Donna, Texas — A 17-year-old pleaded guilty to killing a 69-year-old man to stabs and claimed that he had been under the influence of ecstasy so he did not know what he was doing.
Pedro Gaspar Rocha, was 16 when he entered a restaurant in the city of Donna, carrying a knife and killed a man, in an attempt to rob the premises.
Arturo Hermes Hernández, 69, was stabbed 11 times by Rocha, who pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of murder and attempted capital murder.
State District Judge Letty López sentenced Pedro Gaspar Rocha, now 17, to 50 years in prison.
Rocha broke into Chickens and Roasted Ribs Veracruz Style in rural Donna at 3:45 a.m. from January 13.
According to the transfer order from the juvenile court case to the state district court, in his recorded statement, Rocha states that
“immediately upon entering the business, he grabbed a large knife from the top of a refrigerator. While inside the restaurant, he attacked an identified employee Arturo Hermes Hernández, stabbing him several times. ”
Rocha told investigators that he took “bags of coins” from the restaurant.
After attacking Hernandez, Rocha stabbed Franklin Lopez 11 times while the man slept in a small room behind the restaurant.
“The victim says Rocha entered her room and said in Spanish:‘ I wanted to fish like that. ” Lopez was stabbed in the chest, abdomen, scalp, arm, leg and suffered an acute blood loss, according to court documents.
Rocha told a doctor while he was in juvenile custody that he had been under the influence of ecstasy at the time of the murder and that he did not know what he was doing.
The transfer warrant also states that he has had more than 80 reports of incidents while in detention, including threats of violence, intimidation, food taken by other residents, possession of contraband and destruction of property.
He told a doctor who evaluated him that he “wouldn’t mind” if he hurt someone.
Another doctor who evaluated Rocha learned that the teenager had continuous episodes of irritability that had worsened in recent years towards his classmates and police.
He admitted to drinking and being hospitalized for drinking in 2016.
Rocha said he started smoking pot when he was eight years old, in addition to using synthetic marijuana, benzodiazepines, Xanax, ecstasy, and cocaine during his teens.
On January 17, 2018, Rocha was tried for the crimes of graffiti and theft of a building and was sent an intensive juvenile incarceration program (Juvenile boot camp), but was expelled for non-compliance after obtaining 161 violations, according to the order.
In March of that year, he was sent to the Regional Juvenile Detention Center of Judge Ricardo H. García and was released on November 3, 2018, in the custody of his father and remained on probation.
Less than two months later, he killed Hernandez and attacked Lopez.
Rocha must turn 25 before being eligible for probation.