DA: Teen charged with murder in gang-related deaths

January 21, 2012 6:14:54 PM PST
A 17-year-old was behind bars Saturday, charged as an adult with two counts of murder for his roles in the deaths of two people last year.

Noe Armando Artiga is an alleged gang member accused of killing Anayanci Roche and Jonathan Hernandez last year.

According to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Roche was a female gang associate who wanted out of the gang.

Officials said the gang put a hit out on her, and Artiga and an unidentified codefendant directed her to a secluded location on June 1. Artiga asked for her cell phone and then the codefendant shot her three times as she sat in her car, prosecutors said.

Roche died at the scene.

Artiga and several other gang members were arrested in a federal investigation and all gave statements on Roche's death. Prosecutors said Artiga confessed his role in the murder, and then he confessed to killing Hernandez.

According to the DA's office, Artiga told investigators he drove up to Hernandez on May 5 as he was walking down the street. Numerous shots were fired and Hernandez was struck and killed, the DA's office said.

The motive, Artiga told them, was revenge. Hernandez was allegedly a member of a rival gang that had killed a member of Artiga's gang, officials said.

Artiga was in custody Saturday and was being held without bond. He is reportedly a native of El Salvador.