January 24, 2012, News Center 23 Morning Update

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 10:36am

Good morning, I'm Na’Tassia Finley with your News Center 23 update. Today is Tuesday, January 24th, 2012.

Twenty-three year old Sergio Garcia has been charged with first degree murder after authorities say he intentionally ran over his girlfriend, 17 year-old Jillilah Rivas early Sunday morning. The investigation shows Garcia and Rivas got into a fight during a party, Garcia wanted to keep partying, Rivas wanted to go home. She left the party and began walking home, when authorities say Garcia intentionally hit Rivas as she walked down a dark road.
Garcia picked up Rivas' body, taking her back to his house; it was there where she was found dead by DPS. Garcia's bond was set at 500-hundred thousand dollars.

The man accused of murdering valley native Laura Garza has admitted to killing her just moments before his murder trial was set to begin yesterday in New York.
Michael Mele told prosecutors he brought Laura back to his apartment in December of 2008 after leaving a nightclub in Manhattan. He says Laura found out he had a girlfriend, grew upset and wanted to leave.
He admitted to putting his hand over her mouth and nose to stop her from yelling, and then she stopped breathing. Mele says he panicked, put her in a laundry basket with a blanket and dumped her body in a wooded area in Pennsylvania. Her body was found in April of 2010.
Mele faces up to 23 years in prison for manslaughter and up to four years for tampering with evidence.
He'll be sentenced in March...

Well 24 Hugo Alfredo Salazar has been arrested on accusations of having a sexual relationship with a 12 year old girl. The girl's mother went to Brownsville Police with the allegations.
Police say Salazar eventually implicated himself in regards to having a relationship with the young girl.
His bond has been set at 100-thousand dollars.

Good news in Santa Maria, the police department has received a 2002 seized Chevy SUV from the Cameron County Sheriff's Department and district attorney's office. There is no law enforcement presence on the Santa Maria ISD campus, but now, with the help of this new unit, that's going to change.
The school board decided to start up the campus police to have someone on location, fulltime, for the safety of the kids.

And in other news, the Brownsville Weather Service Center is getting an upgrade in its radar equipment next year. Meteorologists at the weather service say the new upgraded equipment will allow scientists to better predict and more accurately map weather patterns and the types of precipitation that might affect our area. The rebuilding of the radar will take nearly two weeks to complete once upgrades begin in April of 2013. The weather center will rely on neighboring radars, like the one in Corpus Christi, to monitor our weather during the down time.

Join us tonight for your Upper and Lower Valley reports, right here on News Center 23 at five and ten.

Have a great Tuesday; take care.

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