A Matagorda County jury deliberated for a little over three hours before coming back with a guilty verdict in the capital murder charge against Matthew Trevino.
Trevino was sentenced to life in prison.
Treviño was charged in October 2017 murder of Devin Davalos in Bay City. Treviño is one of three co-defendants being charged in the capital murder of Davalos.
“This case is not just about justice for Devin,” said Matagorda County District Attorney Stephen Reis in his closing statements. “It is about justice in the state of Texas.”
Reis gave a fiery closing statement before presenting the case to the jury in which he started off by pointing out the facts in the case.
“Here are the facts – Devin Davolos is dead and was killed by a .22 caliber rifle that was fired twice into his body on Grace Street and seven more times at a hunting lease in Brazoria County,” Reis said. “The proof of this is in the defendant’s statement to police that has been introduced as evidence. (Trevino) was there – he said he was there.”
Reis pointed out the harsh law of capital murder is there simply because “we don’t want people to conspire to commit any crimes.
“In this state and this county, we want justice,” Reis said. “I believe that (Trevino) fired the first two shots in this case and I believe he is guilty of it all.”
Josh Rice, Trevino’s defense attorney, asked the jury to find Trevino not guilty due to the state had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Justice without honor is not justice at all,” Rice said. “If we don’t have honor with our justice, then it is tainted justice.”
Rice argued there was no physical evidence that placed Trevino at the scene of the crime where the incidence occurred on Herrick Street.
During his closing statement, Rice showed to the jury a phone call that was made to Trevino from Matthew Gonzales at the time the first two shots were fired at Davalos on Grace Street.
“Why is Matthew Gonzales calling Michael Trevino at the time the first shots were fired on Grace Street and according to Gonzales he was riding in the back seat of the car with him,” Rice said. “This is just one example that doesn’t match up with Matthew Gonzales’ story on how the incident happened.
“There is a lack of motive with Michael Trevino and an abundance of motive with Matthew Gonzales to commit this crime,” Rice said. “(Trevino) was just trying to be helpful with police and now they are trying him for capital murder. His own cousin turned against him. This case needs the truth and they don’t have it here. We may never really know what happened in this case and that is a tragedy. We all want justice for Devin – this is a tragic case.”
The most explosive testimony was given by one of the co-defendants in the trial against Treviño.
Gonzales was one of three originally arrested back in October of 2017 in the death of Davolos. But on Monday, Feb. 10, Gonzales cut a plea deal with the state to testify against Trevino in his capital murder trial that started on the same day.
Gonzales said he first met Davalos at the age of 15 while the two attended The Power Church and attended school there as well. According to Gonzales, the two became friends and then became romantically involved in a homosexual relationship.
During 2017, Gonzales said friends of Davalos started to make social media posts accusing Gonzales of being a homosexual and that made him mad over the situation. Gonzales said that Davalos started to talk to his friends about his relationship with Gonzales and wanted to make the relationship public but Gonzales refused.
“I didn’t want that public,” Gonzales said. “When he started to tell his friends about us, I felt betrayed by Devin (Davalos).”
During the state’s examination of Gonzales, it was revealed that Davalos and his family evacuated the area in August of 2017 due to Hurricane Harvey’s arrival on the southeast Texas coast. The family evacuated to the College Station area where Davalos allegedly found a new relationship.
“I was okay with it because we were not in a relationship but still friends,” Gonzales testified. “We were no longer having sexual relations but at that time, he was telling a lot of his friends about us and that angered me. I was angry at him, but no hate towards him at all.”
Gonzales had been struggling with his sexuality and started to research websites on how to deal with his feelings since he was brought up “that homosexuality was a sin.”
“I just felt like there was demon always around me,” Gonzales said. “These websites were saying that I needed to slay the demons in my life and I felt that my relationship with Devin was a demon spirit. I needed to break off the relationship.”
But according to Gonzales, friends of the two were still posting to social media sites about his sexuality and it was continuing to bother him because he believed that Davalos could stop it if he talked to his friends about it.
That is when Gonzales confided with Trevino that he needed to break it off with Davalos but also “scare him into leaving it alone.”
