Mission man sentenced to 10 years in prison for 2014 double homicide

Jose Eduardo Espinoza, 33, pleaded guilty on March 22, 2023, to two counts of murder for a 2014 double homicide. (Xavier Alvarez | The Monitor)

EDINBURG — A Mission man was sentenced to prison Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to his involvement in a double homicide following a shootout that happened more than nine years ago.

Jose Eduardo Espinoza, 33, pleaded guilty to the murders of 22-year-old Mission resident David Allen Means and 32-year-old Pharr resident Arturo Hinojosa, which happened on Feb. 1, 2014.

Espinoza was sentenced to 10 years in prison with nearly three years in credit.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Espinoza called Means’ brother following the deadly shootout and left him a voicemail stating that “it had gone bad” and that he should start checking the hospital for his brother.

In the voicemail, several voices could be overheard talking about leaving someone at the hospital.

Means was later found on his back with a gunshot wound to his chest in the south parking lot of the Mission hospital, according to authorities.

Means’ brother told police that his brother left with Espinoza the night he was shot and killed, the affidavit said.

Hinojosa was found in the grass bleeding in front of a residence located at 4805 La Vista Ave. and told detectives with his dying words that he and four other men were there to steal marijuana.

Inside the residence, police found several spent rifle casings and bundles of marijuana.

“It was apparent that several rounds were fired from within the home outwards towards the inside of the front door of the said residence,” the affidavit said.

Jose Eduardo Espinoza, 33, pleaded guilty on March 22, 2023, to two counts of murder for a 2014 double homicide. (Xavier Alvarez | The Monitor)

At the scene, police encountered a 33-year-old man named Hector Nicolas Medina Castillo who lived at the residence and was standing by a maroon Chevrolet Tahoe which was covered in bullet holes and had a shattered rear window.

Castillo told investigators that someone came to his home to rob him and fired at him. He added that he fired back at the men and had hit someone.

Over six years later, Espinoza was arrested on May 1, 2020, following a traffic stop conducted by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper for reckless driving and evading arrest.

The trooper realized that the McAllen Police Department had issued a warrant against Espinoza for murder and aggravated robbery during a records check.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors moved to dismiss a count of aggravated robbery, which the judge granted. Espinoza will receive approximately three years of credit for the time he has spent in the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center since his arrest.