Two and a half years after the murders of Robert Mata and Marcelino Guerra as well as the aggravated robbery at Sutherland's, the last two suspects, Michael Castro and Richard Perez, were in the 79th District courtroom, where a judge heard pre-trial issues.
Castro was presented with a plea deal October of 2017. He has not agreed to the plea deal, pending the outcome of Perez's trial, First Assistant District Attorney Leroy Persohn said.
Perez's trial by jury is scheduled for Aug. 13. He is represented by Attorney Joel Resendez.
Perez has an additional charged of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the cases.
On Oct. 21, 2015, Castro and Perez allegedly robbed Sutherland’s along with Andres Garza, who was already convicted.
The men walked into the business with masks and guns drawn while a juvenile accomplice held a lady outside the business at gunpoint, police said. The juvenile has not been charged.
Andres Garza was recognized by an employee and arrested the same day of the incident. Through an investigation, Castro, Aaron Garza and Richard Perez were arrested in connection with the murders and aggravated robbery.
Aaron Garza took a plea agreement of three years deferred adjudication probation on an evading arrest charge, which dismissed the murder and robbery charges. Aaron Garza is believed to be the mastermind of the plan, but was not present during the murders or robbery, investigators have said.
Castro and Perez face capital murder charges that stem from the double homicide that occurred on Oct. 20, 2015, a day after the robbery. The men are accused of shooting Guerra and Mata on County Road 464 near Green Acres before stealing their truck and setting it on fire near San Diego.
In September 2017, Andres Garza was sentenced to a total of 125 years in a Texas prison. Garza agreed to a plea deal with the State that reduced his two counts of capital murder to murder charges. He is also charged with aggravated robbery. All three charges are first degree felonies. Visiting Judge Bob Perkins implemented the State's recommendation of 50 years for each murder charge and 25 years for the aggravated robbery charge to run concurrent as per Garza's plea agreement.
Castro remains in the Jim Wells County jail with a total bond of $850,000. Perez has been out on a total bond of $360,000 since March of 2016.