Prosecutor: Mercedes man confesses to stabbing minor

A Hidalgo County prosecutor alleged during a hearing Monday morning that a 34-year-old Mercedes man confessed to the Sept. 28 stabbing death of a minor.

But as soon as Assistant District Attorney Michael Walker made the allegation, O. Rene Flores, the defense attorney representing Fidencio Castillo Cosme, objected to the allegation being made outside a probable cause hearing, which Walker had asked to be postponed until next week.

The comment is the first public allegation against Fidencio, other than former Mercedes police Chief Dagoberto “Dago” Chavez telling television stations that Fidencio and his brother, 37-year-old Mercedes resident Juan Jose Cosme, had been arrested and charged with murder over a stabbing.

Chavez refused to provide any comment to The Monitor at the time.

Fidencio has been held on a $1 million bond on a charge of murder since his Sept. 28 arrest, and Flores, the defense attorney, vigorously objected to a reset of the probable cause hearing telling state District Judge Joe Ramirez that Walker should have been prepared because the writ of habeas corpus seeking a probable cause and bond reduction hearing had been on file since Jan. 8.

Walker pointed out that videoconference hearings because of the coronavirus have changed the nature of these hearings.

If they had been in the courtroom, Walker said he simply would have just provided Ramirez with a hard copy of the probable cause affidavit, but since hearings are remote, he has to file it with the clerk’s office.

Flores again objected, reminding Ramirez that Fidencio’s request had been on file since Jan. 8 — more than a month ago.

“How long does one accused in Hidalgo County have to wait,” Flores asked. “I understand this young man is charged with murder but he still enjoys the presumption of innocence.”

The defense attorney did urge the judge to consider the bond reduction request, asking Ramirez to reduce Fidencio’s bond from $1 million to $50,000 because his client is indigent, has been in jail for more than three months and has not been indicted.

Ramirez, however, decided to take up both hearings at the same time next Monday.

The Monitor learned that Fidencio and Juan were charged with murder from a Texas Public Information Act request with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office that sought a copy of the probable cause affidavits used to book the men into the county jail.

The county, however, asked the Texas Attorney General’s Office for an opinion on whether it had to release the documents because those probable cause affidavits contained information identifying a minor victim.

The AG ruled on the county’s side.

Like his brother, Juan has remained in jail on a $1 million bond since Sept. 28 and has not yet been indicted, records show.