A Hidalgo County grand jury indicted three men who authorities say fatally shot a Weslaco doctor during an attempt to steal $25,000 in case last November.
Weslaco police arrested Alamo residents Joel Ismael Gonzalez, 18; Josue Benavides Torres, 31; and Weslaco resident Luis Antonio Lopez Valenzuela, 20, in early January after a tip from Runnels County helped crack the murder case that investigators first thought was a major car crash.
The men, who are scheduled to be arraigned in late July, are charged with murder and aggravated robbery. All three remain in jail, court and jail records indicate. They were indicted on June 23.
The trio is charged with the shooting death of Dr. John Dominguez on Nov. 7, 2019.
That afternoon, Weslaco police responded to a two-vehicle fatal collision on Business 83. However, investigators realized while investigation that Dominguez had been shot after witnesses told police about the shooting.
Authorities were unable to make an arrest, however, until the Runnels County Sheriff’s Department investigating a robbery learned a dark blue Sonata used in that crime was also used in a shooting in Weslaco, according to a probable cause affidavit.
That investigation led police to Gonzalez, the alleged shooter in the Weslaco case, authorities say.
Investigators believe Benavides recruited Gonzalez to conduct the robbery on the day of the fatal shooting after he received information about Dominguez from a “curandero,” with whom he had a connection, police have said and a probable cause affidavit indicates.
“Benavides states that he was approached to secure this money by some force using threats of exposure to prior bad acts he committed with the person that contracted him, identified by Benavides as [redacted],” the charging document stated. “Benavides states he recruits both Joel Gonzalez and the Driver, who he identifies as Luis, to be the ones to make contact with the Doctor and extort the money from him by force.”
All three remain jailed on $1 million in bonds.