CASTLE HILLS, TX – A capital murder suspect who was charged in May of 2020 and subsequently released on bond was arrested earlier in September after reportedly being a passenger inside of a vehicle fleeing from police who then bailed out of the car during the pursuit – resulting in some fairly obvious injuries to her face.
What started as a traffic stop led investigators to a capital murder suspect over the weekend, Castle Hills police said. https://t.co/uuCnnelwN2
— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) September 21, 2021
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on September 18th, police attempted to pull over a vehicle along Jackson Keller Road before West Avenue but the driver, who is unknown and at-large, reportedly fled the attempted stop.
The driver reportedly ran a red light during the pursuit, moving onto Loop 410 and then the I-10 before pulling off into a residential neighborhood.
The passenger inside of the fleeing vehicle, identified by police as Laysha Garcia, jumped out of the passenger seat while the vehicle was moving, resulting in injuries.
The driver of the vehicle continued off, with police ending the pursuit citing concerns over safety. Police say that the vehicle was fitted with a fake license plate, but it’s unclear if that was the initial reason for the attempted stop.
MUGSHOT: Laysha Garcia was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries that she received after jumping from the vehicle before being booked for giving false information during an interview with police.
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) September 21, 2021
Police took Garcia into custody immediately thereafter, with authorities saying she initially provided a false name to police.
Said alleged furnishing of a fake name may have had to do with Garcia’s bond having been revoked earlier in September regarding a capital murder case she was arrested for in 2020.
When Garcia was only 19-years-old, she along with four other suspects were arrested for capital murder regarding the fatal shootings of 17-year-old Jason Baez and 21-year-old Cristian Marmolejo, who the two were killed at a gas station in Dallas back on May 15th of 2020.
A report regarding the 2020 murders noted that Garcia and another woman identified as 18-year-old Dunia Figueroa were sitting in the back seat of a vehicle with the two victims sitting up front at an Exxon station at 9199 Bruton Road at approximately 6:30 a.m. when a red Dodge Charger parked in front of their vehicle.
Police say three armed suspects, identified as 21-year-old Christopher Avila, 20-year-old Jose Garcia, and 20-year-old Luis Gonzalez-Muniz, exited the Dodge Charger and had some sort of a confrontation with Baez and Marmolejo.
— Stay_R33lz (@Princess_Brown3) June 14, 2020
Baez and Marmolejo reportedly tried running away from the armed men, but police say they were fatally shot by the three suspects. After the fatal shooting, police say that the two women, Garcia and Figueroa, got out of the victims’ vehicle and joined the male suspects in the Dodge Charger and the five fled the area.
The driver of the Dodge eventually crashed in the 8900 block of Shorelark Drive, according to police, and authorities later found the five suspects hiding in a shed nearby.
Bail for Gonzalez-Muniz was set at $1 million, while Jose Garcia and Avila had their bond set at $750,000. As for the two women, their bonds were set at $500,000.
However, for reasons unclear, Laysha Garcia was released in June of 2020 on a personal recognizance bond where she was ordered to wear an electronic monitor and stay in home confinement.
But Garcia reportedly violated her bond terms several times in August, which led to her bond being revoked earlier in September.
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Man who shot Texas State Trooper through his closed front door will face absolutely no charges
(Originally published September 9th, 2021)
FORT WORTH, TX – A man who shot a plainclothes Texas State Trooper in the shoulder through his closed front door following a sort of vehicular pursuit back in April has been no-billed by a grand jury, meaning he will be facing no charges related to the incident.
While the man who shot the state trooper has since come forward to describe the incident that led to the shooting, Texas State Trooper officials have yet to provide any comment on the case or the trooper injured during the incident.
New developments in the case of a Texas state trooper who was shot in Fort Worth in April. The man who shot him has been no-billed by a grand jury — and faces no charges. https://t.co/yQXNhszoLV
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) September 9, 2021
It’s a case that seems to leave more questions than answers.
