A 67-year old Mexican national was charged with the murder of his 63-year old wife in Texas after he allegedly admitted to choking her to death over a car payment he could not afford, said Houston police.
Francisco Garza Olazaran was found sitting in his car parked outside an east Houston thrift store with his unresponsive wife Maria when police arrived on scene the morning of July 4.
In a press release issued on Monday, Houston Police Department (HPD) Homicide Division Detectives R. Pemberton and S. Spivey explained that patrol officers responded to an assault call from the Sand Dollar Thrift Store. There they found Maria Olazaran, unresponsive and sitting in a vehicle with her husband. Paramedics transported the victim to St. Joseph’s Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. A subsequent autopsy performed by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences determined the cause of her death was manual strangulation.
Police said Francisco Olazaran, a Mexican national who has lived in Houston for 15 years, told them that around 10 a.m., he entered the thrift store while his wife remained in the car and was choked and robbed by three men, according to KTRK. Officers said the suspect repeatedly told them this story.
However, after additional police interviews, Olazaran purportedly divulged a whole different sequence of events. He told HPD homicide investigators he and his wife recently traded in an older car for a newer one. He said he did not have a job, however, his wife did, although, he said she did not make much money working at Walmart and he worried they could not afford the car payments.
“The defendant stated that morning, he killed the complainant because he did not want her to go to jail over the debt,” read a prosecutor from one of the police documents during Olazaran’s first court appearance on July 5. “He stated that he did not want her to go to jail and that he preferred for her to die.”
It remains unclear how Olazaran and his wife purchased the vehicle and why he believed his wife could potentially go to jail if they defaulted on the car payment.
Harris County Jail records show that when police arrested Olazaran on July 5, they originally charged him with the assault of a family member by impeding breathing circulation, which is strangulation. Two days later, his charges were upgraded to murder following his admission that he choked her to death. Authorities continue to hold Olazaran on $80,000 bond. As a Mexican national, he will have to surrender his passport if he is released on bail.
Olazaran is next scheduled to appear in the 185th District Court on Thursday.
Local media described the couple as married for many years. The victim was a mother and grandmother.
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