In a horrifying incident that shook San Jacinto County, a Mexican national named Francisco Oropesa, 38, has been indicted for capital murder after being accused of killing five neighbors, including a nine-year-old boy. The grand jury’s indictment opens the possibility of seeking the death penalty for Oropesa, as confirmed by District Attorney Todd Dillon.
The tragic murders are believed to be the culmination of an escalating feud between Oropesa and his neighbors, triggered by the defendant’s dog attacking the family’s livestock. Tensions had been simmering after the dog killed several sheep and chickens, leading to a growing animosity between the parties involved.
Oropesa, who has been held in custody for about two months with a bond set at $7.5 million, had already faced charges of five counts of first-degree murder, one for each victim. His attorney, Anthony Osso, had anticipated the upgrade to capital murder charges earlier this year.
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Following Oropesa’s arrest, two additional individuals were apprehended. Divina Lamar Nava, Oropesa’s domestic partner, was charged with hindering apprehension of a felon. The district attorney alleges that she was present at the scene during Oropesa’s arrest and assisted him. Domingo Castilla, a friend of the suspect, was arrested on a marijuana possession charge and is suspected of aiding the alleged shooter’s escape from the neighborhood.
Initial reports stated that Oropesa was firing his weapon despite pleas from his neighbors. The family, consisting of ten members residing together, implored Oropesa to stop due to their efforts to lull the baby to sleep. Ignoring their pleas, Oropesa callously replied that he would do as he pleased in his front yard before opening fire with an AR-15, tragically claiming five lives before fleeing the scene.
Francisco Oropesa (38) has been arrested hiding underneath some laundry in a closet 20 miles from the home he was accused of killing five of his neighbors with an AR-15 rifle in Texas. An anonymous tip to FBI led to his capture 1 hour 15mins after.#ClevelandTXShooting pic.twitter.com/Xszdp8NPha— TotalGossips (@MyTotalGossips) May 3, 2023
Police responding to the distressing event discovered two adult women lying dead in the front of the house, their bodies covering two surviving young children. Sheriff Greg Capers described the gruesome scene, noting the victims’ blood-soaked bodies. Further investigations revealed that all of the victims hailed from Honduras.
Reports indicate that Oropesa was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the shooting. Additionally, it was revealed that he had been deported from the United States on four separate occasions within the past 14 years.
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