3 San Angelo Men Indicted in Temple Double Murder Case
SAN ANGELO, TX — Three San Angelo men were indicted for murder in Bell County this week. According to KCEN-TV in Temple, a grand jury returned the indictment for the April 13, 2016 killings of Jonathan Hess and Vicente Hernandez there.
As reported by KCEN, Lupe Martinez Chappa III and Rodrigo Lara Gutierrez were indicted for murder. Justin Lane Slatton Jr. was indicted for capital murder. All three are from San Angelo.
The night of the murders, the police affidavit alleges Gutierrez drove his father’s black Dodge Charger from San Angelo to Temple with the two others to commit the murders. Police investigators subpoenaed Gutierrez’s smartphone and downloaded the phone’s location data. The phone returned to San Angelo immediately after the murders were committed.
Texas Rangers collected tire tracks, one that specifically ran over a Styrofoam cup, and matched it to that of Gutierrez’s father’s black Dodge Charger.
At the crime scene, police found Jonathan Hess shot several times to death; his body laying on a couch inside a residence to where police responded to a shots fired call. Hess was dead when police arrived.
A second shooting victim, Vicente Hernandez, was found on the floor with blood pooled around his head. He died later at a Temple hospital.
Police had a witness. One woman, Hess’s girlfriend, was at the residence when the shootings happened. She said two unknown suspects walked up to the residence and shot both men. One of the unknown men demanded money from her, the affidavit stated.
The woman later identified Slatton as the suspect who shot Hess, and Chappa as the suspect who shot Hernandez in a police photo line-up.
Slatton is in Bell County’s jail, held in lieu of a $3 million bond. Chappa and Gutierrez are being held in lieu of $2 million bonds each there.
In San Angelo earlier that year, Gutierrez was arrested January 1, 2016 for fleeing from a Tom Green County Sheriff’s deputy in a black Dodge Charger. According to the indictment, the deputy said Gutierrez was travelling down Loop 306 and was clocked at 91 mph. The Deputy chased the Charger off the expressway and then eastbound on Arden Rd. When Gutierrez stopped on Avenue N near Angelo State, a passenger fled Gutierrez’s vehicle on foot. The deputy never found the person who fled from Gutierrez’s Charger that night but Gutierrez was arrested.
Gutierrez was offered a plea deal for 10 years probation and a $2,000 fine.
Justin Lane Slatton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 500 days in the state penitentiary and fined $5,075 for stealing three firearms and burglarizing the Devils Mountain Gun Range in the county in 2014, according to court documents.
After the date of the murder, Slatton was indicted in Tom Green County for another burglary. The DA deferred to the murder charges in Bell County and dismissed that case in Oct. 2016.
Lupe Chappa was arrested in Tom Green County on a warrant and extradited to Bell County in May 2016. Rodrigo Lara and Justin Slatton were arrested in Tom Green County in Sept. 2016 and extradited to Bell County to face the murder charges.