Efforts by Attorney General Paxton’s Criminal Prosecutions Division led to a Starr County jury finding Gerardo Echavarria, Jr. guilty of the murder of Juan Raul Requenez. On February 28, 2009, Echavarria and Requenez got into a fight over Echavarria’s then-fiancé. After the fight was over, Requenez walked away, got into his pickup truck, and was attempting to leave the scene.  

An independent witness reported to law enforcement that Echavarria then pursued Requenez and fired a handgun several times into the driver’s side window after he had started his vehicle. Echavarria then opened the driver’s side door and continued to shoot Requenez. Requenez was struck four times and died from his injuries.  

At trial, Echavarria testified that he acted in self-defense. The jury rejected his self-defense claim and found him guilty after three hours of deliberations. Following a punishment hearing, Judge Federico Hinojosa sentenced Echavarria to 25 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. 

Echavarria had originally been tried and convicted of the offense in 2010. However, a decade later he was granted a new trial due to juror misconduct. The case was re-tried by Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Rountree and Joshua Somers. They were assisted at trial by OAG Sgt. Investigator Richard Faithful. They were also assisted pre-trial by OAG Sgt. Investigator Brandon Reiser.