Murder suspect expected to claim self-defense in bond hearing


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The teenager accused of murdering a Fort Bliss soldier and wounding four others at a house party in Central El Paso in October is scheduled to go before a judge Wednesday, where his attorney is expected to claim the teen acted in self-defense.

Joseph Anthony Rocha, 17, is accused of shooting and killing 21-year-old DeAngelo Meriweather at a house party in the 3800 block of Truman October 19.

Rocha has been in the El Paso County Detention Center on a $3 million dollar bond for Murder since his October arrest. His defense attorney, Justin Underwood, is attempting to lower his client’s bond in Wednesday’s hearing.

Underwood is expected to present at least one witness who claims Meriweather pulled out a gun and pointed it at Rocha first. Underwood tells KTSM his client acted in self-defense when he fired at Meriweather.

Rocha is also accused of shooting and injuring Asia Knight, 21; Juan Mata, 18; Kevin Marincuellar, 19; and Markendy Dessources, 22 in the melee.

Rocha fled the scene of the house party and was apprehended after an hours-long SWAT standoff he live-streamed on Facebook.

The bond hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the 384th District Court, Judge Patrick Garcia presiding.

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