Raymondville man charged with killing wife

·2 min read

Jun. 22—RAYMONDVILLE — A Raymondville man is facing charges of killing his wife in a case in which he was released from jail hours before the shooting.

Rolando Chavarria, 33, of the 1000 block of Hidalgo Avenue, is being held without bond in the Willacy County Jail, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife Elizabeth Alejandra Chavarria, 37, and tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony.

"There was a history of domestic violence," Raymondville Municipal Judge Felicita Gutierrez said Wednesday. "That's why I set no bond, because he was a flight risk."

Released on misdemeanor charge

Raymondville police had arrested Rolando Chavarria last Saturday for warrants stemming from traffic violations after pulling him over for driving with a fake license plate on his car, Gutierrez said.

On Sunday morning, she released him because he could not be held in jail on the Class C misdemeanor charge, she said.

Gutierrez released Chavarria on a personal recognizance bond, Police Chief Uvaldo Zamora said, adding officials release suspects charged with misdemeanors as a result of jail overcrowding.

After his release, Chavarria went searching for his wife at the nursing home where she worked as a registered nurse, Gutierrez said.

As a result, the nursing home ordered a lock-down, she said.

"He was adamant about it — 'I can't find her,'" Gutierrez said, quoting Chavarria. "She was scared. She was going to leave him."

The shooting

At about 5 p.m., Chavarria found his wife and family at a detail car wash in the 300 block of West Main Avenue, where he shot her to death in the parking lot, Zamora said.

"It happened in front of the kids — and it was Father's Day," he said. "Who expects that to happen on Father's Day?"

After the shooting, Rolando Chavarria fled to Brownsville, where Brownsville police detained him at an international bridge north of Matamoros, Gutierrez said.

The arrest

There, Raymondville police arrested him, she said.

Chavarria was scheduled to appear in court Monday on a felony charge stemming from a domestic violence case, Zamora said.

"They had a history of domestic violence," he said.

Fundraiser

Elizabeth Chavarria left behind six children.

On Facebook, Bonnie Silva is raising money for Elizabeth Chavarria's funeral through a GoFundMe account.

"When I heard the news you were gone, I didn't want to believe it, Liz," Silva posted. "You were one of the realest and also the nicest girl in our group of girls. As we got to know one another, we also learned each other's struggles. One thing we all knew is the love you had for your kiddos and how much you wanted them to have someone to look up to. I hope they know their mom tried her best to do right by them."