A killer turned in by his mother after the murder of a Texas Christian University student will spend the next 35 years in prison.
In a plea agreement reached last month with prosecutors, David Hidalgo, 23, of Fort Worth pleaded guilty to murder in the stabbing death of 23-year-old TCU senior Stewart Trese on Feb. 4, 2014.
On Thursday, Hidalgo was in the John Middleton Transfer Facility near Abilene, after arriving there Aug. 31, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. His first parole eligibility date is Aug. 6, 2031, but his projected release date is Feb. 4, 2049, according to prison records.
Trese, the son of Dr. Thomas Trese and a senior marketing major, and Hidalgo had both volunteered at Neighborhood Needs, a charity through Altamesa Church of Christ that provides clothing and food to the needy, a mutual friend told the Star-Telegram last year.
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The two became friends, but the friend who introduced them said they were a bad influence on each other.
Trese was found dead in his apartment at the Grandmarc at Westberry Place Apartments in the 2800 block of West Bowie Street near TCU on Feb. 4, 2014.
According to arrest and search warrant affidavits, Sandra Cardona, Hidalgo’s mother, walked into the TCU Police Department the day Trese’s body was found surrounded by blood, and reported that her son had admitted stabbing someone.
Cardona told a Fort Worth detective that she had arrived home from work the previous night to find her son “acting upset.” The next morning, he told his mother that he had stabbed Trese, the warrants say.
“David told Ms. Cardona that Stewart had attacked him in the bathroom area of the apartment with a knife,” the search warrant states. “David told Ms. Cardona that he took the knife away from Stewart and cut him with it.”
The bloody knife and clothing were found in a search of the south Fort Worth home where Hidalgo lived with his mother.
The warrants make no reference to Hidalgo’s jailhouse claim to two television news reporters that he stabbed Trese in self-defense after Trese attacked him for rejecting his sexual advances.
Responding to those claims, Trese’s brother previously told the Star-Telegram that his brother “was not that guy” and that Hidalgo would do anything to “save his skin.”
Dr. Thomas Trese told the Star-Telegram in 2014 that his son had planned to graduate during the summer.
Stewart Trese attended Hill School in Fort Worth from third grade until he graduated as valedictorian in 2009, according to the school’s website. The private school specializes in helping students with learning differences.
He was on the varsity tennis team and was active in the Key Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a member of the National Honor Society. He was named a 2009 National Merit Commended Student his senior year at Hill School. He also volunteered 230 hours in the community.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.