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Suspect in Murder case surrenders to Anderson Co. Sheriff's Office

PALESTINE, March 22, 2013--On September 9, 2012, officers from the Palestine Police Department responded to a fight in the area of 902 N. Howard Street.

Officers arrived on the scene and learned that Jason Villanueva had been stabbed during an altercation with a group of individuals. Jason Villanueva was taken to the Palestine Regional Medical Center where he later died as a result of his injuries.

Police were able to take two people into custody shortly after the incident. A third person was also taken into custody several days later.

During the initial investigation police learned of the involvement of Rafael Marquez. A warrant was issued for Marquez but police learned that he had left the Palestine area and may have even gone to Mexico.  

On March 4, 2013, Rafael Marquez turned himself in to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Marquez is being housed at the Anderson County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

The investigation is still ongoing at this time. Items are still being tested at the crime lab. When these analyses are completed and the results are returned to the police department, the case will be turned over to the District Attorney for grand jury consideration. 

There is no further information at this time.

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