Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Edinburg massacre
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Tri-City Bombers gang member - Drugs robbery
Number of victims: 6
Date of murder: January 5, 2003
Date of birth: March 11, 1984
Victims profile: Jimmy Edward Almendariz, 22; brothers Jerry Eugene Hidalgo, 24, and Ray Hidalgo, 30; half brothers Juan Delgado Jr., 32, and Juan Delgado III, 20; and Ruben Rolando Castillo, 32 (rival gang members)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on December 23, 2004
TDCJ Number
Date of Birth
Navarro-Ramirez, Juan R. 999490 03/11/1984
Date Received
Age (when Received)
Education Level
12/23/2004 20 08
Date of Offense
Age (at the Offense)
01/05/2003 18 Hidalgo
Hair Color
Hispanic Male Black
Eye Color
5' 08" 164 Brown
Native County
Native State
Prior Occupation
Hidalgo Texas Laborer
Prior Prison Record
Summary of incident

On 01/05/2003 in Hidalgo County, Texas, Navarro-Ramirez and 10 co-defendants entered a residence to steal a large quantity of marijuana.  During the course of stealing the marijuana, Navarro-Ramirez and his co-defendants killed six Hispanic males.


Juan Arturo Villarreal Cordova "Juanon", Robert Garza "Bobby", Jeffrey Juarez "Dragon", Reymundo Sauceda "Kito", Robert Cantu "Robbie", Salvador Solis "Little Sal", Juan Miguel Nunez "Perro", Juan Ramirez "Ram", Jorge Espinosa Martinez "Coche", and one unknown co-defendant.

Race and Gender of Victim
6 Hispanic Males

Witness in Edinburg massacre withholds testimony

The Monitor

Dec. 11, 2004

The only man to escape the 2003 massacre that left 6 others dead refused to testify on Friday in the trial of Juan Raul Navarro Ramirez, one of 11 suspected Tri-City Bombers gang members charged with capital murder.

Days after the slayings, Juan Delgado Villa, 35, told Edinburg police he dove through the window of the small house at 2515 E. Monte Cristo Road and ran, leaving behind his cousins and childhood friends as rounds of gunshots ensued. Arrested 2 days after the murders on Jan. 7, 2003, for being in the country illegally, Villa was transferred from federal custody to Hidalgo County Jail under a subpoena to testify in Ramirezs trial.

Ramirez, 20, is the youngest defendant charged with the murders of rival gang members during a drug and weapons raid and the 1st to stand trial for those murders. He pleaded innocent to the charges.

Though Ramirez has not been identified as a shooter, Hidalgo County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty under the law of parties, which allows for a person to face the punishment if he or she conspires with others to commit a criminal act that ends in a slaying.

Multiple gunshots killed Jimmy Edward Almendariz, 22; brothers Jerry Eugene Hidalgo, 24, and Ray Hidalgo, 30; half brothers Juan Delgado Jr., 32, and Juan Delgado III, 20; and Ruben Rolando Castillo, 32.

Police found five of the bodies in or around the smaller of 2 houses on the property, where Villa had also been present. In the larger home, the assailants left Rosie Gutierrez - the mother of the Hidalgo brothers - alive, tied to her bed with an extension cord near her slain son Jerry Hidalgo. Gutierrez was publicly thought to be the lone survivor until a police detectives testimony during Ramirezs trial revealed Villas escape.

Earlier Friday, jurors heard Gutierrezs muffled 9-1-1 call in which she told a dispatcher that masked men had entered her home and shot her son. She told the dispatcher she did not see how many men there were or who had been killed, only that they were armed with semiautomatic rifles. Jurors heard Gutierrez scream and cry when she untied herself and saw her sons body.

Brought into Judge Noe Gonzalezs 370 th state District Court handcuffed, shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit, Villa said he did not want to answer the prosecutions questions. Gonzalez excused the jury and appointed Edinburg attorney Roel Esquivel to advise Villa of his rights.

"You do not have a right not to testify if you are subpoenaed," the judge told Villa, explaining the constitutional Fifth Amendment did protect him from answering questions that would incriminate him in illegal activity. He also told Villa not to tell the jury his reasons for not answering the questions.

Esquivel said Villa felt he had nothing to offer the case, and did not want to testify out of concern for his health and his family.

"My life is in danger every day," Villa told the court. "I dont want any publicity. I dont want to be in front of a jury.

"If I have to do more time, Ive already done enough."

In front of the jury, prosecutor Cregg Thompson asked Villa if he had been present in the home when the shooting occurred and if he heard gunshots when Ruben Castillo was shot outside.

"You ran when you heard someone tell (Castillo) to get on the ground. You never saw them push in the door? You didnt see him get shot in the back, butt and legs as he knelt in front of the couch you were sleeping on?" Thompson asked.

To each question Villa responded, "I dont want to answer."

Villa also would not respond to defense attorney Alma Garza. She alleged that Villa had asked a friend for a bulletproof vest the morning of Jan. 4 and that he had purchased two other bulletproof vests months earlier. She also alleged that before the murders, Villa took the girlfriend of one of the alleged assailants to the house where the men were killed and showed her marijuana. Garza also said Villa had spent time with the woman afterward.

"You told (the woman) that you were afraid they were going to pin everything on you, didnt you?" she asked.

Villa would also not respond when asked if he told a friend that he had had a gun and fired back at the shooters.

For refusing to cooperate with the attorneys, prosecutors asked Gonzalez to hold Villa in contempt, which could carry additional jail time, though Gonzalez did not rule on the matter Friday.

Graciela Delgado, the mother of the Delgado brothers, testified that Villa had been a good friend of her stepson Juan Delgado Jr., but that the two had not been getting along for nearly a month before he died. She told prosecutor Joseph Orendain that Juan Delgado Jr. had lived with Villas mother, but right before his death he had moved in with Ray Hidalgo in the home where they were both killed. She spoke in Spanish and an interpreter translated her statements to the court.

When questioned by the defense, Graciela Delgado said that she visited with Rosie Gutierrez after their sons were killed and that Gutierrez acted like "nothing had happened" and that she did not believe Rosie Gutierrezs account of the killings.

Edinburg Police Det. Daniel Ochoa then testified that he had re-enacted Villas escape through the window to verify his story.

Ochoa told jurors how police found and arrested Ramirezs co-defendants Humberto "Gallo" Garza, 30; Marcial Mata Bocanegra, 27; Roberto "Robbie " Cantu, 25; Reymundo "Kito" Sauceda, 29; and Jorge Norberto "Choche" Martinez, 39.

Their statements then lead law enforcement to Ramirez, who was found and arrested at his aunts home in Hargill on Jan. 29, 2003.

Ramirezs trial will resume Monday. Nine others are in Hidalgo County Jail, awaiting trail for the same charges. Edinburg police are still searching for Juan Miguel "Perro " Nuez, 29.

Robert "Bones" Gene Garza, 21, of Pharr is also charged in the Monte Cristo killings. Last December, a jury found him guilty in connection with the shooting death of 4 Donna women in 2002. That crime has also been linked to several alleged members of the Tri-City Bombers gang.



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