On April 23rd, Russell King and his wife Myra were driving home near Haslet after getting some food when Russell said that he saw what he thought were two pickup trucks racing each other behind him:
“And 2 vehicles, 2 trucks came flying by us at a high rate of speed.”
Russell said then one of the trucks exited the highway, while the other sped past him and then got in front of his vehicle. Russell said then he could see the man in the truck glare at him through his rearview mirror, and suddenly applied the brakes while in front of him:
“And I visibly see him look in his mirror, shake his head like this, and that’s when he brake checked me.”
Russell said that the brake check was “very deliberate” and thought the driver of the truck was having some sort of a road rage episode. Moving past the driver of the truck, Russell said the driver then started pursuing him – even when he pulled into a Walmart parking lot – with the driver of the truck apparently flipping the bird at Russell:
“And that’s where I saw him giving me the finger.”
At that time, Russell said that he and his wife were getting real concerned for their safety, being completely oblivious that the person in the gray Chevrolet was State Trooper William Wallace, who works as a special agent with criminal investigations and operates in plainclothes.
Russell pulled out of the Walmart parking lot and back into traffic, and Trooper Wallace kept pursuing him, with Russell saying that the trooper started driving into oncoming traffic while chasing him:
“And he was pushing the car over and he was going into oncoming traffic and made a bus swerve.”
In hindsight, Russell said he remembers seeing some flashing lights in the grill of the truck, but noted that it didn’t seem like an official police vehicle at the time:
“They didn’t seem to be very official. I had never seen a police vehicle that was a gray Chevrolet truck.”
The couple were able to lose the trooper pursuing them and pulled into their house. Myra said that her husband told her to go hide and call the police:
“He just told me to just go inside the house, go into the closet, and talk to the 911 operator.”
Minutes after the Kings made it home, footage captured by the couple’s security system showed Trooper Wallace parking his Chevrolet along the curb outside their home. Russell was watching the live feed from his security system when the trooper retrieved something from the rear of his vehicle and approached the front door.
Russell thought the trooper had taken out a gun from his vehicle, and described the moments when Trooper Wallace began knocking on his door:
“I’ve never been so scared in my life. I really felt as if he were there to harm my wife and I…And I yelled ‘please go away, we’ve called 9-1-1.’”
Apparently, audio from the doorbell footage captured Trooper Wallace saying “police” while knocking, but Russell said he never heard the trooper say that through the closed door. Security footage then captured the moment when Russell fired a single shot through the door, hitting Trooper Wallace in the shoulder – with the trooper then running away from the porch thereafter.
Fort Worth Police arrived on the scene moments later and cuffed both Russell and his wife and placed them into the back of a squad car. It was there that they both learned that he had just shot a state trooper:
“He told me, ‘You’ve shot a state trooper.’ And my response was, ‘How?’”
Russell said the entire ordeal was confusing, as the trooper who stood outside his front door during the incident didn’t look like any sort of law enforcement officer:
“There was no identification whatsoever. There was no vest. There was no badge. Just a brown shirt and jeans.”
Neither Russell nor his wife were ever officially arrested, but Russell figured it was only a matter of time due to the gravity of the incident. However, when the case was presented before the grand jury this past August, the grand jury declined to charge him with a single crime.
Russell said the declined charges were a “relief” and his wife Myra says she wants to just move past the incident, but is still confused as to what happened that day in April:
“Yes I do want to forget about it but every time someone asks me, I don’t like – because it’s stuck in my head. I’m still confused.”
Trooper Wallace was taken to an area hospital after the incident and was released shortly thereafter. However, months after the incident – there are still numerous questions about the incident.
Russell King has a clean criminal record, and the original purpose of this pursuit has not been released by officials. The Texas Department of Public Safety has not provided any comment on the April incident and have declined to provide a copy of the Texas Ranger’s report on the investigation, saying the case is still under investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight on this developing story.
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