Mother of suspect in TCU student’s slaying turned him in, affidavit says

02/12/2014 8:25 PM

02/12/2014 11:37 PM

The man accused of fatally stabbing TCU senior Stewart Trese last week was turned in to police by his mother, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Wednesday.

The affidavit also reveals that Trese’s father, Dr. Thomas Trese, was present when his son’s body was found on the morning of Feb. 4. at the son’s apartment on the TCU campus.

Thomas Trese, worried that he hadn’t been able to contact his son, went to the Grand Marc Apartments, 2901 W. Bowie St. He was allowed into the apartment accompanied by a building employee and a TCU police officer.

The TCU officer then called for Fort Worth homicide investigators, the affidavit said.

The suspect, David Hidalgo, 21, was arrested the next day. He remained in the Tarrant County Jail Wednesday facing a murder charge. Bail was set at $100,000.

The affidavit was filed by Fort Worth homicide Detective J.T. Rhoden.

He wrote that soon after arriving at Stewart Trese’s apartment, he was notified by his supervisor that TCU police had called to say that a woman was at their headquarters to report “that her son had admitted to stabbing someone.”

Rhoden went to the TCU police department where he was introduced to Sandra Cardona, Hidalgo’s mother. She told the investigators that she came home from work on Feb. 3 and that her son was “acting upset.”

The next day, she learned why, according to the affidavit.

“On the morning of the 4th of February 2014, David told Ms. Cardona that he had stabbed Stewart,” Rhoden wrote.

In a jailhouse interview last week with WFAA/Channel 8, Hidalgo said he stabbed Trese in self-defense. He said he had rejected Trese’s sexual advances and that Trese pulled a knife on him.

There is no mention of sexual advances in Rhoden’s affidavit.

“David told Ms. Cardona that Stewart had attacked him in the bathroom area of the apartment with a knife,” Rhoden wrote. “David told Ms. Cardona that he took the knife away from Stewart and cut him with it.”

In the jailhouse interview, Hidalgo said he stabbed Trese about five times in the chest and throat.

Rhoden described the scene after the Grand Marc employee unlocked the door.

“Mr. Trese entered the apartment and observed his son lying in the hallway surrounded by blood,” Rhoden stated. “Blood was observed on the floor and walls of the apartment, in the bathroom area of Stewart Trese’s room and in the hallway outside of it.”

Investigators determined that Stewart Trese’s cell phone and backpack were missing, the warrant stated.

Investigators did not find the “cutting instrument” used to kill Trese, Rhoden said.

Last week, Trese’s brother, Steve Trese, disputed the account Hidalgo gave to TV about self-defense. His brother “was not that guy,” Steve Trese said. He said anyone in Hidalgo’s predicament “would do anything to save his skin.”

On Wednesday, Fairness Fort Worth, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, issued a statement that Hidalgo’s account is “the widely dismissed ‘gay panic defense,’ ” in which a criminal suspect excuses a violent act “as a response to an unwelcome sexual advance.”

“Our homicide detectives know how to fully investigate a crime and not be distracted by blind-alley diversions,” said James McCalister, a spokesman. “We have faith in our justice system to determine what is true beyond a reasonable doubt.”

This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.

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