Medrano—Latino, age 23
death in Hidalgo County, Texas
By: a jury
Date of crime:
one of several persons charged with the drug-related robberies at
two homes in which six victims were killed by gunshots—some of
them so bullet-riddled that they were scarcely recognizable.
Medrano provided assault weapons used by fellow members of the Tri-City
Bombers gang in the slayings (also sentenced to death arising was
Humberto Garza—see 1st quarter). Medrano was also indicted in the
slaying of four women in September, 2002. The slayings were
allegedly ordered by the gang’s leader from prison to retaliate
against a witness who had helped put him there—but it turned out
that gang members attacked a carload of six women—killing four and
wounding two—that did not contain the witness against whom the hit
had been ordered.
APALERTTN 09:46:17 12/16/03, San Antonio Express-News 12/22/03
(2003 WLNR 16737519), AP Alert TX-21:26:14 11/26/08
This trial involved the gang-related,
"pseudo-cop" robbery-homicide of six men, some of whom were rival
gang members of the "Bombita" gang to which appellant belonged.
In the early morning hours of
January 5, 2003, police responded to a 9-1-1 call and found the
bodies of six men at 2915 East Monte Cristo Road in Edinburg.
There were two houses on the property that were separated by a
Police found the body of Jerry
Hidalgo in the kitchen of the larger house that was located on the
west side of the driveway (the "west-side house"). He was lying
face down on the floor and his hands and legs were bound with
extension cords. He had sustained numerous gunshot wounds, and
there was a bullet hole in his back and blood around his head. The
living room had been ransacked, and it appeared that someone had
rummaged through one of the bedrooms, leaving the bed mattress
standing on its side.
The body of Juan Delgado, III,
was lying face down in the grass outside the front door of the
smaller house on the east side of the driveway (the "east-side
house"). He had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the back of his
neck. There was a live 9-millimeter round in the grass near his
As they entered the house,
police discovered the bodies of Juan Delgado, Jr., who had been
shot in the back and head, and Jimmy Almendarez, who had suffered
multiple gunshot wounds, including a fatal head wound. Police also
found a magazine clip underneath a stereo speaker.
The bodies of Ray Hidalgo and
Ruben Castillo were in another room. Ray had sustained two gunshot
wounds to the head and was missing an eye. Ruben had suffered
multiple gunshot wounds including shots to the buttocks. Police
also found a burnt marijuana cigarette and small baggies of
marijuana and cocaine in that room. The "east-side house" had also
been ransacked, and the victims' pockets had been pulled out.
Some of the ballistics evidence
recovered from the scene included 7.62 by 39 caliber bullets and
casings. Police also recovered a cooking pan and some black skull
caps from the west-side house and a "cold weather knit cap" from
the open field behind the houses. There were three cars parked at
the scene: an inoperable dark-colored Dodge Ram that belonged to
Rosie Gutierrez; a small maroon car that had been rented by Jimmy
Almendarez; and a brown Buick Regal that belonged to Luis Villa.
Rosie Gutierrez was present
during the shootings and called 9-1-1 after the assailants left
the scene. She testified that she and her sons, Jerry and Ray
Hidalgo, lived at 2915 East Monte Cristo Road, and that the
Delgados, Almendarez, and Castillo were her sons' friends.
On the night of January 4, she
played dominoes with her sons in the west-side house. Ray went to
the east-side house with Delgado, Jr., at around midnight. Shortly
thereafter, she and Jerry finished playing dominoes and went into
the living room. Ms. Gutierrez suffered from a medical condition
that affected her legs, so she laid down in a borrowed hospital
bed she kept in the living room to watch television while Jerry
talked on the phone with a friend. She heard loud booming noises
that sounded like fireworks; then someone banged on her door, and
three or four men entered her house.
The leader, a man who spoke
Spanish and who had a long gun with holes in the barrel, pointed
the gun at her head and told her to lie down and face the wall. He
was wearing a ski mask and a jacket with the word "Police" on the
sleeves and back. He ordered his cohorts to tie up Ms. Gutierrez
and Jerry, and they used extension cords to do so. The man who
tied up Ms. Gutierrez was unmasked and carried a smaller handgun.
The other men who restrained Jerry were masked, and she was unsure
if they had guns.
The leader demanded "drugs,
money, gold and guns" and kept hitting Jerry in the head with his
gun. Jerry responded that they did not have anything. "They" told
Jerry to take off his gold necklace and asked for the car keys.
Jerry answered that the car was "no good" and that they would get
caught if they left in it. "The guy" pulled off Jerry's tennis
shoes and asked if anyone wanted them. He then dropped the tennis
shoes, stating, "Let's go," and they left.
Shortly thereafter, "a man with
a ski mask" carrying a long gun and wearing a jacket with "Police"
on it came back into the house and ransacked the living room. He
left, came back inside, shot Jerry "a whole bunch of times," then
left again. Ms. Gutierrez then untied herself and called 9-1-1.
Police later questioned Luis
Villa, who was also present at the scene on the night of the
shootings. Villa told police that he and Castillo took Delgado, Jr.
to "Ray's house" at 9:30 p.m. Villa and Castillo then tried to go
to a nightclub. Villa was denied entrance to the club because he
did not have proper identification, so they returned to Ray's
house at about 10:30 p.m. Delgado, III, came to the house with a
friend about 12:30 a.m. Castillo went outside to use the bathroom,
and Villa heard a voice tell Castillo: "Hey you mother fucker get
your ass on the floor . . ." Delgado, Jr., said there were a lot
of people with guns outside. Villa, who was seated on a sofa,
heard some gunshots and jumped out the window. He told Delgado, Jr.,
to follow him, but he did not do so. As Villa ran away, he heard "two
kinds of machine guns shooting at the same time."
Villa's friend Jose Carreon
testified that he called Villa on his cell phone around 1:00 or
1:30 a.m. Villa, who was "scared, tired, [and] running," said that
"they were shooting at him, and they shot his cousins." Carreon
heard gunshots in the background. Carreon also lived near the
scene and heard gunshots outside.
Police received information
about a "pseudo-cop" robbery and took various suspects into
custody. Police also discovered that suspect Rodolfo Medrano
(a/k/a "Kreeper") had given his friend Miguel Tinajero some
weapons to hide. Tinajero testified that on January 20, Medrano
gave him a long case and said, "Take this and put it away."
Tinajero later opened the case and saw three military-style rifles
inside. Tinajero placed the weapons inside the trunk of a car at
his father's residence in Elsa. When he opened the trunk, he saw
that other weapons had already been placed inside.
He testified that Medrano had
been to his father's residence before and knew where the car keys
were kept. Tinajero notified police about the guns. Two of the
guns, State's Exhibits 107 and 113, had apparent bloodstains and
were submitted for DNA testing. The stain on the stock area of
State's Exhibit 107 was inconclusive. The stain on the muzzle of
State's Exhibit 113 was consistent with the DNA profile of victim
A deadly shooting spree in Donna early this
morning leaves four women dead. The women were killed and another
was seriously injured, ambushed as they arrived home. Authorities
say it’s one of the worst homicides in valley history.
Investigators swarmed an abandoned vehicle believed to be involved
in the crime.
Firefighters and tow trucks were called to pull
the vehicle out. Authorities are still looking for the suspects,
they believe a man known only as “el negro,” and two other men
used several assault rifles to kill the four women and wound a