Testimony continues in Victoria attempted murder trial

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Oct. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.

Hilario Figirova

Hilario Figirova

Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of Hilario Figirova Jr., a 29-year-old San Antonio man accused of attempted murder along with a slew of Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos, or HPL gang members.

Mario Conchola, a former high-ranking HPL member, told jurors that Figirova and the victim, Eric Cavazos, got into an argument about a girl while partying at a club called "Shooters," 4102 North Navarro St., on Sept. 7, 2008.

Cavazos wanted move the argument outside, but Figirova, nicknamed "Dirty Pennies," never worked up the courage to meet him, Conchola said.

"Hilario was embarrassed," Conchola said about the incident, and it wasn't until 5 a.m. the next morning that he learned how Hilario dealt with that emotion.

Conchola is Cavazos' cousin.

Conchola is free on bond and facing murder charges for his role in an unrelated shooting that left at least one person dead. He hopes his testimony gets him a sentence of no more than 30 years.

Police think Hilario gunned down Cavazos on Sept. 7, 2008, at another club called "Paradise," which is now referred to as "Dragon."

Others listed on the indictment - and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity - include Marcus Perez, also known as "Marque," 33, of Victoria, Christopher Allen Riveria, also known as, "Li'l Chris," no age available, and Angel Lozano, 23, of Victoria.

Defense attorney Richard W. Rogers III throughout the morning attacked the credibility of the state's witnesses. He pointed to a police report that placed Conchola at the scene of Cavazos' shooting. Rogers said Conchola's roommate told authorities he came home, moved around furniture and said he was heading to prison for a long time.

Conchola said he didn't remember ever uttering those words.

Rogers said Figirova was not involved in the attempted killing of Cavazos, who a doctor said arrived maimed at the DeTar Hospital Navarro about 4 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2008, with life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Cavazos' eyeballs were bursting in their sockets, fluid was filling his lungs and his neck and face were disfigured, Dr. Genna Nelson said.

Co-defendant Lozano also admitted he provided Figirova, who is his cousin, a shotgun for the deed.

He was swimming at the Summerstone apartments when Figirova asked for it.

"He called and said, 'Where is that toy with the batteries?'... I told him, 'The shells are in the closet and the back door is open,'" Lozano said.

Lozano said he didn't know what happened until later when Figirova showed up at his house carrying the weapon in a laundry bag. It was sawed into tiny pieces.

Lozano hopes to strike a deal for a lighter sentence or at least a lighter charge, such as possession of a firearm.

He is now serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to an unrelated, aggravated assault that occurred 12 days after Cavazos was hurt.

Engaging in organized criminal activity is a first-degree felony, which is punishable with up to 99 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.

Figirova was arrested in February by a Department of Public Safety trooper at his San Antonio home after being on the run. He was one of Texas' 10 most wanted fugitives, according to earlier reports.

The trial will continue Thursday in Judge Kemper Stephen Williams' 135th District Court.



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