Friday, July 19, 2024

‘Battle Of Experts’ Expected In Case Of Teen Accused Of Killing Family

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TEXARKANA, Texas–The case of a teen accused of murdering his parents and two siblings in May may come down to a “battle of experts,” the lead prosecutor said Monday at a status hearing in Texarkana.

Cesar Olalde, 18, appeared before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell on Monday for a status hearing with Texarkana attorney Jeff Harrelson. He is currently charged with capital murder of multiple persons and capital murder of a person under age 10.

He 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. 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.

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First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Harrelson both indicated they were in the process of finding experts to testify in the case. Crisp told the court she expects a “battle of the experts” to play out during the case as the state seeks to hold Olalde accountable for the deaths while the defense may frame Olalde as suffering from mental illness.

Olalde’s case has not yet formally been presented to a grand jury. Crisp said she expects to ask a grand jury in Bowie County next month to issue two separate indictments for Olalde for capital murder.

If convicted of capital murder Olalde faces life without parole or a death sentence. The state has not announced whether it will seek the death penalty in Olalde’s case. Olalde was arrested just a few days before he was expected to graduate from Texas High School.

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Judge Tidwell scheduled the case for another hearing next month.

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