Murder charges officially set
Capital Murder warrants have formally been served on Eric Lee Maldonado of Ennis, 21, Ruben Hernandez of Garrett, 18, and Fernando Juarez of Palmer, 17, in relation to the death of Mohammad Hashemi according to a statement released by the Ellis County Sheriff's Office Friday, May 7.
Original story printed in the Thursday, April 22 edition of The Ellis County Press :
GARRETT – Exxon Owner Mohammad Hashemi was headed to the bank for his night drop and just merely 34 hours later was found dead in a wooded area on Spur 469 between Garrett and Ennis.
Three adult males and one juvenile male are set to be charged with capital murder in connection with the death and disappearance of Hashemi in addition to the charges below.
Charges were set Tuesday, April 20 as follows:
Ruben Hernandez,18, from Garrett was charged with aggravated robbery and a bond was set at 1 million.
Fernando Juarez,17, from Palmer charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and arson with 1 million bonds set for each.
Eric Maldonado,21, from Ennis charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping and arson with 1 million bonds set for each.
The ECSO received a call saying Hashemi had not been seen or heard from after he left his station located on FM 879 and Interstate Highway 45 during the evening of April 18 during a routine night deposit.
Within a couple of hours after he was last seen, another call came to the ECSO regarding a vehicle.
With the assistance of the Ennis Police Department, Garrett Police Department and the Texas Game Warden, ECSO conducted an air and ground search of the most likely roads to have been taken from where Hashemi was last seen to where his burned vehicle was located.
As law enforcement began to piece some leads together the names of the suspects were developed and warrants were issued.
Deputies learned of a few places the suspects might be staying and set up surveillance. With the valued assistance of the Irving Police Department, and back up units provided by Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, three of the suspects were arrested on Highway 183 after leaving an apartment complex.
A fourth suspect was arrested in Ellis County.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown praised the cooperative effort of the multiple law enforcement agencies that assisted in one way or another with the investigative effort.
“If the citizens could see how area law enforcement comes together when help is needed they would be very proud of them,”said Brown.
The Ennis Police Department sent their whole investigative unit out to help search. The Garret Police Chief dropped what he was doing to come and help look. Our local Game Warden was out the majority of the day with us. Even our County Engineer’s Office provided us with enlarged satellite maps to assist with the search.”
“When a lead developed that required some of my guys to go to Irving, the Irving Police Gang Unit dropped what they were doing to help my guys with surveillance. When the suspects got onto Highway 183, Irving Police and Dallas County Sheriff Deputies provided back-up units.”
Brown continues with praise saying, “I especially want to say how proud I am of my people. We started this investigation early Monday [April 19] morning and many of them have not been home since it began. They have stayed with me working straight through day and night. None of them complain. They see something that needs to be done and they go follow up on it.”
“Additionally, the family of Mr. Hashemi has been very helpful. I appreciate their patience with us.”
The body was ordered to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office by Ellis County Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr. for an autopsy.
The name of the juvenile isn’t being released at this time.
Hashami left behind a wife and seven kids. Two of those being newborn twins with one in need of surgery.
The family has set up a benefit fund at Commercial State Bank titled “ The Mohammad Hashemi benefit fund” to help the family with unexpected expenses.