The McLennan County District Attorney’s Office will seek the death penalty against a Waco man charged in the May 2014 slaying of two cousins.
District Attorney Abel Reyna confirmed the state’s intentions in the Todrick Deon McDonald case at a status conference Friday afternoon in Waco’s 19th State District Court. McDonald, 27, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Justin Javier Gonzalez, 24, and Ulysses Gonzalez, 30, at the Pecan Tree Apartments, 2600 Grim Ave.
McDonald, who remains jailed, also is indicted in separate cases for assault family violence, two counts of evading arrest in a vehicle, two counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.
He also has pending unindicted cases after arrests for unlawfully carrying a firearm by a felon, endangering a child and theft, according to court records.
At the hearing Friday, Reyna turned over to the defense five computer discs filled with pretrial discovery information, including crime scene photos, videos from a police officer body camera and surveillance cameras, cellphone records, forensic evidence reports and other items.
Strother, Reyna and John Donahue, who represents McDonald with Jon Evans, also discussed a possible time for a trial, agreeing after some discussion that the case likely would be tried in early 2016.
Before the hearing was adjourned, McDonald asked if he could read a statement he prepared in jail. He told Strother that he thinks his constitutional rights are being violated because he was not afforded his Miranda warnings upon arrest and he thinks his arrest was not based on sufficient probable cause.
Strother assured him that his rights will be protected.
The cousins’ bodies were found lying on the living room floor of a second-story apartment. Each suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Waco police said.
The two men did not live at the complex and were there visiting a friend, according to police reports.
McDonald was arrested three days after the killings after a short police chase. Police said McDonald was working on a car outside his residence when officers from several agencies came to arrest him.
He fled eastbound on Bosque Boulevard in his vehicle with a woman and a toddler inside.
McDonald rammed a U.S. Marshals Service vehicle at North 26th Street and Bosque Boulevard, and McDonald’s car was forced onto the curb, officers said.
He tried to run, but his door was stuck on the curb and he could not exit the vehicle, according to reports.