avoids a possible death penalty.

The victims were Veronica Serrano Rivera and her little sister, Elisa Rivera. The girl allegedly was raped during the deadly attack.

Deputies on May 6 found the bodies at Garza's home after his 5- and 6-year-old daughters were wandering nearby and one told a passer-by: "My mother is dead."

Authorities have said the argument that led to the killings was over Garza's cocaine abuse.