• November 20, 2019

Grand jury indicts man, woman on separate murder charges - Odessa American: Courts

e-Edition Subscribe

Grand jury indicts man, woman on separate murder charges

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 4:15 pm

A 22-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were each indicted by an Ector County grand jury on a charge of murder.

Raul Julian Vega, 22, was indicted on charges of murder, a first-degree felony, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.

Courtney Chelle Rice, 34, was indicted on a charge of murder, a first-degree felony.

Those indictments came as the Ector County grand jury met on Aug. 19.

Vega has two bonds totaling $1 million and was still in custody as of Friday afternoon, jail records show. Rice has one bond totaling $500,000 and still in jail as of Friday afternoon.

Vega is the second man indicted in connection to the death of 37-year-old Armando Nunez.

Jesus Zermeno was indicted May 7, 2018, on charges of murder, a first-degree felony, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony. He was reportedly arrested by U.S. Marshalls Feb. 20, 2018, in Ojinaga, Mexico, before he was extradited back to Ector County.

Nunez was reportedly shot several times and emergency medical services were called to the scene for Nunez, but he did not survive.

A second victim, Rocky Hernandez, was shot twice and survived, a previous Odessa American article detailed.

Zermeno was found guilty of murder of Nunez and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon of Hernandez on Aug. 29, an Ector County District Attorney’s Office release detailed. Zermeno was sentenced 60 years for murder and 20 years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The sentences will run concurrent.

Rice reportedly shot and killed her 48-year-old boyfriend, Jose Melendez Hernandez, on April 2. The fatal shooting was reported at 2:08 a.m. April 2 in the 2100 block of Stoner Road, an Ector County Sheriff’s Office release stated.

Deputies located Hernandez on a bed with a gunshot wound to the face, an ECSO affidavit stated. The gun was a Smith and Wesson Governor .45 caliber revolver.

Hernandez was transported to the emergency room of Medical Center Hospital where he died, the affidavit detailed.

Deputies located an unidentified witness in the residence who reportedly heard Rice and Hernandez arguing and a short time later heard a loud noise. The witness stated in the affidavit that Rice told her that she had shot Hernandez.

Deputies interviewed Rice after reading her Miranda Warning and at that time she admitted to shooting Hernandez and then calling 911, the affidavit stated.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 68%
Winds: S at 13mph
Feels Like: 60°

Your Extended Forecast


High 80°/Low 56°
Showers possible. Lows overnight in the mid 50s.


High 74°/Low 53°
Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 50s.


High 73°/Low 44°
More sun than clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 40s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.