Pretrial hearing underway in triple murder case

Ochoa brothers also facing arson, sex abuse charges

SAN ANTONIO – A hearing addressing dozens of pretrial motions in the capital murder cases of Baron Ochoa, 40, and his 35-year-old brother, Conrad Ochoa, are underway in district court.

The bulk of the motions deal with suppression of evidence.

The brothers were arrested in October 2011 following the murders of Conrad Ochoa's daughter, Samvastion "Sammie" Ochoa, 10, her mother, Rebecca Gonzales, 31, and 41-year-old Pamela Wenske.

The bodies were found on Sept. 14 inside Rebecca Gonzales' home on Karen Lane following a fire that police believe was intentionally set to cover up evidence of allegations of sexual abuse. 

Conrad Ochoa was awaiting trial on child abuse and possession of child porn charges. His brother was facing allegations that he sexually abused Sammie Ochoa, his niece.

The bulk of Thursday's testimony centered on evidence collected from Conard Ochoa's car.

"There was a sex toy – a vibrator – that appeared to be relevant to the case that was left behind," San Antonio Police Department Detective Timm Angell testified.

He said officers discussed concerns about the legality of the search.

"There was concerns," he testified. "It was more of a, ‘What if he revokes his consent to search?'"

He continued, "My answer was to get a search warrant since we have probable cause."

Though the hearing addressed both men's cases, they will be tried separately.

No trial date has been set, but it appears likely the first case will not go to trial until mid-January at the earliest in Judge Melisa Skinner's 290th District Court Room.

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