On Oct. 12, Gonzales visited with Trevino and planned an attack on Davalos where the pair would “beat him down and scare him with a gun.”
According to Gonzales, he sought out the help of his cousin because Davalos stood at more than six feet and Gonzales couldn’t “beat him up even with a gun.”
“I knew it would work if we could get to him and tell him I didn’t want our relationship to be public,” Gonzales said. “The plan was to beat him up and scare him, not shoot and kill him.”
Gonzales testified that he didn’t realize that his cousin was going to bring in a third person into the situation in the form of Micah Tobar, a then 16-year-old and the third co-defendant in the murder.
The night of Davalos murder, Gonzales contacted Davalos and asked him if we wanted to drive around town and chill after he got off of work.
Davalos came over to Gonzales’ home on Heddrick Street and picked up Gonzales. The pair drove around and then went to the Stripes convenient store on Hwy. 35. When the pair left the store, Gonzales called Trevino to let him know they were on their way back to the house.
According to Gonzales, the pair arrived at the residence and was listening to music when two people came running at the car from the front with two rifles in their possession. One of the assailants had a golden skeleton mask and the other Gonzales recognized as Trevino with pantyhose over his face.
Gonzales testified that Davalos said, “Who’s that?” as the pair ran towards the parked car.
“I told him I didn’t know but I figured one was Trevino,” Gonzales said.
Trevino grabbed Gonzales and pulled him from the car and threw him the ground. Gonzales said Trevino ordered Davalos out of the vehicle with a .22 rifle pointed at him.
“Devin got out of the car and told them my parents have $10,000 that they can give them if they would let him go,” Gonzales testified. “Trevino said this is not about money.”
At that time, Gonzales said Trevino hit Davalos with the butt of the rifle. Tobar demanded Davalos wallet, cell phone, ATM card and Pin number from the 17-year-old victim.
Trevino ordered Davalos to open the trunk and then ordered him to get inside of the trunk and then told Gonzales to get into the vehicle.
“Once I saw the second person, I knew it was not my plan being followed anymore,” Gonzales said. “I didn’t know what was happening.”
The three assailants and their victim sped down Grace Street when the trunk popped open and the vehicle also hit the bridge near the baseball parks.
“I saw the trunk door was up and I think he was trying to get out and get to our Pastor’s house, who lived nearby,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said Trevino stopped the vehicle in the middle of the street and jumped out with a rifle in his hand. Gonzales testified he heard two shots and Trevino closed the trunk again.
“Trevino turned and looked at me and told me to drive,” Gonzales said. “He was all wide-eyed and Trevino got into the backseat. He told me to drive to the hunting lease.”
Gonzales said there was no talk on the 30-minute drive to the deserted hunting lease. Once they arrived at the lease, all three exited the vehicle and went to the trunk where Trevino told Gonzales to open the trunk.
“Devin was breathing fast, panting and twitching,” Gonzales said. “His left arm was covering his face.”
Gonzales said Trevino grabbed the .22 rifle and gave it to him.
“He aimed the rifle at Devin’s face and told me to shoot him,” Gonzales testified. “I looked at Trevino and he had a wide-eyed expression on his face and I knew I better do it.”
Gonzales pulled the trigger and fired off at least five rounds into the face area of Davalos.
“I was broke and my rage came out,” Gonzales said. “He used to make fun of me and call me names. I just shot and started shooting because of all of the anger I had. Trevino then pointed the rifle at Devin’s chest and said shoot and fired the rifle a couple of times and then I stopped.
“I just had anger and a lot of bad memories that just came out,” Gonzales said. “Yes I felt bad but no I didn’t feel bad. I knew it was wrong but my anger got ahead of me.”
The three then shut the trunk and got back into the car and Trevino got into the driver’s seat and drove the car from the hunting lease. Gonzales said the three smoke marijuana as they left the hunting lease.
“I looked up to the sky and said I’m sorry Devin,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales testified that the three drove to the Brazos River where they dumped Davalos into the river and then headed back to Bay City. Davalos’ vehicle was found off of Old Van Vleck Road where the three set the vehicle on fire in an attempt to hide evidence from the crime.