Suspects accused of killing San Benito officer indicted

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A Cameron County grand jury on Wednesday indicted the two men accused of gunning down San Benito police Lt. Milton Resendez.

Rodrigo Axel Espinoza Valdez, 23, a Mexican national, and Rogelio Martinez, 18, of Brownsville, are charged with capital murder of a peace officer or a fireman and six counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer or fireman.

The charge for Resendez’s killing carries the death penalty if the men are convicted, should the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office elect to pursue that penalty, which a jury would decide.

Prosecutors can elect to not pursue the death penalty in which case the punishment — if convicted — would be life without parole.

Espinosa Valdez faces two additional charges of evading arrest or detention with a vehicle while Martinez is charged with having a prohibited weapon, namely a machine gun.

A probable cause affidavit revealed that Martinez is the alleged shooter.

Resendez died on Oct. 17 after an hours-long chase that began at about 4:30 p.m. on South Padre Island, a chase where two women, including Martinez’s sister, and children were in the vehicle.

That chase initially went to Brownsville where an exchange of gunfire occurred, prompting police there to stop shooting out of concern for residents.

Later that day, at around 10:30 p.m., authorities were back on track and the chase headed toward San Benito, where Resendez was shot and killed.

The suspects were eventually arrested in Brownsville on International Boulevard.

An arraignment date had not yet been scheduled, according to court records.

Both men remain jailed in the Cameron County Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center.


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