SAN ANGELO, TX – On September 10, 2020, Kevin Lee Barron of San Angelo, TX was indicted by a Tom Green County Grand Jury for a charge of first degree murder.
As previously reported, on July 3, an officer with the San Angelo Police Department received a call from a SAPD detective regarding a possible aggravated assault that occurred on the 800 block of Antonio street.
When the officer arrived at the scene the he spoke with a second officer who was initially dispatched to the scene when first responders arrived on site.
The second officer claimed that the SAFD was originally dispatched to the scene following the report of a medical incident, however when emergency medical personnel arrived to the scene they found an unconscious male lying on the floor unresponsive covered in blood.
The male subject was immediately transported to Shannon Medical Center where he was placed into the Intensive Care Unit due to the extent of his injuries. Upon initial inspection of the man medical personnel noted that he appeared to have multiple lacerations to the face and scalp.
Investigators began their investigation by interviewing Matthew Soto (the man who called 911 for the ambulance), who claimed that he had arrived at the residence to check on the victim identified as Victor "Mancha" Rodriguez, and when he walked through the residence he found Rodriguez lying in a pool of blood.
According to the affidavit, officers returned to the north east bedroom of the residence (where the victim was found) where a large amount of blood was seen on the floor. The officer then observed a picture of the injuries the victim sustained that showed a large laceration that was several inches long running diagonally from the left side of the victim's upper scalp down to the center of the victim's forehead.
As the investigation continued, officers learned that a number of individuals were at the residence off Antonio Street on the night Rodriguez was assaulted including Jesse Samaniego, Matthew Soto, Joe Robles, and the defendant Kevin Barron.
When officers spoke with their first possible witness Jesse Samaniego, he confirmed that the five of them were all at the house that evening, but claimed that at one point, he had left the residence to go get some water with his wagon. According to Samaniego, that evening when he left the residence Rodriguez and Barron were the only ones left at the house at the time.
Investigators reviewed surveillance footage around the area and were able to confirm Samaniego's alibi. During his interview Samaniego went on to say that Rodriguez was perfectly fine when he left the residence, but when he returned he found no one else in the house but the victim laying on the floor unconscious surrounded by a large puddle of blood.
Sometime on the evening of the assault around 3 a.m. a second possible witness, identified as Matthew Soto, was said to have returned to the house where he and Samaniego immediately went outside where they found (the defendant) Kevin Barron. The affidavit states that when Barron was asked about what happened to the victim, Barron stated something to the effect of "It had to be done."
In his interview Samaniego went on to describe Barron as being excited and sweating profusely in the moments after the victim was found to be unconscious. Samaniego would finish his his interview by saying that Rodriguez did not live at the house, but reiterated that there was no one else at the house that night when he left but the defendant and victim.
During their investigation of the bedroom where the victim was found, officers recovered several pieces of evidence including blood splatter that was found on a bedroom wall, a TV, a dresser, the floor, in between the foot of the bed and mattress, and even on several cabinets in the room. One thing officers noted about the room in the report was that there were no obvious signs of any fight or struggle, also noting the fact that doctors claimed the victim had no apparent defensive wounds.
Next, officers spoke with a second possible witness, identified as Joe Robles, who stated that he had gone to the house that night to check on his niece who lives at the residence. Robles claimed that his niece was not there so he had only stayed at the house for approximately thirty to forty minutes before leaving. Robles admitted that while he was there, he was in a middle bedroom along with Rodriguez, Samaniego, Soto, and Barron.
Robles claims that he had no idea who Rodriguez was, but finished his statement by telling officers that he knew for sure that Rodriguez was present at the residence, but had not been assaulted to his knowledge when he left. Robles also claimed that Barron was acting very strangely, stating that he was very excited, and was "looking like he wanted to fight someone" according to the report.
Finally officers spoke with their third possible witness, identified as Matthew Soto, who admitted that he was at the residence earlier that evening but left noting that when he left the residence Robles, Samaniego, Rodriguez, and Barron were all still there.
According to Soto, when he returned to the house around 3 a.m. that evening he heard moaning coming from the back room, so he went into the room to see where the noise was coming from and that's when he found the victim lying on the floor bleeding.
Soto added that sometime after discovering the victim he and Samaniego immediately went outside and that's where they found Barron who was seen walking back from behind the residence. During his interview, Soto claimed to not know what Barron and Samaniego talked about, but he knew Barron was sweating and acting very weird.
Officers learned on July 14 that Rodriguez had succumbed to his wounds, and an autopsy performed on the victim showed the victim had several skull and facial fractures.
Kevin Lee Barron was arrested on July 22 and was charged with murder and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. His bond was originally set at $507,500.
On September 10, 27-year-old Kevin Lee Barron was indicted by a Tom Green County Grand Jury for murder which is a First Degree Felony in the state of Texas that carries a penalty of a maximum fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of five to 99 years.