Teenage girl accused in Orange Grove homicide has first court hearing

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal
Detectives investigate homicide in Orange Grove.

The 13-year-old suspect in the killing of Genaro Alaniz had her first court hearing via Zoom Monday afternoon. The hearing was to determine whether to release the suspect to a parent.

Jim Wells County Court at Law Judge Michael V. Garcia determined that the suspect would remain in a detention facility for no more than 10 days. After the 10 days another court hearing will be held to determine the custody arrangements of the teenager. 

The 13-year-old was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 30 at her mother's home on the 800 block of County Road 306 in Orange Grove. Her mother, Connie Lorraine Rodriguez-Cook, was arrested and charged with making a firearm accessible to a minor.

During the court hearing, the suspect stated that she witnessed a physical altercation between her brother, her brother's friend and several other men from the neighbor's house.

The suspect told the court that she feared for her brother's safety. During the altercation, she and her mother attempted to stop the fight, but were unsuccessful, according to the minor.

She told the court that her mother told her "to get the gun," which was on the back patio.

The teenage suspect retrieved the weapon and fired it. A bullet struck Alaniz in the back of the head and killed him, according to law enforcement sources.  

The minor told the court that she saw one of the men with a gun. However, she did not name the individual during the court proceedings.

According to Texas Ranger Robert Montalvo Jr., law enforcement officers secured a video of the incident from the suspect's cell phone. He also stated that the deceased, 45-year-old Genaro Alaniz, was not physically involved in the altercation, but did have a gun on his person. 

JWC Sheriff Daniel Bueno stated that deputies had gone to the home several times for disturbances. The deputies had been at the home the evening before the murder due to a disturbance.

Rodriguez-Cook told her daughter's juvenile probation officer that it is not safe at her home because Alaniz's family has made threats toward the family.

Texas Rangers and JWC sheriff investigators continue to investigate the incident.