Former mayor found not guilty of voter fraud on all counts

Richard Molina looks over at the jury as they leave the courtroom during deliberations in his voter fraud trial at the Hidalgo County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

EDINBURG — A jury on Thursday acquitted former Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina on a litany of charges related to the 2017 municipal election. 

The former elected official was acquitted on one count of engaging in organized voter fraud and 11 counts of illegal voting.

The verdict, which followed approximately six hours of deliberations, came on the eighth day of trial.

The Texas Rangers first arrested Molina and his wife, Dalia Molina, in 2019 on voter fraud charges, and the investigation eventually netted his former business partner, Julio Carranza, and about a dozen others on illegal voting charges.

Only the former mayor, his wife and Carranza were charged with engaging in organized voter fraud.

Dalia remained at her husband’s side during the trial and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Carranza also pleaded not guilty to his charges, but he took the witness stand during the trial and admitted he participated in the scheme.

The trial, which spanned two weeks, also featured daylong testimony from Molina, who took the stand in his own defense.

The cases against the remaining suspects are ongoing.

This is a developing story. 


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