State will not seek death in murder of mother, son

Prosecutors have announced they will not seek the death penalty against two Edinburg residents accused of beating a 53-year-old man to death and fatally asphyxiating a 73-year-old woman more than two years ago.

Irene Navejar, 42, and Gabriel Keith Escalante, 41, are charged with capital murder of multiple persons and tampering with physical evidence for the April 28, 2018, murders of Alejandro Salinas Sr. and Oliva Salinas.

Prosecutors informed Navejar on Wednesday of the development while Escalante learned on June 29 that the state would not try to execute him if he was convicted, court records show.

Edinburg police arrested the pair after discovering the decomposing bodies on an Edinburg property after Oliva’s children reported that the mother and son had not been seen or heard from for two days, according to complaints.

Former Edinburg Police Chief David White said at the time that investigators believe money motivated the murders.

According to a criminal complaint, both Escalante and Navejar confessed with Navejar saying it was the result of “a lawsuit settlement.”

Investigators believe Escalante and Salinas Sr. were friends and that the 41-year-old frequented the Salinas’ residence.

The pair are also accused of returning to the residence after the murder and cleaning the scene with Clorox.

Both have remained jailed since their arrests.