Capital murder charges dismissed against teen accused of murdering couple in Northeast Side hotel

Kristian Belmudez released from jail

SAN ANTONIO – A teen who was arrested and charged in a double murder earlier this year had both capital murder charges dismissed.

Kristian Ray Belmudez, 19, was arrested in March for the January murders of Gabriel A. Sanchez, 19, and Sanaa Keilani McNeil, 19.

Sanchez and Keilani, who were dating, were fatally shot and found by a housekeeper at a Travelodge in the 3800 block of Interstate 35 North.

According to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office, Sanchez and McNeil died from multiple gunshot wounds.

“I go visit my son’s grave site every week, and I miss him so much,” Jassidy Sanchez, Gabriel’s mother, said.

During the investigation, investigators obtained video surveillance from the hotel. The affidavit alleged that the footage showed Belmudez leaving the hotel room and running toward a stairwell. He was carrying a handgun in each hand and a backpack, police said.

SAPD’s Homicide Unit and the US Marshals Service later issued a public alert for Belmudez, asking for help in locating him prior to his arrest.

On Wednesday, according to online court records, one capital murder charge was dismissed due to further investigation needed and the second capital murder charge was dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

“This is not justice. This is ridiculous -- I have to go visit my son at the San Jose Burial Park. This kid is going (to) run free,” Sanchez said.

According to the Bexar County Records Office, Belmudez was released from jail Thursday morning.

“Do some further investigating. What more evidence do y’all need?” Sanchez said.

KSAT 12 reached out to the district attorney’s office for comment on the dismissals. The office released the following statement:

“Our office must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a Bexar County Jury that a defendant has committed the crime of which he or she is accused. That is the law. In this instance, a full review of all the evidence currently available to our office showed that the evidence necessary to reach the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ was incomplete.

“As a result, our office has asked for additional information and investigation. The matter will be revisited once more details and evidence are available.”

SAPD sent KSAT the following statements:

“SAPD has not received an Initial Case Report from the DA stating the reason for dismissal or describing the additional investigation needed. Once we receive that, our investigators will work like they always do to ensure that the victims and their families get the justice they deserve.”

“This case involved extensive investigative work by the Homicide Unit with video evidence linking the suspect to the scene.”


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.