After Year Spent In Jail, Dumas Woman’s Murder Charge Dismissed
Nearly two years after her arrest, a Dumas woman's murder charge has been dismissed by the Texas Attorney General.
Death In Dumas
On the morning of March 6, 2021, Dumas police officers responded to a domestic violence call in the 200-block of North Meridith Avenue and North 3rd Street. Upon arrival, they found 51-year-old Johnny Villegas with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Villegas was transported to Northwest hospital in Amarillo where he later died of his injuries.
News coverage of the Moore County murder drew heavily from statements given by the deceased man's family, who said Villegas was fatally shot during an argument with his wife and step-daughter. While officials confirmed this and verified that they had identified a suspect, they did not immediately take the individual into custody.
Under Police Chief Ray Resendez, officers conducted an investigation and a grand jury indicted 19-year-old Alejandra Urbina for murder on March 29, 2021. She was arrested the same day.
Urbina spent a total of 14 months in the Moore County jail before she was released on bond in July 2022. Shortly afterwards, the case took an unexpected turn.
"The District Attorney stated she had a conflict of interest with a witness and referred the case to the Texas Attorney General," explained Urbina's attorney, Lizzy Bunker. "On review, they found (Urbina) had acted in self defense and dismissed."
In the initial coverage of Villega's death, family members told NewsChannel10 that "the incident took place after fight between Villegas, his wife and stepdaughter."
The stepdaughter was confirmed as Alejandra Urbina. According to her attorney, there was a long, well-documented history of violence in the home between Villegas and his wife (Urbina's mother), as well as Urbina herself.
To illustrate this claim, Bunker provided a copy of a 2013 indictment charging Johnny Villegas with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child with the victim named as Alejandra Urbina. The alleged assault occured in July 2010, when Urbina was 8 years old. .
(Note: The policy of Townsquare Media is to protect the identity of sexual assault victims by withholding their names. In this case, the victim has given her express permission to be identified as the minor named in the indictment.)
Another element that contributes to the argument that Urbina acted in self-defense comes to light when Bunker reveals that Villegas was in possession of a machete on the morning of his death.
According to Bunker, Villegas had threatened Urbina and her mother with the machete before he was shot.
Bunker provided photos of the weapon, explaining that the dried blood on it was from a man Villegas had previously stabbed.
"The machete is likely still with the Dumas PD in their evidence lockers," said Bunker.
In speaking with NewsChannel10 in March 2021, Johnny Villega is described by his brother as a generous man with a reputation for his temper and acknowledges his criminal history..
Court records for Villegas in Potter County show several felony indictments for assault, including an enhanced charge of assault against a family member. Additionally, court records for neighboring counties--including that of Moore and Randall--also show charges of Interfering with emergency services, felony drug possession, criminal trespass, and theft.
When reviewing the totality of the circumstances--the court records, legal documents, verbal statements, and photographs--the evidence tends to be viewed in a light that lends credibility to Urbina acting in self defense. Thus the Attorney General made a reasonable decision to dismiss the murder charge..
The one question that does remain is where Alejandra Urbina will go from here. And it is one that her attorney, Lizzy Bunker has the answer to.
"She has since gotten a job, moved, and is beginning the healing journey."