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Alleged hitman could face life in prison

A Texas resident who authorities say worked as a hitman for the Mexican Mafia could face life behind bars for several murders. On July 28, the 38-year-old man pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in the aid of racketeering and five counts of firing a gun in retaliation for a violent crime.

Prosecutors say that the accused man was only charged for the murders that could be proven, though he admitted that he had killed 11 other people. Four of the federal crime charges were for incidents where the man had allegedly killed gang members, and one of the charges was for an incident where the man had allegedly ordered other gang members to kill a crooked police officer.

Much of the evidence that was used against the accused man came from his own testimony. After the man was sent to the hospital for treatment of a bullet wound, he called the San Antonio Police Department to tell them about the shooting incident. He proceeded to give officers information about several unsolved murders, and the information led to the discovery of a grave in Pearsall that contained three bodies.

When prosecutors can link an alleged criminal act to an organized criminal operation, a defendant could face more severe charges. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a defendant to disprove prosecutors' allegations about the alleged connection to organized crime. An attorney may do this by proving that the defendant was never employed or paid by anyone in the alleged criminal organization.

Source: San Antonio Current, "Texas Mexican Mafia Hitman Facing Life in Prison for Five Murders," Mark Reagan, July 29, 2016

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