TEXARKANA, Texas–A former high school student accused of killing his parents and two siblings last month made his first public court appearance Monday since being charged with two counts of capital murder in Bowie County.
At a hearing for Cesar Olalde in downtown Texarkana, 202nd District Judge John Tidwell outlined the charges listed in an information charging the 18-year-old with capital murder of multiple persons during a single criminal episode and capital murder involving the intentional killing of a person under 10 years of age.
Tidwell asked Olalde’s lawyer, Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana, and First District Attorney Kelley Crisp to begin lining up mental health experts if they expect such opinions may be needed.
In order for a defendant to be deemed competent to stand trial, they must be able to understand the proceedings, the criminality of the conduct with which they are charged and be able to assist their lawyer in preparing a defense.
Olalde allegedly told a man who had gone to the family home in the 500 block of Lemon Acres in Nash, Texas, in the mid-morning of May 23 that he had killed his mother, father, younger brother and adult sister because “they were cannibals and they were going to eat him,” according to a probable cause affidavit. Olalde was days away from his high school graduation when he was arrested following a brief standoff at the house.
Court records have identified the victims as mother Aida Garcia-Mendoza, father Reuben Olalde, adult sister Lisbet Olalde and younger brother, 5-year-old Oliver Olalde.
The case is headed to a grand jury for possible indictment. If a grand jury determines there is probable cause to charge Olalde, the case will begin to proceed to trial. Olalde faces a possible death sentence or life without the possibility of parole if found guilty of capital murder.
Whether the state will seek the death penalty has not been determined.
Olalde is currently being held in the Bowie County jail with bond set at $10 million. Tidwell scheduled the case for another status hearing in July.