The longtime partner of a man accused of gunning down five people, including a 9-year-old, in a neighboring Texas home seemed to be cooperating with authorities – but was actually helping the suspect evade them during a dayslong manhunt, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
The suspected gunman, Mexican national Francisco Oropesa, was caught Tuesday and has been charged with five counts of murder after the mass shooting Friday night, authorities said.
Oropesa, 38, said very little while the charges were read to him Wednesday in the San Jacinto County jail. Through an interpreter, “He basically said, ‘I see, I see, I see,’” County Justice of the Peace Randy Ellisor said.
Bond was set at $1.5 million for each count, for a total of $7.5 million, Ellisor said.
Oropesa remained at the county jail Wednesday afternoon. He does not currently have an attorney, but paperwork is being filled out for him to get one, Ellisor said.
Oropesa’s charges could be upgraded capital murder – a death penalty offense in Texas, a source in the district attorney’s office told CNN.
Authorities also released new information Wednesday about two other people who were arrested in connection with the case.
Oropesa’s longtime partner, Divimara Lamar Nava, faces a charge of hindering apprehension or prosecution of a known felon, a third-degree felony, online sheriff’s records show.
“Ms. Nava appeared to be cooperating up until the time that we arrested her,” San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney Todd Dillon said. However, “what we believe that Ms. Nava was doing is that she was providing him with material aid and encouragement, food, clothes, and had arranged transport to this house.”
The DA, like other officials, has referred to Nava as the suspected killer’s “wife,” though public records suggest she is not married. “I don’t know if it’