Preliminary Hearing to Revoke Parole Continues

The process to revoke parole for Ismael Mares Jr. of Starr County will continue to the next phase as determined by parole board representative Sam Garcia.
On Tuesday, June 4th Mares was led into a training room of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office for the third attempt to conduct a preliminary hearing in the subject of revoking his parole. Mares was escorted into the room in handcuffs accompanied by Starr County Sheriff’s deputies. Garcia explained that if he found probable cause there would be a second phase that would look at his criminal history. The evidence would then be used to determine what recommendation Sam Garcia would give the parole board.
Garcia recapped that the last time they conveyed Mares had not had an opportunity to hire an attorney and asked if he had spoken to one. Mares replied he had but had not gotten a response from an attorney, but regardless Sam Garcia advised him that the process had to continue.
Mares was arrested on a warrant for parole violations. According to Garcia there were seven alleged violations. Three were technical violations like failing to report as required but four were criminal.
The criminal violations included two burglary cases being handled by the Rio Grande City Police Department. Those present heard from two Rio Grande City police officers. The first testified how he found two bags that had been stolen from vehicles, but it was the testimony of the second police officer that proved to be more detrimental to the suspect. According to the officer he could identify Ismael Mares Jr. as the person who was caught on video surveillance burglarizing a vehicle left unlocked. Without hesitation the veteran officer explained that he has known the suspect for decades and had no doubt as to his involvement in the case.
There was an alleged violation for assault, but the witness called to testify, Maria Leyva did not appear. According to Mares she was going to drop the complaint against him. Briefly, the group also discussed a possible outcry of a minor of inappropriate touching. Mares countered that the charge had been dismissed. His parole officer clarified that the charge was likely changed but could not confirm.
In the end his parole officer recommended that his parole be revoked, and Sam Garcia announced that felt there was probable cause to move to the second phase. During the second phase no one was allowed in the room as they discussed confidential information.
What was not discussed was that Ismael Mares Jr. is also the sole suspect in the brutal murder of 27-year-old Valeria Salinas since he has not been formally charged. The prosecution is awaiting the results of the forensic evidence but does have reason to link Mares to the case.
His next hearing will be on June 18th at the Starr County Jail.

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