Juan Alvarez was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for a double murder. According to court documents Juan Alvarez would drive past a birthday party where he would open fire striking and killing two people. Juan Alvarez would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Juan Alvarez 2022 Information
|Name||Alvarez, Juan Carlos|
|Date of Birth||03/09/1977|
|Age (when Received)||22|
|Education Level (Highest Grade Completed)||11|
|Date of Offense||06/06/1998 and 06/17/1998|
|Age (at the time of Offense)||21|
|Height (in Feet and Inches)||5′ 7″|
|Weight (in Pounds)||157|
|Native County||San Luis (Mexico)|
Juan Alvarez More News
On June 6, 1998, a group of people celebrated a birthday party outside an apartment complex frequented by individuals associated with local street gangs. After a procession of five cars rolled up to the apartment complex, gunshots rang out. Bullets struck numerous people and killed two men, Adrian Aguirre and Michael Aguirre. Bullet casings found in the street were consistent with having been fired from an assault rifle and a .380.
Eyewitness testimony established Alvarez’s identity as one of the gunmen. Miguel Reyes, a Southwest Cholos gang member, testified at trial that Juan Alvarez directed and participated in the Prestwood shooting. Reyes met up with Alvarez, who was known as “El Chuco,” and the men went to look for members of La Primera. As they traveled to various locations and met up with other members of the Southwest Cholos, Alvarez rode as a passenger in his maroon, four-door vehicle. Reyes explained that gang members then drove in a five-car procession to the Prestwood apartment complex, with Alvarez saying that they would “shoot at the guys from La Primera; at whomever.” Tr. Vol. 19 at 191-93. The gang members found a large number of men in the parking lot clothed in white, the color worn by members of La Primera gang. Alvarez opened his car door, put a weapon similar to an AK-47 to his shoulder, and walked to the front of the vehicle. Alvarez opened fire. Only one other gang member, Santos “Spooky” Flores, shot at the men.
The police arrested Reyes a few days after the shooting in the company of Flores. A gun forensically tied to the murder was found in the front seat of the car in which he was driving. The State charged Reyes with engaging in organized crime in connection with the shootings, but agreed to reduce the charge to aggravated assault for his testimony. Tr. Vol. 20 at 12-14.
Forensic evidence confirmed Juan Alvarez’s involvement in the crime. The police recovered bullets forensic evidence showing that 7.62mm and .380 bullets had been fired at the scene. The victims had been killed by bullets fired from either a .38 or .357 revolver that was never recovered. The police eventually recovered a Russian Norinco assault rifle (often mistaken for an AK-47) from Alvarez’s closet which fired 7.62mm rounds. Ten spent casings recovered from the scene matched Alvarez’s weapon.
Juan Alvarez provided the police a videotaped statement which suggested his involvement in the Prestwood shooting. In that statement, Alvarez professed his membership in the Southwest Cholos. He admitted that he used his car in the Prestwood shooting. He admitted that he knew that his fellow gang members would fire at what they believed were members of a rival gang. Alvarez admitted that he had furnished the assault rifle for the drive-by shooting, but denied firing a weapon himself.
The State of Texas charged fellow gang member Flores with the offense of felony murder for his role in the Prestwood shootings. Flores provided the police a statement that, in a manner similar to the statement given by Alvarez, spread blame to his fellow gang memebrs: “[Flores] does not deny he was at the scene of the shooting, but contends that he was not involved in the shooting.” Santos Flores v. State, 2001 WL 842020, at *1 (Tex. App. – [Hou] July 26, 2001). Flores told the police that Alvarez and Reyes “did all the shooting.” Id. Flores’s confession did not come before the jury in Alvarez’s case.
Witnesses also tied Juan Alvarez to the Woodfair shooting. Flores’ girlfriend testified that she saw him and Alvarez loading weapons before the Woodfair shooting. Alvarez carried a shotgun and assault rifle. They left in Alvarez’s car. When the two men returned later that night, Alvarez had what appeared to be blood stains on his shirt.
Brandy Varela, sister of sixteen-year-old victim José Varela, testified that on June 17, 1998, she went outside her apartment to see her brother and his friend Hugo Perez. As her brother took a jack to help some men with a flat tire, she sensed someone coming toward her. She turned around and saw a man she later identified as Alvarez holding a shotgun. Alvarez yelled “Southwest Cholos, puto” and fired. She ran. A neighbor heard the gunshots and saw a man carrying a shotgun get into a car similar to that owned by Alvarez. When Brandy Varela returned she found the two men dead. José Varela had been killed by shotgun wounds to the face and back.
The police recovered a shotgun from Alvarez’s apartment. Kristi Kim, a DNA analyst with the Houston Police Department Crime Lab, testified that the blood on the shotgun had DNA patterns consistent with Jose Varela’s blood.
In his statement, Juan Alvarez denied firing a weapon at the Woodfair shooting. The State, however, used several of his admissions to suggest his involvement in the crime, such as that: his maroon Nissan Altima was used in the shooting; his wife drove and he rode in the front seat to the location; they carried a shotgun and assault rifle; and he knew gang members planned on shooting somebody, most likely a member of the La Primera gang. The State used these admissions to argue that, even if Alvarez did not pull the trigger, he was guilty of capital murder under Texas’ law of parties. Clerk’s Record at 481.