A 29-year-old El Campo man was sentenced in district court with Judge Ben Hardin presiding on Monday, Nov. 2 after pleading guilty to murder, a first-degree felony.
Eliseo Dagoberto Climaco-Granadeno was sentenced to five years in state prison after entering a plea of guilty.
According to the indictment, it was alleged that the defendant caused the death of Geronimo Garcia Jr., 46, after striking him with a blunt object on Feb. 28, 2017.
Climaco-Granadeno, of 608 Cheryl, was arrested on a single count of murder at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
‘With the defendant accepting responsibility, this will spare the victim’s family the pain and suffering of a trial and the possibility of defense counsel tarnishing the name of their loved one.’Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison
The defendant was credited for 1301 days in total jail time toward his five-year sentence.
He was also ordered to pay a $290 fine for court costs and $300 for attorney fees.
“Due to the circumstances surrounding the case such as deceased key witnesses, unreliability of additional witnesses and mitigating evidence, the district attorney’s office believes the plea agreement was a just result in the interest of justice,” Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison said. “With the defendant accepting responsibility, this will spare the victim’s family the pain and suffering of a trial and the possibility of defense counsel tarnishing the name of their loved one. It is believed the defendant acted alone.”
Climaco-Granadeno is currently being held in the Matagorda County Jail, though the sentence commenced on the date of his accepted plea.
“The defendant currently has an immigration hold and once he has served his time in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division, he will likely be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” the district attorney said.
The state was represented by Allison and Climaco-Granadeno was represented by Cary Faden.
Other pending murder or capital murder cases in Wharton County include:
• Robert Allen Satterfield is charged with three counts of capital murder. According to Allison, the district attorney’s office has filed a notice to seek the death penalty and this case was preferentially set last year to begin in September of 2021. He is being held without bond.
• Elijah Alexander Hogston is charged with capital murder of a person under 10 years old in relation to a May 19, 2019, incident. The defendant has posted bail and is not in custody.
• Arturo Lara Tamez is charged with murder in relation to a Nov. 30, 2016, incident. A trial date is pending. The defendant has posted bail and is not in custody.
• Shaquille Norvell Montgomery is charged with capital murder in relation to a Feb. 2, 2020, incident. He is being held without bond.
• Julio Sesar Paniagua is charged with murder in relation to a June 7, 2020, incident. He is being held on a $400,000 bond.
• Demond Bluntson is charged with capital murder in relation to a June 19, 2012, incident. According to Allison, “The district attorney’s office is waiting on the status of appeals from (Webb County) where the defendant was assessed the death penalty,” she told The County Gin.
• Aaron Martinez is charged with murder in relation to an April 27, 2020, incident. He has been released on a $300,000 bond.
• Brandon Shimek is charged with murder in relation to a Sept. 7, 2020, incident. “Our office (has recused itself) as the defendant was a client of mine while I was in private practice,” Allsion said. “The (Texas) Attorney General’s Office is handling the case.” Shimek is being held on a $500,000 bond.
“Some of the cases have been indicted as capital murder; however, the district attorney makes the decision whether to seek the death penalty,” Allison told The Gin. “At this point, only one of the cases listed above is a death penalty case, however, that could change. If a notice to seek the death penalty has not been filed and should the defendant be found guilty of a capital offense, the punishment is automatic life in prison without the possibility of parole.”
Satterfield is the only case that has a preferential setting, according to the district attorney.
Other cases do have trial dates; however, with COVID-19 and the Texas Supreme Court’s Emergency Order No. 29, jury trials have been postponed until February of 2021 at the earliest.
Any current trial dates will likely be postponed, she added.
With a high volume of murder and capital murder cases pending prosecution comes with a potentially high cost to the county.
‘Money shouldn’t be an obstacle for getting justice these victims deserve.’Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison
“The costs to the county depend on whether the case is resolved before trial, during trial and the length of possible appeals,” Allison said. “In the current pending death penalty case (against Robert Satterfield), there are two sets of parents who will never see their children again. These same parents were not able to celebrate their grandson’s fifth birthday or any future birthdays. This does not include the numerous family and friends of these victims who miss them every day. Money shouldn’t be an obstacle for getting justice these victims deserve.”
The Wharton County District Attorney’s Office has applied for a grant in the amount of $400,000 to help off-set the costs to the county, according to Allison. It is currently under review.
“Murders and serious criminal offenses have increased significantly over the past few years,” the district attorney said. “This obviously results in more victims and larger case load for the Wharton County District Attorney’s Office.”
The County Gin will continue to follow these cases closely and will report any information as it becomes available.