Nearly five months after Erath County residents, Carlos and Lucia Garcia, were found slain in their home, two men have been indicted in connection with the murders.
On Thursday, an Erath County grand jury indicted Ricardo Rodriquez, 26, and Frank Webb, 27, for capital murder, District Attorney John Terrill said.
Terrill said capital murder charges are filed against a suspect when there are “aggravating factors” associated with a crime. In this case, Terrill said he sought the capital murder indictment because more than one person was killed.
“We do have the option of seeking the death penalty,” Terrill said. “But that determination has yet to be made - we're still examining the case.”
The couple was found shot to death in April in their home located off of Farm to Market 205 by their 8-year-old son, who reportedly ran next door to seek help.
During the investigation, Sheriff Tommy Bryant maintained that a single individual did not carry out the murders.
“Mr. Garcia appeared to have been a big, strong guy and I just don't believe one person could have overpowered both him and his wife,” Bryant said.
Authorities arrested Rodriquez days after the murders took place. Rodriquez is a 2001 graduate of Dublin High School and a relative of the victims, He was working at Caporal Industries Inc. at the time of his arrest.
Investigators working the case tracked down Rodriquez using still images of the suspect taken from surveillance video at various ATMs throughout Stephenville. The photos showed the suspect withdrawing money from the victims' bank account and traveling in the victims' red Chevrolet pickup authorities believe was stolen after the murders. The pickup was later found abandoned in the county.
Four days after Rodriquez was arrested, Webb was taken into custody. He, too, was employed at Caporal Industries at the time of his arrest.
Rodriquez and Webb both remain incarcerated in the Erath County Jail. Bond for the men has been denied.
(See Sunday's edition of the Empire-Tribune for a complete listing of the indictments.)
SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.