by BRAD ROLLINS
Less than two weeks after the Hays County District Attorney agreed to drop a murder charge against accused local Mexican Mafia leader Nemesio Garcia Jr., a judge last week dismissed an organized crime charge against the San Marcos man.
State District Judge Charles Ramsay on March 25 granted a motion from defense attorney Chevo Pastrano to quash the organized crime indictment. The charge stemmed from Garcia’s alleged role in cleaning up the 2010 murder of Walter Capello, a Lockhart Mexican Mafia member suspected by other gang members of being a law enforcement informant.
On March 14, State District Judge Jack Robison threw out the first-degree murder charge against Garcia three days before his trial was set to begin. Two other alleged San Marcos mafia members, Johnny Gilbert Solis Jr and Paul Tovar, are charged with capital murder in Capello’s death; a third suspect, Eloy Davila Jr. of Wimberley, died last May while awaiting trial.
Garcia still faces a charge of tampering with physical evidence with a human corpse, a second-degree felony that could carry a sentence of two to 20 years in state prison.
Federal wiretaps of Davila’s home in the Henry Garza Mobile Home Park near Wimberley indicate that other Mexican Mafia members were angry that Garcia was not present when Capello was killed sometime in late August 2010, Pastrano said. Capello was stabbed 63 times in San Marcos in a murder not sanctioned by Mexican Mafia higher-ups, according to FBI special agent Stephen Hause during federal court testimony in other cases.
Garcia has been incarcerated for more than two and a half years, Pastrano said, because he has refused plea agreements from prosecutors to testify against other mafia members. Even if Ramsay reduces Garcia’s bail at a hearing scheduled for April 9, Pastrano said, his client isn’t likely to be called to testify in Solis’ and Tovar’s capital murder trials.
“Nemesio wasn’t involved in the murder so he knows nothing about the murder … They’ve already tried to bully him into testifying and he’s not going to go there,” Pastrano said.
District Attorney Sherri Tibbe declined to comment last week because of the pending charges against Garcia and other Mexican Mafia members.
The four Hays County men originally charged with Capello’s death were lower-level members of the mafia’s Austin canton, or chapter. Ruben Flores, the one-time captain in charge of the region, and fifteen others pled guilty in December 2011 to federal charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin.
In those cases, evidence seized at an Austin luxury apartment used by the Mexican Mafia as a stash house included a ledger of drug transactions written in code so sophisticated that law enforcement officials were unable to decipher it.
The Mexikanemi, or the Texas Mexican Mafia, is organized and governed by a written constitution often found by law enforcement in the possession of alleged mafia members. This copy was unearthed by San Antonio Express-News reporters during a federal court case in 2010.