Police: Teen with autism charged with murder in deadly crash in car he stole – twice

A Texas teen with autism has been charged with murder after police say he ran a red light in a stolen car, crashing into another driver and killing him earlier this month.

Jared Trevino, 18, of Pasadena, is charged with first-degree felony murder, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony burglary of a home and misdemeanor burglary of a vehicle, according to Harris County court records.

Trevino was scheduled to get a bond Tuesday, but the judge in the case decided to grant prosecutors a full bond hearing, which is usually only done for capital murder suspects, ABC13 in Houston reported. That hearing is scheduled for Friday.

The reason for the request: Trevino has a history of stealing and crashing cars -- including the one he was driving at the time of the Feb. 3 crash that killed Lorenzo Gomez.

"The particulars of this case are that an 18-year-old defendant broke into his neighbor's home, stole a car that he has stolen before, took it on basically a joyride, ran a red light and killed a man. A husband and a father," Assistant Harris County District Attorney Sean Teare said Tuesday.

Teare said Trevino was held on the murder charge pending a judge setting bond, but indications were the judge in the case was considering releasing the teen Tuesday on a personal recognizance bond. Prosecutors filed a motion seeking a high bond to keep him behind bars.

"We intend to call numerous Pasadena Police Department officers, and some Pasadena Independent School District officers, to basically show the judge the second half of the balancing test on this case is that the person is a continuing danger to society, and at the very least should have a high bond," Teare said.

Trevino’s defense lawyer, Joe Vinas, said the judge is legally obligated to set a bond in the case. Vinas also said he is concerned about his client being kept in the county jail.

"That is just going to cause him to decompensate pretty rapidly, as it would with many people being locked up, but especially with him in a foreign location, in the conditions he's in," Vinas said. "It's just going to cause things to get worse."

Prosecutors fear Trevino may not be mentally capable of adhering to bond conditions and, in their motion for a hearing seeking a high bond, argue that his criminal history shows a lack of adequate supervision to ensure his compliance.

According to court records, Trevino on Feb. 3 broke into a neighbor's truck and used the garage door opener inside the vehicle to open the man's garage, which gave him access to the man's home. The teen is accused of going inside and stealing the keys to the neighbor's Honda Accord.

Trevino got less than 2 miles from home in the car before he ran a red light at an intersection and struck the Cadillac Deville driven by Gomez, the records say.

Gomez was taken to Bayshore Medical Center with skull fractures, broken ribs and bleeding on his brain, the motion said. He was placed on life support and, two days later, declared brain dead. His family had him removed from life support the following day.

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The Feb. 3 crash was the third time Trevino has stolen a vehicle and crashed it, including a Dec. 3, 2017, crash involving that same Honda Accord belonging to his neighbor, the court records say.

In that instance, a then-17-year-old Trevino crashed the car into the back of a trailer at a red light.

“The defendant admitted to breaking into (William) Bingham’s house and taking the keys to the car off his kitchen counter,” the prosecutors’ motion states. “(Trevino’s) mother admitted to Pasadena police officers that the defendant has autism, but only takes medications for ADHD. The defendant’s mother also stated that the defendant has taken vehicles in the past that had the keys readily available.”

Read prosecutors’ motion seeking a hearing for a high bond for Trevino below.

Trevino was accused of stealing and crashing another car less than two weeks before the December 2017 incident. In the Nov. 24, 2017, case, he took a Nissan Sentra belonging to an employee of his mother.

Trevino crashed the Sentra, which had been parked in his family’s driveway, into a Chevy Silverado before fleeing the scene of that crash and hitting a Ford Ranger. It was not clear if those vehicles were being driven at the time of each crash.

In a third incident cited by prosecutors, Trevino was taken to Bayshore on March 11, 2018, “to prevent him from causing harm to himself or others under an emergency detention order,” the motion says.

“The aforementioned incidents indicate a lack of adequate supervision which would ensure the defendant would comply with his bond conditions,” the document states. “The state has sincere concern for the safety of the public.”