Mercedes man gets 85 years for murdering teenager

Fidencio Castillo Cosme and his attorneys, O. Rene Flores and Mauricio Martinez, speak in the 370th state district court at the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg on Monday morning, which was during a break in day three of his trial over accusations he stabbed and killed a 16-year-old last September. (Mark Reagan | The Monitor)

EDINBURG — A jury on Thursday afternoon sentenced a 34-year-old Mercedes man to 85 years in prison for fatally stabbing a teenager last year.

The jury convicted Fidencio Castillo Cosme on Wednesday afternoon after about an hour of deliberations on a charge of killing 16-year-old Armando Torres IV on Sept. 28, 2020.

The sentencing concludes the proceedings, which consisted of five full days of witness testimony and evidence.

Those events showed how either a day prior to the murder, or several days prior — testimony varied — Fidencio saw Torres and one of his friends in the alleyway and claimed to police that the teens made comments that they were casing the house for a robbery.

Fidencio’s attorneys said the man’s brother, 37-year-old Juan Jose Cosme, who is also charged with murder, told Mercedes police the same story.

Juan has pleaded not guilty to murder and is awaiting trial.

Those attorneys also said that Fidencio’s sister said the same thing, as did his mother, Hilda Rodriguez, who testified to as much Thursday.

Torres’ best friend, however, testified this week that both of the teens were in the alleyway because they had broken the then pandemic curfew for minors at around 1 a.m. and were hiding from police.

The next time Fidencio saw Torres, he was walking past his house at about 1 p.m. while wearing headphones.

Prosecutors say Fidencio and Juan attacked the teen from behind, with Juan placing him in a headlock while Fidencio slashed at him before stabbing him in the chest.

The knife, which apparently was not recovered, punctured Torres’ sternum with a 4-inch wound.

A forensic pathologist testified on the first day of testimony that Torres essentially drowned in his own blood because that knife sliced into his lung at an area where it attaches to the heart.

At the end of proceedings, one of the victim’s family members — the man who raised Torres — rushed at Fidencio while addressing him in front of the judge, knocking down a table before deputies gained control of the situation.


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