A Texas man, previously convicted of killing an 8-year-old girl in the 1980s, has now been indicted on two new murder charges. One of those charges carries the possibility of the death penalty. Raul Meza Jr., 62, was arrested earlier this year for the murders of his roommate in May and a woman in 2019. Prosecutors announced the indictments on Friday, revealing that Meza may be connected to additional cold cases dating back to 1996. This development marks a significant escalation in the legal troubles for Meza, who had previously been released from prison early and faced public backlash in various Texas towns.
A grand jury in Travis County handed down the indictments on Thursday, charging Meza with one count of capital murder in the death of Gloria Lofton, 65, who was found in her home. Additionally, Meza was indicted on one count of murder in the death of Jesse Fraga, 80. Meza’s attorney, Russell Hunt Jr., did not respond to immediate requests for comment. Since May, Meza has been held in jail on a $1 million bond. Court records reveal that Meza called the Austin Police Department in May and confessed to one of the killings during a phone conversation with a detective.
Decades ago, Meza caused controversy in several Texas towns as he attempted to settle down after serving only a portion of his 30-year sentence for the rape and murder of 8-year-old Kendra Page. Released in 1993 with credit for good behavior, Meza faced picketers who drove him out of six cities. In an August 1993 news conference, he pleaded with the public. He asserted that he had undergone a spiritual transformation and posed no threat to society.
Further investigation led to the discovery of Jesse Fraga’s body on May 20th in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville. Police officers had conducted a wellness check after Fraga’s loved ones had not heard from him for several days. The second victim, Gloria Lofton, was found strangled to death.
The recent indictments shed light on the potential connection between Meza and a series of cold cases dating back to 1996. Austin police had been investigating these cases, but no official findings have been announced thus far. The possibility of Meza’s involvement in these unsolved crimes adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing investigation.
The case has reignited public interest due to Meza’s troubled past and the potential connection to other cold cases. The investigation continues as authorities work to uncover the truth behind these tragic events.