Two fugitives arrested for 1994 murder

July 12, 2010 1:36:22 PM PDT
Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos on Monday announced the arrests of two murder fugitives who had been living under assumed identities for nearly 16 years. A District Attorney's investigator and the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force on July 7 arrested Juan Carlos Tejeda, 33, and Jorge Tejeda Magdeleno, 35, in the beating and stabbing of a Houston teenager. Houston Police officers reported that on November 18, 1994, about six gang members emerged from a van and attacked Juan Esparza, 17, as he walked in the 4400 block of Sherwood. He died at Ben Taub Hospital after being beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed during the assault.

Tejada and Magdeleno were alleged to be two of the assailants and were later charged with murder. Tejada was arrested and had a fugitive warrant issued after he failed to appear in court on December 16, 1994. Magdeleno had remained at large.

On July 7, the pair was arrested without incident by federal and local police officers working in the newly created cold case squads of the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Offender Task Force for this region and the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Tejada was arrested at a tire shop where he was employed and Magdeleno was found at his home. Both locations are in Houston.

The Marshals Service's cold case section and a Harris County District Attorney's Office investigator assigned to the Task Force revealed that the defendants had used other names to obtain fake driver's licenses from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Investigators relied on that information to locate the fugitives.

District Attorney Lykos said the case illustrates a new partnership between state, local and federal agencies in locating, apprehending and prosecuting violent fugitive offenders worldwide.


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