District attorney seeks AG opinion on releasing info in infant death case

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office is asking the Texas Attorney General whether it can withhold a probable cause affidavit used to charge a 36-year-old Pharr man with capital murder for the death of an infant.

Donna police arrested Ubence Ruben Hernandez on Oct. 7 and levied the charge, accusing the man of breaking the infant’s spine “due to blunt force trauma” while babysitting three children while their mother went to a store.

During his first appearance in the Donna Municipal Court, Hernandez proclaimed his innocence. Police, however, allege Hernandez confessed during a voluntary non-custodial interview.

In the request for an opinion triggered by an open record request, Jacqueline Villarreal, a civil attorney with the DA’s office, argues the information is protected by Texas Family Code.

“ In this instance, the responsive information contained in Exhibit ‘B’ was used or developed in an investigation into the possible abuse or neglect of a minor, specifically the murder of a minor,” the letter to the AG states.

According to Villarreal, the probable cause affidavit contains information that would identify the minor even if the minor’s identifying information was redacted.

Donna police say they believe there may have been prolonged abuse in the case.

Hernandez remains jailed on a $750,000 bond.

mreagan@themonitor.com