EDINBURG, Texas – A tense afternoon in the courtroom after Jose Luis Garcia Jr.’s mother accusing Starr County District Attorney Omar Escobar of working on the side of the criminals. The mother of the teen accused of orchestrating the death of 17-year-old Chayse Olivarez now says she fears for her life.
On the stand Garcia’s mother said, “Presumption of innocence does not exist in Starr County depending on how well you know the prosecutors.” Her son is accused of shooting Chayse Olivarez and later paying someone to chop up and burn his body.
The defense attorney called on Garcia’s uncle, mother, and a school counselor to testify after the state rested its case. Garcia’s mother, Sandy Garcia, testified her and her family fear the Olivarez’s because they are known to be the bad people in town. Adding that Olivarez pointed a gun at her son’s head threatening to kill the entire family if he complained about a drug dispute the two allegedly had.
She also spoke about a text message Garcia Jr. reportedly received on his birthday from Olivarez. Although the content of that message was not revealed to the jury, Sandy Garcia says she felt her family’s life was in danger. She went on talking about Chayse Olivarez’s father, allegedly being investigated for the execution of two female employees at Rio Grande City CISD. They were found naked and tied up together with gunshot wounds to their heads in 2016.
During testimony, Sandy Garcia repeatedly voiced her fear about testifying. Stating she feels there will be repercussions from Starr County Law enforcement and Olivarez’s family who she says are both dangerous people. She accused Starr County Police of being associated with the Olivarez’s after Olivarez’s father showed up to the Roma ranch where Olivarez’s remains were found while investigators were interviewing Garcia. Garcia’s mother claims nobody else could’ve given Olivarez that information besides law enforcement; arguing she had not been notified her son was arrested.
When Garcia’s mother was asked why she didn’t report the alleged threats from Olivarez towards her son to police, she openly accused District Attorney Omar Escobar of corruption. Claiming it would have done her family more harm than good. In tears and with her voice cracking, she blamed herself for bad parenting and caring more about her safety above her son’s.
A school counselor also testified saying Garcia Jr. was smarter than the average student and was an A-B student involved in multiple school activities. Prosecutors argued that good grades does not mean he is not capable of killing someone. Three other suspects have been charged in connection to this homicide.