Burrito Murder Trial: Quintana's Final Hours


SAN ANGELO, TX – Day three of the Abel Rueda murder trial took the jury step by step on how the murder took place.

As previously reported, in Oct. 2020, Juan Quintana, 39, of San Angelo was killed by a shotgun bullet to the chest. His body was found surrounded by burritos the victim had just purchased from the nearby Stripe's Convenience Store.

After over two years awaiting trial, the State of Texas vs Rueda began on Monday. Day 1 was set aside for jury selection. On Day 2, the jury heard from the responding officer to scene as well as the forensic investigator on the case. Today, however, the jury was shown exactly how the San Angelo Police Department was able to pin the murder on Rueda.

Detective Eddie Chavarria with the SAPD took the stand. He explained that on the night of the murder Rueda and co-defendant Wendy McCluskey had checked out at the Stripes convenience store behind Quintana. Police were able to identify the Rueda by the debit card he used at the Stripes. With this information he was able to back track and see everything Rueda had been up to. 

Quintana's murder happened at around 5:30 a.m. Before the murder, Rueda made a purchase at the Walmart on 29th street. Detective Chavarria showed evidence that Rueda had purchased 12 gauge slug rounds from the sporting goods section. District attorney John Best showed the jury surveillance video of Rueda purchasing the ammo.

From there, the detective said that they researched and found Rueda. The found him in late Nov. 2020. By then, Rueda was an inmate in Howard County's jail but he agreed to provide a jail house confession. The jury will be shown this confession after lunch.

During this time period the detective said that they still could not find Rueda’s girlfriend, 29-year-old Wendy McCluskey, or the getaway vehicle. The detective will likely shed more light on this after lunch as well.

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