The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

March 23, 2013

Murder suspect turns himself in to authorities

PALESTINE — A suspect sought for the September 2012 stabbing death of a local man turned himself in to law enforcement earlier this month and remained in the Anderson County Jail on bond.

According to Palestine Police Department Sgt. James Muniz, PPD officers responded to a fight in the 900 block of Howard St. on Sept. 9, 2012.

“Upon arrival at the scene, officers learned that Jason Villanueva had been stabbed during an altercation with another group of individuals,” Muniz said. “Villanueva was taken to the Palestine Regional Medical Center where he later died as a result of his injuries.”

Police were able to take two people into custody shortly after the incident, and a third person also was taken into custody several days later.

“During the initial investigation, we learned of the involvement of Rafael Marquez,” Muniz said. “A warrant was issued for Marquez, but we learned that he had left the Palestine area and may have even gone to Mexico.”

Marquez turned himself in to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office on March 4 and remained at the jail on a $250,000 bond. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

“Items are still being tested at the crime lab,” Muniz said. “When these analyses are completed and the results are returned to the police department, the case will be turned over to the District Attorney for grand jury consideration.”

Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at

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