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Grand Jury indicts 2 – capital murder

CONROE- A Montgomery County Grand Jury handed down capital murder and aggravated robbery indictments Thursday against two men arrested Dec. 20 in connection with a carjacking and homicide that occurred on the same date.

Luis Enrique Rivera, 30 of Conroe and 20-year-old Luis Antonio Menendez of Conroe could pay the ultimate price if convicted on the capital murder charge. The victim was Pedro Rodriguez, a Mexican national residing in Madisonville. Rivera and Menendez are also believed to be immigrants. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed a hold on both suspects, which is still in effect, meaning if they were able to post bond they still would not be released.

To watch on scene video from Dec. 20, click the arrow below; to read more, scroll down.

The evening that ended Rodriguez’s life and forever changed the lives of Rivera, Menendez, and a second alleged victim, Jaime Gonzales, began with a chance meeting in a restaurant. According to Conroe Police, Rodriguez and Gonzales were in town on business when they struck up a conversation with one of the suspects who needed a ride home to his trailer in the 1100 block of North 1st Street.

When the trio arrived, they went inside for a visit with the suspect and his friend, who is now the second suspect. CPD Sgt. Bob Berry said the two out-of-towners discussed buying a vehicle that was for sale in the driveway and after some time had passed, the four men decided to go the a nearby store in the Ford Explorer SUV driven by Gonzales.

Gonzales told police they were in the 1200 block of East Dallas when the right rear passenger “pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the head of the passenger” and told the driver to stop the car.

They were on a bridge, where the driver slowed the SUV and began pulling to the shoulder, he said, then looked back at the gunman and asked if he was serious.

The suspect answered the question by firing a bullet into Rodriguez’s head at close range. He was shot at least once more, Berry said.

CPD did not identify which man was the alleged shooter.

Gonzales stopped immediately and the man seated behind the driver told him they were taking the vehicle, the he said. Gonzales fled the SUV, running to a wooded area nearby, as the suspects sped away with Rodriguez’s body still inside the vehicle, then Gonzales went to the nearest house and called 9-1-1.

Around 1:15 a.m. officers responded and Gonzales took them to the location of the carjacking, where they found evidence supporting his bizarre story.

“Patrol officers began searching the area, not knowing if they were looking for a vehicle and the deceased separately, or the vehicle with the deceased still inside,” Berry said.

Both were found about 175 feet from the creek bridge on Airport Road near 10th Street.

Conroe officers obtained information about the suspects and went to the residence after obtaining a search warrant. Due to the violent and deadly nature of the crime, Berry said around 3:30 a.m., CPD SWAT was called in. After a carefully executed plan by Conroe Police, both suspects were arrested around daylight without incident.

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