Former Border Patrol agent’s bond to remain at $1.05M

A Border Patrol agent accused of holding his infant child while shooting his ex-girlfriend during their first child custody drop-off has again been denied lower bond.

State district Judge Keno Vasquez denied Ricardo Cepeda Jr.’s request to lower his $1.05 million bonds on charges of attempt to commit murder, abandon endanger child without intent to return, abandon endanger child criminal negligence and aggravated assault discharge firearm.

Cepeda has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

His attorney, Hector Hernandez Jr., asked Vasquez to reduce the bond to $35,000 on all the charges because COVID-19 has made it difficult for him to meet with Cepeda to review evidence obtained during an extensive investigation into his case.

Prosecutor Michelle Puig objected to any reduction in Cepeda’s bonds, telling Vasquez that she has listened to numerous jail house phone calls Cepeda has made where she says he makes it clear that if he is released from the county jail he will do anything to see his daughter, who is living with her mother.

“He talked to 14 different people and he makes it clear he wants to see his daughter and what he doesn’t understand is his daughter is a victim,” Puig said during the hearing, which was conducted via Zoom. “He had a lack of disregard for her life as he held her with a semi-automatic and shot her mom and after he shot her mom … he leaves her in the house alone while her mother gets shot outside.”

Puig said she feels certain that if Cepeda makes bond he will go search out his alleged victims, a point she raised at his previous bond reduction hearing in December.

The prosecution also announced its ready to go to trial, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the defense’s ongoing investigation into the case.

Edinburg police arrested Cepeda on March 3, 2019, after responding to reports that a woman, his ex-girlfriend, had been found inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds to her upper back and upper torso outside a residence at 3322 Zoe St.

Puig said during a previous hearing that he fired eight times into the woman’s vehicle, striking her twice.