Court hands down capital murder charge for man accused of kidnapping his wife

Richard Ford was charged with capital murder Tuesday afternoon in connection with the death of his wife, Melissa Banda.

The court also set his bond at $2 million, on top of the $2.5 million bond he is already facing for a kidnapping charge.

At a news conference following the court appearance, Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra said Banda’s throat was lacerated with a very, very sharp object which has yet to be recovered.

Additionally, Guerra said they believed Banda was killed at the place she was found in rural Donna and placed there less than hour after she was kidnapped.

McAllen police chief Victor Rodriguez described ford as “evil.”

“We fail to understand the need for such violence in this case,” Chief Rodriguez said.

Hidalgo County DA Ricardo Rodriguez was also present at the news conference.

Check back later for updates.

See the original story below.

McAllen police investigators say in a probable cause affidavit that 40-year-old Richard Ford refused to speak to them about his wife’s disappearance and denied seeing her the day she was last seen alive.

Ford is charged with aggravated kidnapping/sexual abuse and is scheduled to face further charges Tuesday afternoon at the Hidalgo County jail when he’s set to appear before a judge on more charges related to 37-year-old Melissa Banda’s death.

Melissa Banda

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigators found Banda’s body late last Friday night north of Donna. Ford has been in custody since Thursday night when Cameron County law enforcement arrested him near South Padre Island Beach Access No. 5.

On Thursday, McAllen police say Banda was last seen being forced into a white Dodge SUV driven by Ford.

The probable cause affidavit for his arrest on the kidnapping charge sheds more light on what investigators say were the last moments Banda was seen alive.

Those final moments were caught on surveillance video.

“The video showed that as soon as Ms. Banda arrived at the home, Mr. Ford approached her from behind and grabbed her and covered her mouth,” the affidavit stated. “Ms. Banda began to kick and scream and Mr. Ford continued to wrestle with her until he got to the Dodge Journey.”

The video then shows the vehicle leaving.

McAllen police say Banda had obtained a protective order at some point against Ford.

Police say Banda called them on June 30 to report that “her husband Richard Ford … called her … (that) morning … when answering the call Richard stayed quiet on the line … there is currently a protection order which prohibits him from making any contact with her.”

Ford has remained in the Hidalgo County jail since the weekend on a $2.5 million bond on the kidnapping charge.