A judge sentenced Andres Garza to a total of 125 years in a Texas prison Monday morning. Garza was one of the suspects arrested in connection with a double homicide and the Sutherland’s robbery in 2015.
Garza agreed to a plea deal with the State that reduced his two counts of capital murder to two murder charges. He is also charged with aggravated robbery. The three charges are first degree felonies.
Judge Bob Perkins decided to implement the State's recommendation of 50 years per murder charge and 25 years for the aggravated robbery charge to run concurrent after Jim Wells County District Attorney Carlos Garcia told the judge that Garza complied with his portion of the plea agreement. As per Garza's plea agreement, Garza gave a “truthful” statement to Texas Ranger Matt Seguir about the events that led to the murders and robbery.
The victims' families were in court as Judge Perkins sentenced the 21-year-old to spend the rest of his days in prison. Garza must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
“You have no remorse for what you did. I see no emotions on your face. All I see is darkness. That's all I see from you, no remorse,” said Dalia Mata, the wife of murder victim Robert Mata. “Fifty years for two counts of murder and aggravated robbery is not enough. We demanded justice for my husband, Robert, but it's more like an injustice. Another slap in our face, another dagger in our hearts.”
On Oct. 21, 2015, Andres and two other suspects, Michael Castro and Aaron Garza allegedly robbed Sutherland’s. The men walked into the business with masks and guns drawn while a juvenile accomplice held a lady outside the business at gunpoint.
Andres was recognized by an employee and arrested the same day of the incident. Through the Alice Police Department’s investigation, Castro, Aaron and Richard Perez in connection with the murders and aggravated robbery.
Aaron was charged with evading arrest detention and aggravated robbery. Castro was charged aggravated robbery and capital murder. Perez was charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Andres, Castro and Perez's capital murder charges stem from the double homicide that occurred on Oct. 20, 2015. The men were accused of murdering Marcelino Guerra and Robert Mata on County Road 464 near Green Acres.
Sheriff officials believe Castro and Andres killed the two men in order to steal their gray 2001 Chevrolet Silverado that was suppose to be used in the Sutherland’s robbery.
Investigators found the stolen vehicle engulfed in flames the day after the murders on County Road 148 near San Diego.
Aaron and Perez were also in court Monday for their involvement in the murders and robbery. Castro was not on Monday's docket call.
The Garza brothers, their father, Amador Garza Sr., who was charged with two counts of tampering with evidence, and Perez's cases were reset until Sept. 19.
Andres was taken back to the JWC jail where he will remain until transferred to a Texas prison. Aaron was arrested on a warrant and escorted to the JWC jail.