Mission man sentenced to 45 years for fatal McAllen shooting

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Carlos Gustavo Macias-Mora

One of the four people involved in the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old McAllen man in 2022 has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to the murder on Monday, court records show.

Carlos Gustavo Macias, 20, was convicted for the death of Rosendo Benitez who was shot multiple times as Macias and his co-defendants were looking to commit burglaries in a stolen vehicle.

His accomplices include 19-year-old Amador Sandoval IV, 20-year-old Sandra Edith Morales and a third male who was a juvenile at the time of the shooting.

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2022, in the 1600 block of North 29th Street.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Benitez was shot multiple times and later died.

The suspect vehicle was a 2018 Ford Fusion that had been stolen out of Mission earlier that same day.

Police first detained Macias who then implicated Morales and the juvenile. Detectives were then able to locate Morales and the other two males involved.

During the interview with police, Morales implicated herself, Macias, Sandoval and the male juvenile as being involved in the murder, according to the affidavit.

“Sandra provided details to the Murder that would only (have) been known by someone who was directly involved in the case,” the affidavit stated.

Sandoval also implicated his co-defendants and corroborated statements Macias and Morales made regarding Benitez’s death.

The affidavit stated that Sandoval said the four of them were in the stolen Fusion attempting to commit burglaries when the murder happened.

Detectives were able to corroborate their stories with a cellphone extraction of Macias’ phone and surveillance video from a convenience store, police say.

Amador Sandoval IV and Sandra Edith Morales

Mission police had informed McAllen police that the Fusion had been reported stolen around 7 a.m. the same day as the shooting.

Macias was arrested at his Mission residence in the 200 block of Rio Street. The Fusion was also found nearby, according to the affidavit.

Police executed a search warrant at Macias’ residence, which resulted in the discovery of a handgun and ammunition.

“The handgun caliber and ammunition matched the spent casings found at the crime scene,” the affidavit said. “A key fob that belonged to the stolen Ford Fusion was also located inside the residence.”

While Macias remained jailed, Morales and Sandoval were able to make bail.

Sandoval pleaded guilty on Oct. 19, 2023 to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was released on a $50,000 bond.

Morales also pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Oct. 5, 2023 and would not be sentenced until the conditions of her $50,000 bond were met.

However, on March 1, Morales was arrested once more after Edinburg police found her to be in possession of several controlled substances, including two bags of Xanax found inside her “genital area,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

While Sandoval is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the month, Morales is scheduled to be arraigned for her possession charge in the beginning of June along with a status hearing for the murder case.