Man on trial for fatally beating, dismembering victim

Gabriel Moreno, 34, charged with murder in 2014 slaying of Jose Luis Menchaca

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Warning: Some portions of the following article may be disturbing to some readers.

Two San Antonio police investigators testified in a murder trial about a discovery they made in October 2014.

Gabriel Moreno, 34, is on trial in connection with the death of Jose Luis Menchaca, 35. Moreno is among three people accused of killing Menchaca with a baseball bat and dismembering his body.

Officer Enrique Serrano testified that on Oct. 6, 2014, he and Detective Barton Borgens had a search warrant for a home in the 400 block of Hillwood.

Serrano said when he and Borgens were checking a room, they noticed a detached garage in the back.

"I did smell something like a rotting flesh smell," Serrano said. "And that kind of alarmed me right away."

Serrano and Borgens testified they found the dismembered body of Menchaca in the detached garage.

"We saw a bin," Serrano said. "It was the only thing capable of putting a body or body parts in, so we identified the bin."

"After we discovered the tub with blood on it in the garage, I went back inside and notified the detective that was handling the case," Borgens testified.

Serrano said when they stepped outside of the apartment garage, he noticed something.

"Just being that there's a body in there (the detached garage), it made my awareness a little more. So, once we came out, I saw a bone on the barbecue pit," Serrano said. "So, I identified it as human bone, and I just told the detective, 'Hey, that looks like a human bone.'"

The trial resumes Wednesday.

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