Verdict and Punishment Handed Down in Decapitation Trial

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Deliberations are over and we now know the outcome for two brothers accused of capital murder.

This is for the case known as the State of Texas vs Joel Luna and Eduardo Luna Rodriguez.

Judge Ben Euresti Jr. read the verdict:

"We the jury find the defendant Joel Luna also known as Joel Luna Rodriguez, not guilty of count 1 of Capital Murder as charged in the incitement....We the jury find the defendant Eduardo Luna Rodriguez, not guilty of Capital Murder as charged in count 1 of the incitement signed by the presiding jury."

This is a case in which a Former Border Agent and his two brothers were allegedly involved in the decapitation of a Honduran Man in 2015. A little after 2 weeks in court we find outcome of this trial.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio says, “The jury sent a strong message to the community, if anybody commits a crime and they are brought before the court, and they are found guilty, they are going to receive the maximum punishment required by the law.”

That message, was Life in Prison for Eduardo Luna Rodriguez. He was found guilty of all four charges:

1. Capital Murder

2. Murder

3. Organized Criminal Activity

4. Organized Criminal Activity

 

The jury sentenced him to life without parole, and 50 years as per recommendation from the District Attorney. 

Brother Joel Luna was found found guilty of 2 of the 4 charges against him.

1. Capital Murder

2. Murder

3. Organized Criminal Activity

4. Organized Criminal Activity

 

But the loudest message in the courtroom came from Martha Elva Sanchez, Common law wife of the victim. She says, “I hope they have found justice in Franky's Memory. I hope that what happened here doesn't happen to anyone.”

The defense and the prosecution came to an agreement for Joel Luna's sentencing. What the sentencing is, we won't know until March 2nd. In the meantime the Cameron County District Attorney gave his recommendation for Joel Luna's sentence.

“We wish we could have gotten 25 years on this defendant. But in discussing with the defense attorney he was able to offer waive any and all appeals in exchange for 5 years.  If we offered him 20 he would waive all appeals, to us that was a good offer.” 

Fernando Luna, the third brother allegedly involved, is scheduled to be in court.

He testified on the side of the prosecution against his brothers in exchange for 10 years probation or 3 years in jail.


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