August 8, 2008

Accused driver in botched hit that killed 3-year-old charged with murder



A Pharr man was arraigned on a capital murder charge Friday in the death of a 3-year-old girl last month in what investigators believe was a botched hit in an ongoing drug feud.

Dimas Daniel Zamora, 21, was behind the wheel July 29 of the Ford Taurus that cut off a car driven by Amador Garaby, allowing accomplices to riddle the vehicle with 17 bullets, said Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino.

Garaby and his wife ducked and were uninjured, but their daughter Yaritza was struck in the head. A teenage cousin in the car was also hit, but not seriously injured, Trevino said.

Yaritza's father was the intended target of the assassination near Edinburg, Trevino said.

Authorities are still looking for three other men believed to be Mexican citizens who Trevino said, "came with the specific intent of assassinating (Amador) Garaby."

The incident stemmed from a shooting at a cockfight in Hidalgo County in May, Trevino said. Amador Garaby bailed out the shooter, angering the family and friends of a man who was injured, Trevino said.

Mexican authorities arrested Zamora at the bus station in Reynosa on Thursday and turned him over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Hidalgo Port of Entry that evening. The federal agents then gave Zamora to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's investigators.

There were already three unrelated outstanding warrants for Zamora including two for attempted murder and one for narcotics possession, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Trevino said investigators had recovered two guns they believed to have been used in the killing, as well as the shooters' car near the Hidalgo Port of Entry, leading them to believe that the other three men fled to Mexico.

Zamora was being held Friday on $1 million bond on one capital murder count at the Hidalgo County Jail. It was not immediately known if he had retained a lawyer.

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