Texas Woman from Political Border Dynasty Charged with Capital Murder

Monica Melissa Patterson
Photo: Facebook/Re-Elect Tito Palacios

EDINBURG, Texas — A Texas woman who is part of a political border dynasty in South Texas has found herself facing capital murder charges. She stands accused of having murdered a patient in the hospice she ran.

Monica Melissa Patterson, manager of the Casa Del Consuelo Hospice, is the daughter of former Hidalgo County Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios and niece of Pharr Mayor Polo Palacios. She was arrested Thursday evening by Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Investigators and Texas Rangers.

The Palacios family is one of the oldest and most powerful families in Hidalgo County. Many family members hold key positions in various governmental offices and prominent businesses in the area.

On Friday afternoon, Patterson and Angel Mario Garza went before Justice of the Peace Bobby Contreras. The judge formally charged them one count of capital murder and set their bond at $1 million.

The charges against Patterson and Garza stem from the January 28 murder of 97-year-old Martin Knell in an alleged attempt to take over his estate, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office revealed.

Initially foul play was not suspected in the case and autopsy had not been ordered. The man’s caretaker had claimed that she had arrived to Knell’s house in the border city of McAllen and had found him slumped over not breathing.

The days later, the female caretaker met with Texas Rangers. Changing her story, she reported that Knell had been murdered. She said she had initially lied to authorities fearing for her safety. The woman reported that Patterson, her boss, had been in a dispute with Knell over his will. She said Garza had arrived at the house and told the caretaker to wait outside.

Patterson allegedly threatened the woman and then told the woman to wait 30 minutes and call 911. She said she was told to tell them that Knell was in the home and sick, the information released by the sheriff’s office revealed.

As a result of the joint investigation by authorities, investigators were able to corroborate the motive that the murder was tied to an effort to take over Knells estate. Records reveal they were also able to corroborate the presence of Patterson and Garza at the house.

Garza was arrested Tuesday and during questioning admitted to his role in the murder for a share of the proceeds. He corroborated the claims about Patterson’s involvement.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.