Mercedes man gets 35 years for fatal Weslaco shooting

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Jorge Antonio Gracia

A Mercedes man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday for fatally shooting a 19-year-old man in Weslaco a little more than two years ago.

Jorge Antonio Gracia, 19, pleaded guilty to murder for killing Leonel Guerra on Dec. 11, 2021, court records show.

Weslaco police also arrested a 15-year-old for murder as well. That teen’s identity is not public because they are a minor.

Police began investigating after being called to an R.V. Park located at 600 S. Bridge Ave. in reference to shots fired at approximately 6:41 p.m. that day.

When officers arrived, police found Guerra with a single gunshot wound to the back.

“Officers attempted CPR first aid to no avail. He ended up passing then,” Weslaco Police Chief Joel Rivera said at the time. “Through some hard work and some good investigative work, two suspects were developed and identified.”

The arrests came after police released photos of a suspect vehicle, which was a 2010 black Chevrolet Silverado with Harley Davidson stickers on the tailgate.

“With the public’s assistance, we were able to locate that truck, abandoned,” Rivera said following the arrests. “We recovered evidence from that vehicle. It was a part of our investigation. It helped us end up identifying suspects in that case.”

Garcia, the minor and Guerra all knew each other.

The chief said previously that the trio were involved in illegal activity and a disagreement led to the murder.

Gracia will receive credit for the more than two years he has spent in the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center.