After nearly 2 months as a free man, capital murder suspect arrested in Karnes County, sheriff says

Richard Montez is charged in the 2018 murders of Angel Gebara, 14, and Benito Gallegos, 69

After nearly two months as a free man, Richard Montez is once again facing a capital murder charge in the February 2018 shooting deaths of a teen and an elderly man on the West Side.

SAN ANTONIOFriday, Oct. 7 update:

Richard Montez is in custody after sheriff’s deputies and the US Marshal’s Office were tipped off that he was staying at a hotel in Kenedy, Texas, according to the Karnes County sheriff.

He was arrested around 4 p.m. Friday at a Hampton Inn for a capital murder charge out of Bexar County, which stems from the February 2018 shooting deaths of an elderly man and a teen, the sheriff said.

Authorities have been searching for Montez for quite some time before his capture. You can read more about his case below.

Original:

After nearly two months as a free man, Richard Montez is once again facing a capital murder charge in the February 2018 shooting deaths of a teen and an elderly man on the West Side.

A Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said its Fugitive Apprehension Unit has been unsuccessfully looking for Montez since Wednesday, the day after a grand jury indicted him for the second time in the murders of Angel Gebara, 14, and Benito Gallegos, 69. The spokesman was uncertain whether Montez was aware of the new indictment against him.

The threat of it, though, has been looming since special prosecutor Miguel Najera had the original case against Montez dismissed on Aug. 1, the same day his trial was supposed to begin.

READ MORE: Man accused of killing two goes free - for now

Before that, Najera had requested the trial be delayed, citing “essential” witnesses who were unavailable, including the now-retired lead SAPD detective. However, State District Judge Stephanie Boyd denied Najera’s motion, later telling KSAT the defense had objected and that everyone had the right to a speedy trial.

By that point, Boyd said the case had been ramping up to trial for three years.

Rather than proceed without his witnesses, Najera asked the case be dismissed, indicating in his motion that he planned to re-indict. In the meantime, with no charge against him, Montez was released from the Bexar County jail.

Angel Gebara, 14
Benito Gallegos, 69

Najera said a grand jury indicted Montez again on Tuesday, though KSAT was unable to obtain the official paperwork. A supervisor at the Bexar County District Clerk’s Office said Friday the indictment could not be released because Montez had not been served with it yet, though she confirmed he was “currently a fugitive on this case.”

Calls to Montez’s attorneys Friday were not returned, and an attempt to reach Montez through his mother was also unsuccessful.

Gebara’s mother, Angela Medina, welcomed the news of Montez’s re-indictment.

“I got a little relief,” she said, “but I won’t have my full relief until he’s at the trial, ‘til he’s behind bars and I know he’s going to prison for what he did.”

Juan Martinez, Andres Martinez and Richard Anthony Montez

San Antonio police arrested Montez, along with with Andres Martinez and Juan Martinez, who are cousins, following a shooting and standoff at the Cassiano Homes in February 2018.

According to their original indictments, the three were accused of shooting Gallegos, 69, during a robbery. The trio was then accused of shooting in the direction of a nearby apartment and hitting Gebara, who Medina said was in his father’s kitchen at the time.

The trio barricaded themselves inside a home, police said, but ended up coming out without incident.

After Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales recused himself in 2019 because of a top staff member’s previous involvement as a defense attorney for Andres Martinez, different special prosecutors were appointed for each of the three cases.

The Martinez cousins both cut deals in 2021 to allow them to plead down to a murder charge, instead of capital murder, in exchange for their testimony.

Their sentencing hearings had originally been delayed until Montez could go to trial. After his case was dismissed, the cousins were each sentenced on Aug. 26.

READ MORE: Two cousins sentenced for 2018 double murder; may complicate case against third suspect

The 22-year sentence for Andres Martinez and 24-year sentence for Juan Martinez were in line with the plea deals they had struck, but they may not have to hold up their end -- namely testifying against Montez.

Because they were sentenced at a time when there wasn’t an active case against Montez, lawyers involved in the cousins’ cases said the pair aren’t required to testify anymore.

It’s unclear how that could affect the prosecution against Montez.

Boyd has previously said Montez’s case would come back to her in the 187th District if it were refiled, and it would be put to trial “very quickly.”


About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Rick Medina is a Video News Editor at KSAT. A graduate of the University of Texas' prestigious Radio-Television-Film program, he has been in the news business for more than 20 years. Rick is also a documentary filmmaker, helming the award-winning film festival favorites, “The Opossum Begins” and “Amigoland.” He is originally from Brownsville.