Herrera faces Capital charge in Juarez death

Herrera faces Capital charge in Juarez death

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

The Caldwell County Grand Jury convened last week, and during their regular session, chose to enter indictments against Rudy Herrera, Jr., 32, of Lockhart, in connection with the August 2016 murder of 19-year-old Emilia Marie Juarez.

Herrera, who has been in custody since his February arrest, faces a Capital Murder charge in the killing. According to the indictment filed last week, the Grand Jury found that Herrera killed Juarez “in the course of committing or attempting to commit the offense of aggravated sexual assault,” raising the charge to a Capital crime.

Under Texas statute, capital murder carries heavy penalties. The Texas Penal Code allows for the State to institute a death sentence for the charge, which the Code defines as “the person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat…” Alternatively to a death sentence, Herrera could face life in prison with no chance of parole, if convicted.

District Attorney Fred Weber was not immediately available to answer inquiries as to whether his office would seek a death sentence in the case.

In addition to the Capital Murder charge, the Grand Jury chose to add a second count, Murder, to the charge. In the second count, the underlying felony was removed, which also takes the death penalty off the table. Still, if Herrera is convicted of murder, he could still face a sentence up to life in prison.

Court records indicate that Herrera filed an Affidavit of Indigence, and requested a court-appointed attorney. Austin-based Paul Evans has been assigned to handle Herrera’s case.

Evans did not immediately return an electronic request for comment on the indictment.

The Post-Register will continue to follow this developing story.

kathibliss@post-register.com

 

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