Valley pastor accused of paying for hit on schoolteacher wife
---BROWNSVILLE — The pastor husband of a third-grade teacher whose body was found last week slumped over the steering wheel of her car was charged over the weekend in connection with her shooting death, authorities said.
Julio Cesar Perez, leader of the Ministerios Manantial de Vida church in El Ranchito, was charged with capital murder and ordered held without bail Sunday in Cameron County Jail, accused of orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot that left his 39-year-old wife dead.
Shortly before the discovery late Thursday of Sonia Perez — her foot still on the brake pedal, an identification badge from the Rio Hondo Independent School District still around her neck — Julio Perez reported his wife missing, telling authorities that it was unlike her to not pick up one of their two daughters and immediately return home.
(more at mysanantonio.com link above)
Court records released on Monday show that Perez paid a total of $1,300 and told different stories to people he contacted for the contract killing.
The woman said Julio Cesar Perez had approached her three weeks ago asking for help to find someone help him 'take care of a problem.'
The woman allegedly put Perez in touch with 19-year-old Gabriel Apolinar Escalante.
Escalante allegedly told the woman's sister that Perez wanted to have his lover killed.
Perez reportedly said the woman had been harassing him and that she worked as a school teacher and lived in Los Indios.
much more at
Jailed pastor paid $1,300 to kill 'someone in his way' (valleycentral.com / Action4)
A third suspect was arrested Monday, said Sheriff Omar Lucio, who expected the man to also be charged with capital murder and denied bail. Attorney information for the suspects was not immediately available.
“It's a terrible loss. She was a wonderful teacher,” [Rio Hondo ISD Superintendent Anneliese] McMinn said. “She was very well loved by her staff and by her students and by the parents.”
Burial for Sonia Perez is scheduled for today.