McKinney homicide

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Four people were gunned down in a house in McKinney, Texas on March 12, 2004. The incident received notable national coverage on the July 22, 2006 episode of America's Most Wanted, leading to the capture of a suspect.

Incident[edit]

On March 12, 2004, Eddie Williams, Javier Cortez, and Raul Cortez are accused of invading the home of Rosa Barbosa expecting to get access to the check-cashing store where Rosa worked. The gunmen followed Barbosa home from the check-cashing store and invaded her home to try to gain access to the store. Mark Barbosa, Rosa Barbosa’s nephew, was eating at CiCi’s pizza in McKinney with some of his friends, Austin York and Matt Self.

While the gunmen were interrogating Rosa for information on how to rob the check-cashing store, Matt Self, Austin York, and Mark Barbosa were on their way to visit the Barbosa home. Matt Self and Austin York were students at McKinney North High School and were players on the varsity football team. York was with Self at the time that Matt decided to do his routine check on his neighbors, and was not at all expecting what he was about to witness. When the boys arrived at the Barbosa home they were extremely surprised to find Rosa Barbosa being held hostage in the house by three gunmen. The three gunmen were surprised when Self and York walked into the house. The boys were said to have never been a target to the gunmen, and that they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. As soon as the boys walked into the house the Cortez brothers ambushed them and forced them into the front bedroom of the small house.

Police reported that the four hostages were fatally shot on 1600 block of Carrington Street, at Ms. Barbosa’s home. When the police came onto the scene in March 2004, all of the victims were pronounced dead on the scene except for Matt Self. He was air-lifted by medical helicopters to the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he died the following day.

Police response[edit]

One month after the killings, police had believed that they had solved the case, but soon realized that the suspects were not guilty, due to a lack of evidence and were released. It wasn’t until several years after the case that the authorities were led to Eddie Williams and the Cortez brothers. McKinney Police Detective Joe Arp eventually gathered DNA evidence that linked Raul Cortez to the crime scene on Truett Street in McKinney, Texas. Investigators collected a cigarette butt from the place where Cortez worked in Florida to use as DNA evidence against the suspect. Also, investigators retrieved DNA evidence from the latex glove pieces and duct tape that the suspects left behind in the house on the day of the murders. Arp used the cigarette butt and the latex pieces to cross-reference and once tested, was found to have matched. The case had not been progressing steadily until Talisha Haithcox, 37, called the police and told them that her boyfriend, Eddie Williams, was involved with the murders of the four victims in McKinney, Texas.

Williams and Haithcox went to the police station together on June 14, 2007 [?], and cooperated with the police fully.[citation needed] Williams told police officials that before the shooting he had been at Raul Cortez’s house in McKinney planning to rob Cliff’s Checking Cashing business, where Rosa Barbosa was the manager. Williams also stated that while they were planning the robbery Raul Cortez fired his .25-caliber pistol into the ceiling of his house at 312 South Kentucky Street in McKinney while his brother stood outside to listen and see if he could hear the shot being fired. Police officials recovered fragments of the bullet in the South Kentucky residence, and matched those bullet fragments to the ones that were removed from victims Mark Barbosa, 25, and Austin York. Williams admitted to shooting Austin York, and explained that his main reasoning was that the Cortez brothers would have killed him if he hadn’t shot Austin. Haithcox's 18-year-old son, Cody, reasoned with the police officials on why Williams might have shot Austin. “I heard Shorty (Eddie Williams’ street name) talk about Javier. He was his friend.” (Dallas News[clarification needed]) Cody said. “If anything, I think they made him do it. He’s not that type of guy.”

Javier Cortez, 31, Raul Cortez, 26, and Eddie Williams were all arrested and charged. Williams faced four counts of capital murder and was held in the Collin County Jail on a $6 million bail. Raul Cortez was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Javier Cortez was not charged with capital murder, but was being held on a federal gun charge and a charge of providing false information on an application to obtain a firearm.

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