Second man charged in robbery resulting in teen's death

Police say Ernesto ‘Tito' Nino set up the crime

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter
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SAN ANTONIO - A second man is charged in an armed robbery that left one of the alleged robbers, a teenage boy, dead.

Police say Ernesto "Tito" Nino "intentionally and knowingly" set up a June 5 robbery on the South Side. A witness told investigators Nino had set up the crime and had two others, Omar Garza and Jose Martinez Jr., carry it out.

Martinez, 16, was killed during the robbery, as he struggled for his assault rifle with the victim. Garza was charged with murder in October for his role, since he was allegedly committing a felony that caused the death of another.

Now, Nino is charged with aggravated robbery.

According to an affidavit, Nino provided a Kel-Tec and a 9mm Expo handgun and also texted the victim to set up a meet with Garza and Martinez.

The victim told police he had met Garza that night in the area of Lenard Street and West Gerald Avenue to help him fix a flat tire and buy some drugs when Garza and Martinez both pulled weapons on him and demanded money.

The victim was forced into the back seat of his Yukon, where Martinez sat armed with an assault rifle. Garza drove and told someone on the phone, "We got him,” according to the affidavit.

When Garza stopped in the 300 block of Kyle, the victim began wrestling for control of the rifle when a shot was fired, hitting Martinez and killing him instantly. The victim told police he heard the shot but didn't pull the trigger.

Garza ran out of the vehicle followed by the victim, who shot Garza through the leg. Garza escaped in a black sedan that showed up, and the victim was picked up by police.

Nino was supposed to follow Garza in his car but didn't, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said Garza identified himself on surveillance video from the area as the person getting into a dark car and having been picked up by Nino.

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