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Del Valle man arrested, accused of plotting to kill his neighbor

Jose Garcia was charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder, a first-degree felony.
Credit: Austin Police Department

DEL VALLE, Texas — A Del Valle man has been arrested and charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder, a first-degree felony, after being accused of plotting to kill his neighbor.

The Austin Police Department was first notified about the case on Oct. 6 by the Travis County District Attorney's Office after the defendant in another case revealed information about a subject involved in violent threats. That subject was identified as Jose Luis Garcia, 59.

The witness reported he had visited Garcia's home on Bessie Avenue on multiple occasions to sell scrap metal and that he Garcia offered to pay him to kill his neighbor. He reported they spoke about a price between $3,000 and $5,000 to complete the job and that Garcia mentioned providing a weapon that could be discarded after use.

Police said the witness disclosed this information to his lawyers and members of the Travis County Sheriff's Office when he was detained on another offense.

According to police records, officers had investigated at least five disturbances between Garcia and his neighbor between July 2019 and October 2020. These incidents included disorderly conduct, discharging of a gun in a public place and criminal mischief. The reports state that the neighbor was accused of damaging Garcia's property in some of these calls.

Police also reported that they spoke with a confidential informant who stated that Garcia was known to occasionally purchase stolen scrap metal from his home. The informant also stated that they were asked by Garcia once if they knew someone that could "kill his neighbor," and that Garcia was willing to pay $3,000 and provide a gun.

On Oct. 29, police conducted a controlled operation using the confidential informant to sell copper wiring to Garcia under the pretense that it was stolen. An arrest and search warrant were completed as a result of the operation, in which the informant offered to finish the job for him. Garcia offered to pay the informant $3,000 to kill his neighbor, however, he said he could not provide the weapon.

Garcia was arrested on Nov. 2 from his home under a theft of metal warrant. While executing the search warrant, police found a fully loaded Taurus Rossi .357cal revolver under a pillow in the home's front bedroom. While being interviewed by police, officials said he told them he and his son acquired the gun for protection due to the fears they had for the neighbor.

During the interview, Garcia said that over the course of four years, his neighbor had thrown eggs on his truck, broken his home windows, damaged his mailbox and often referred to him as a "bad guy." He also reported that the neighbor has called the police, fire, EMS and code departments on him.

Garcia remains in the Travis County Jail under two charges of soliciting capital murder and a $57,000 total bond.

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