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17 and 18-year-old suspects accused of killing woman, shooting co-conspirator, investigators say

By Jessica Willey and Mycah Hatfield via KTRK

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    HOUSTON (KTRK) — Two teenagers who were arrested by SWAT officers and charged with capital murder of a woman who was returning home from work may be connected to a murder six weeks earlier.

Jordan Montalvo, 18, and Carlos Romero Munoz, 17, are being held without bail for a series of crimes on Aug. 10. Sandra Montes-DeEscamilla was kidnapped and shot to death.

According to court records, Montes, 45, was seen on surveillance video driving into the Falls of West Oak Apartments at about 2 a.m. Three men in masks and gloves were chasing her car as she turned into her unit.

About 10 minutes later, Montes’ car exited the complex.

According to court documents, one of the men, Selvyn Sandoval, later admitted to deputies that they “targeted” the 45-year-old, kidnapped and assaulted her. The motive was robbery.

The suspects forced the woman to drive to a nearby apartment on Rio Bonito, where she was ordered into the trunk and then shot to death.

That was when investigators believe Montalvo and Romero turned the gun on Sandoval and shot him several times. He was taken to the hospital via Life Flight and survived his injuries.

Eight days after the murder, detectives were able to match a palm print left on Montes’ car to Romero, according to court records.

ABC13 has learned at least one of the two young suspects is linked to another murder in June.

On June 25, Patrik Maldonado was walking on the sidewalk in the 7100 block of Woodridge in southeast Houston when he was targeted. Houston police released home surveillance video appealing to the public for tips. The video shows Maldonado being chased before he was gunned down.

Maldonado was 58 and a widower. His daughter told ABC13 he had three children and was in Houston to work.

Sources said Romero and Montalvo claim to be part of the brutal MS-13 gang.

Prosecutors filed a motion with the judge to have both teens held without bond throughout the case. In the motion, a prosecutor says the defendants “would probably be punished by the death penalty if the law is administered.”

It is not clear if the state plans to seek the death penalty.

About an hour before Montes was targeted, residents reported masked men who wore the same clothes knocked on doors.

Sandoval has not been charged for the crime on Aug. 10. He is currently in jail on unrelated charges.

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