Dennis being held on $1 million bond in JWC jail; is currently in prison

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

A fourth suspect has been indicted in the Jan. 2, 2006 murder of Javier Sanchez, just one week before the first trial in the case is scheduled to begin.

James Michael Dennis, 29, was indicted May 10 for capital murder, according to documents filed in the 79th District Court.

Those documents state that on Jan. 2, 2006, Dennis caused the death of Javier Sanchez, while in the course of committing the offense of kidnapping.

Dennis is currently being held in the Jim Wells County jail on $1 million bond.

District Attorney Joe Frank Garza declined to discuss the specifics of Dennis' involvement with the case, but confirmed he was living in Alice at the time of Sanchez's murder.

"He's been in prison for another matter, and we bench warranted him over," Garza said. "He's a party to the murder, that's really all I can say."

Garza could not provide details of what charges had led to Dennis' incarceration or what prison he was in before he was transferred to Jim Wells County.

According to records at the Jim Wells County Jail, Garza was transferred to Jim Wells County on April 12, and has been in the county jail since that time.

Three other men, Alonzo "Lowrider" Gonzalez, Alejandro Carbajal Garza Jr. and Alfred "Casper" Gonzales, have previously been indicted on capital murder charges in connection with the Jan. 2, 2006 death of Sanchez.

Under the capital murder indictments, a guilty verdict would result in an automatic life sentence.

On Thursday, District Judge Richard Terrell granted a request from the state for a continuance in the case of Alejandro Garza, whose trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

Jury selection in that case is now scheduled to begin May 29.

District Attorney Garza said Dennis could be called to testify in that trial.

Sanchez's body was found beside a roadway north of Alice Jan. 2, 2006.

Autopsy results later showed Sanchez had been shot five times in the head and torso.