A 22-year-old Mercedes man entered a not guilty plea Wednesday afternoon to a murder charge for the death of an accomplice during a home invasion where the resident shot and killed the intruder last year.
Juan Jesus Hernandez is facing an indictment charging him with murder and two counts of aggravated robbery for a Dec. 3 home invasion near the 9900 block of North Saltillo Circle in rural Weslaco that resulted in the death of 32-year-old Emanuel Alvarado, who authorities have alleged also participated in the attempted robbery.
Emanuel’s 24-year-old brother, Noel, is also facing a murder charge for his older brother’s death, along with two counts of aggravated robbery. Martin Perez Torres, 23, is also charged with murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.
They have all entered not guilty pleas to the charges.
All of the men are accused of participating in the fatal robbery that sheriff’s investigators allege was organized by Isidro Rubiel Juarez, 30, who is accused of participating in the robbery and providing the weapons, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Juarez remains on the run.
The investigation began after Noel brought his older brother to Knapp Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds at around 12:45 a.m. Dec. 3, 2019.
When investigators went to the home in rural Weslaco, they found “blood and bullet holes” that matched up with Noel’s story about what happened to his brother, who died at the hospital, according to a probable cause affidavit.
A resident at the home, 27-year-old Johnothon Gonzalez, voluntarily told investigators that several armed men came to his house and that he disarmed one of them and shot the man with his own gun, according to the probable cause affidavit.
He was arrested for tampering with physical evidence over allegations levied by the sheriff’s office that he removed bullet casings from the scene as the number of casings recovered was inconsistent with the number of bullet holes found at the scene, the charging document states.
He has not been indicted on the charge, court records indicate.
After the shooting, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the men were attempting to steal money and drugs from the home.