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Man pleads guilty in double-murder case, gets 50 years - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

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Man pleads guilty in double-murder case, gets 50 years

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Jose Wilfredo Chinchilla Jose Wilfredo Chinchilla
Family members shortly before the guilty plea was entered Family members shortly before the guilty plea was entered
Chinchilla moments before entering a plea Chinchilla moments before entering a plea
BEAUMONT - A man charged in a 2012 double murder in Beaumont entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning.  Jose Wilfredo Chinchilla, 30, was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Witnesses said Chinchilla opened fire killing his girlfriend, 24-year-old Francisca Garza, and 44-year-old Gregario Sanchez, in the 5300 block of Margo Lane in North Beaumont.  Gregorio Sanchez, 44, of Beaumont and Francisca Garza, 24, of Beaumont

Family members held hands as they gathered for a quiet prayer before the plea hearing. 

As Chinchilla was escorted into the courtroom for sentencing, he smiled as he made eye contact with the victims' families. 

When it came time to enter his plea, he appeared to have trouble understanding a court translator and said he did not fully understand the plea deal.  The judge called a short recess so the charges could be explained to him.   Once the details were fully explained, proceedings continued. 

Family members of the victims were allowed to make a victim impact statement before sentencing was passed down.  

"What can I tell you since you destroyed the life of your own daughter.  I'm not going to tell you anything else other than God have mercy on you," said one said Sanchez's wife.

According to 12NewsNow.com file stories, Garza was dropping off two children at a home when Chinchilla approached her. The two began to argue and Sanchez tried to intervene. Police say Chinchilla pulled a handgun and fired multiple gunshots at the two victims, killing both. 

Witnesses said they heard six or seven gun shots.

For eight days, police searched for Chinchilla. A warrant was issued for his arrest for two counts of Capital Murder. Police say they received several calls of sighting of Chinchilla.  A Crime Stoppers tip finally led police to the French Road Apartments in Beaumont where they found and arrested him.  Chinchilla was alone at an apartment when officers took him into custody.  

Assistant District Attorney Rachel Grove said, "Chinchilla took the lives of two innocent people.  Both victims left behind children and families.  Hopefully this sentence can bring some peace to those families and show them that justice was served.  Chinchilla deserves every day of his 50-year sentence." 

Exclusive reaction from the courtroom at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m.


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