The men accused of killing an Erath County couple in April, Carlos and Lucia Garcia, pleaded not guilty to capital murder charges during an arraignment proceeding Monday.
Ricardo Rodriguez, 26, and Frank Webb, 27, were arrested just days after the double homicide was discovered by the couple's eight year old son at their home on FM 205.
Rodriguez was tracked down using still images from surveillance videos at ATMs throughout Stephenville. The photos showed Rodriguez withdrawing funds from the Garcias' bank account while driving their red Chevrolet pickup. Authorities believe the vehicle was stolen after the murders. It was later found abandoned in the county.
Rodriguez is thought to be the nephew of the victims, and according to his attorney, Garry Lewellen, he is not a U.S. citizen, although he did graduate from Dublin High School in 2001.
Lewellen said he expects pretrial proceedings to take place after the first of the year.
Lewellen said he would not speculate on the length of the trial because he hasn't received all of “discovery.”
District Attorney John Terrill said the death penalty is still a possibility in this case but he has not yet determined if he will seek it. He said several factors will be taken into consideration when making the decision, including the nature of the offense and the facts of the case.
Webb was arrested in connection with the murders four days after Rodriguez.
Both Webb and Rodriguez were employees of Caporal Industries Inc. at the time of the double homicide.
Fort Worth Attorney Tim Moore is Webb's attorney.
During Monday's arraignment, Judge Donald Jones instructed attorneys involved in the case to agree on a date for pretrial proceedings.
Terrill said he expects a date to be set in the near future.
ANGELIA JOINER is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-965-3124, ext. 238.