Teen Accused Of Killing Family Pleads Not Guilty To 2 Counts Cap Murder


TEXARKANA, Texas–An 18-year-old who allegedly shot and killed four members of his immediate family in May pleaded not guilty Monday morning to capital murder of multiple persons and capital murder of a person under age 10 at a hearing in downtown Texarkana.

Cesar Olalde stood for arraignment before 202nd Judge John Tidwell at the Bi-State Justice Building with Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson. Olalde was formally indicted by a Bowie County grand jury last week in the deaths of his parents, adult sister and five-year-old brother.

Olalde allegedly claimed at the time of the murders that he believed his family members were cannibals who planned to eat him. The victims include Olalde’s mother Aida Garcia-Mendoza, father Reuben Olalde, adult sister Lisbet Olalde and younger brother, 5-year-old Oliver Olalde.

First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp announced at the hearing Monday that the state has not yet made a decision as to whether it will seek the death penalty for Olalde. The only other punishment on the books in Texas for capital murder is life without the possibility of parole.

At a status hearing in July, Judge Tidwell discussed the expectation that both sides will engage mental health experts to testify regarding Olalde’s competency, prompting Crisp to note then that the case could include a “battle of the experts” at trial.

Olalde was a Texas High School senior at the time of his arrest and had been expected to graduate less than a week after the murders. He was taken into custody after a standoff May 23 at the home in the 500 block of Lemon Acres where he lived with his family.

Olalde remains in the Bowie County jail with bail set at $10 million.

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