Michael Anthony Rocha, 35, was arrested on a warrant issued by Justice of the Peace Emi Reimenschneider and Justice of the Peace Lorraine Lopez was magistrate for the Refugio County Sheriff’s Office.
Refugio County deputies with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service, Department of Justice, Southern District Unit, arrested Rocha on suspicion of murder, according to a press release from the Refugio County Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Martin De Leon of criminal investigations.
Rocha was taken to the Aransas County Corrections Facility in Rockport, following his arrest.
Lopez was found dead behind his house in the 100 block of Borden Road in the early morning hours of June 28. Lopez had been shot multiple times with a .22 caliber weapon, according to the press release.
Another press release issued by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Gulf Coast Violent Offender Fugitive Task Force, stated that Lopez had been shot 13 times.
Investigators said the motive for the murder stemmed from a longtime vendetta Rocha had against Lopez.
According to the task force, it took three months for Refugio investigators to gather enough evidence to make the arrest.
Rocha is a confirmed Raza Unida Prison Gang member with multiple arrests for weapons, family threats, burglary, drugs and bail jumping offenses. Rocha was currently on U.S. federal parole.
Rocha was moved to the Refugio County Jail at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. His bond was set at $750,000.
De Leon said the case will be presented to the Refugio County grand jury at a later date.
“And we are still investigating the case, too,” he said.