Man goes on trial for 2006 stabbing death

April 5, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated April 4, 2011 at 11:05 p.m.

A witness in the high-profile murder trial of Timothy Mendoza III, aka "Timo," testified Tuesday that the suspect was among those last seen with the homicide victim, John Gilbert Licon, aka "Harry," before he was killed.

Mendoza is one of 16 gang members who were indicted by Victoria County District Attorney Steve Tyler in October 2010 for murder and attempted murder cases that date to 2001. His trial began Tuesday.

Mendoza, 38, is charged with murder and engaging in organized criminal activity for the 2006 stabbing death of Licon, 36.

On Jan. 19, 2006, Licon was found lying with multiple stab wounds in a grassy field between Club Margaritas, 3711 Port Lavaca Drive, and the L C Club, 3801 Port Lavaca Drive.

Because of the ties this case has to the gang Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos, the Victoria County District Attorney's Office has asked the Victoria Advocate not to use the names of some witnesses for their protection.

Jurors heard testimony from witnesses who were with Licon the night of his death at the L C Club.

A male friend of Licon testified that Licon and Licon's girlfriend accompanied him to the L C Club to have a beer.

But when Licon arrived at the club, the bartender refused to serve him because he was already intoxicated.

Unable to get a drink, the male friend said Licon, Licon's girlfriend and another male, who he could not identify, walked him to a bridge near his home.

The male friend said that was the last time he saw Licon alive.

From the witness stand, Licon's girlfriend identified Mendoza as the man who accompanied Licon.

The group had encountered Mendoza, as well as another Hispanic man in the club that night.

A security guard for the L C Club told jurors that later that night, a young man alerted him to what he thought was a body in a field behind the club.

After searching the area, the security guard confirmed there was a seriously injured man covered in blood and lying in the field.

The bloody, one-legged man was identified as Licon.

During the trial, Victoria Police Officer Johnathan Allen testified that there were large pools of blood in the field as well as a trail of blood from the edge of the field to the back edge of the L C Club.

Mendoza is one of three defendants charged with murder and engaging in organized criminal activity for Licon's death.

However, Mendoza is the only one on trial at this time. The trial will reconvene at 9 a.m. Wednesday.



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