A man convicted for the 2010 murder of 17-year-old Los Fresnos High School student Tiffany Galvan will remain in prison after an appeals court this week upheld a lower court’s murder conviction.
Former Lopez High School football player Javier de la Rosa, Jr. pleaded guilty to murder in the 107th state District Court of Cameron County on March 8, 2012, for Galvan’s brutal stabbing death, according to a statement published by the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office at the time of his conviction.
Cameron County employees found Tiffany Galvan, De la Rosa’s ex-girlfriend, on an isolated park trail near Benavides Park outside the city limits of Brownsville on August 25, 2010. She had been stabbed in the face and body 48 times, according to the appeal.
De la Rosa was 16 years old when he stabbed Galvan to death. He was tried as an adult, took a plea bargain, and was sentenced to 90 years in prison. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2042, the document stated.
In his latest case at the 13th Court of Appeals, De la Rosa raised five issues, including that the trial court was allegedly without jurisdiction because the juvenile court never relinquished its original jurisdiction over his case.
He further argued that the trial court improperly sustained the state’s challenges for cause during preliminary examination and that the trial court erred in allowing into evidence recorded jail calls without proper foundation and translation, according to the document.
De la Rosa alleged the court erred in allowing the state to introduce evidence of an extraneous offense and that it also erred in denying his request for mistrial.
In its memorandum opinion published on Tuesday, judges overruled all five issues raised in De la Rosa’s appeal.
In 2015, the court upheld the 107th’s conviction in a prior appeal brought by De la Rosa. According to Tuesday’s opinion, this led to several other appeals. The man attempted to file a pro se petition for discretionary review by the Court of Criminal Appeals, which was denied without written opinion.
After, De la Rosa opted to file a state habeas petition in the Southern District of Texas, where a judge granted him a writ of habeas corpus and remanded the case back to the 107th state District Court. De la Rosa’s current state-level appeal followed, according to the 13th Court’s opinion.
Court records showed that De la Rosa’s attorney filed a motion in July to release his client on personal recognizance which U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera, Jr. denied as moot.
Another filing from November 2018 indicated the federal appeal had been filed for cross-appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.