The district attorney’s office is now prepared to prosecute two local men for capital murder in the slayings of a husband and wife. Ricardo Rodriguez and Frank Webb both face charges of capital murder in a trial set to begin June 16.
In both cases, a list of witnesses, including experts and investigators from Erath County, criminalists from the Department of Public Safety Lab in Austin, family members including Rodriguez’s half brother Graciano Sany Lopez and a man who recently pleaded guilty to the 1987 murder of a Stephenville woman, could be called to testify.
Joseph Scott Hatley, who was housed in the Erath County jail when Rodriguez and Webb were arrested, pleaded guilty to the murder of Jeanette Woods and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Since his sentencing in October, Hatley has remained in Erath County.
It has been a little more than a year since the bodies of Carlos Rios Garcia, 46, and Lucia Garcia, 41, were found dead in their Erath County home with gunshot wounds to the head. Their 8-year-old son, who was awakened by his crying 2-year-old sibling on the morning of April 16 inside the family’s home, located off of FM 205, first discovered the bodies.
Following the gruesome discovery, investigators began aggressively following a trail of evidence, including photos taken by surveillance cameras at local ATMs that showed what appeared to be a Hispanic male using the couple’s bank card to withdraw money from their account. It also appeared that the suspect was driving a Chevrolet truck that had been taken from the Garcia home.
It was the grainy images obtained from the surveillance equipment that played an instrumental role in the arrest of Ricardo Rodriguez, a 2001 Dublin High School graduate, somehow related to the couple.
A statement signed by sheriff’s investigator Larry Wand, dated April 23, 2007, stated that Rodriguez gave a statement confessing to the capital murder of the Garcias and further stated that Webb also participated in the crime.
Four days after Rodriguez’s arrest, Webb was arrested and also charged with capital murder. Although the connection between the two men is not clear, both suspects worked at Caporal Industries Ltd. in Stephenville and at least at times lived in Dublin.
Webb’s face is not a new one to the district attorney’s office. In fact, at the time of his arrest, he was on parole for a crime that occurred in July 2001. Webb was convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity and sentenced to 20 years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in January 2002.
A jury found Webb guilty of a series of burglaries at a single residence belonging to local businessman Brad Allen. Over a period of about four weeks, when Allen was away from his home, which was being remodeled, his home was burglarized. A large number of firearms, gold, silver, electronics, cash and other valuables were taken. Webb worked for a local painting company that had been employed to help in the remodeling process and thus gained entry to the home.
It was found that Webb returned to loot the home several times over the weeks Allen was away and crossed state lines to sell some of the stolen property and even traded some for drugs.
If convicted of capital murder, Rodriguez and Webb will face life in prison.