Francisco Oropeza arrest: Neighbor claims gunman shot her dog twice, afraid to tell cops
CLEVELAND, Texas - The killer accused of shooting five people in Cleveland, TX was captured by border agents Tuesday night in Montgomery County and neighbors are relieved he's finally off the streets.
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Francisco Oropeza, 38, is currently being held in San Jacinto County Jail charged with five counts of murder. His bond has been set at a total of $7.5 million.
This comes after an extensive, four-day manhunt involving more than 200 law enforcement officers.
Authorities say Oropeza's charges could possibly be upgraded to capital murder. The case will be turned over to a grand jury for an indictment.
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A woman who lives across the street from Oropeza and the victims, claims the 38-year-old had a pattern of aggressive behavior. She declined to show her face on camera or reveal her name out of fear but said she was relieved he was off the streets.
"I feel like I can put my guard down a little bit more and feel a little bit more comfortable with going out to take my kids to school, picking them up," she said. "I feel a little safer. I felt like every day if I stepped outside my house, it was a risk that I was taking.
"He shot my dog twice," she continued. "It was this year. He did. He was drunk both times. He told his wife and his wife told us. We’re not problematic so we’re not going to go and confront him."
Shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, border patrol agents found Oropeza hiding under a pile of laundry at a home in Montgomery County. Investigators believe the home belonged to one of his relatives, but have not officially confirmed any names or relationships.
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On Wednesday morning, Oropeza was magistrated and placed on suicide watch.
"Part of my arraignment, I asked if he knew where he was and what his charge was," said Randy Ellisor, San Jacinto County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace. "He looked at me through a Spanish translator and indicated he knew where he was at and he knew what the charge was. And he was draped in a green towel, due to suicide watch."
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Records show Oropeza’s domestic partner, Divimara Lamar Nava, 53, was also arrested and charged with a third-degree felony. She's accused of helping her husband escape, or 'hinder the apprehension or prosecution of a known felon.'
Another man at the scene named Domingo Castilla, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, but investigators believe he played a bigger role.
"He is a person of interest in terms of the officers investigating his role in possibly assisting Mr. Oropeza in eluding authorities in the last five days," said Rob Freyer, the first assistant district attorney in San Jacinto County.