Dallas Bar Owner Arrested in Murder Case

Dallas Police Unit | Image by NBC DFW

Dallas police have arrested a bar owner in connection with a killing that saw a couple wrongly arrested in December 2022.

Bernadino Delgado Jr., 47, the owner of Player’s Bar, was arrested in connection with the shooting death of Xavier Ramon Hernandez-Hankins, 29, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, as WFAA reported.

Officers learned that the black pickup truck seen by a witness on the night of the shooting allegedly belonged to Delgado. According to the affidavit, he sold the vehicle several weeks after the incident.

Police used phone records to place Delgado in the area where Hernandez-Hankins was killed.

According to the affidavit, Delgado has a prior history of violence, having previously been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful carrying of a handgun, assault, resisting arrest, and violation of a protective order.

In December 2022, police wrongly arrested a Dallas couple, accusing them of murdering Hernandez-Hankins.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Rubi Esparza, 33, and her husband, Basilio Tovar, 50, were arrested at their home on December 19, just before 6 a.m., and charged with the murder of Hernandez-Hankins, who was shot on November 5.

Esparza and Tovar spent Christmas in jail. They were released after detectives reviewed new information introduced by their attorney, and the department agreed to drop the charges and file the release paperwork.

Hernandez-Hankins, Esparza, and Tovar were all at Player’s Bar, and sometime during the night, Hernandez-Hankins became upset and left the bar on foot, according to an arrest warrant.

Around 1:00 a.m., police responded to a shooting in the 4300 block of West Illinois Avenue, just down the street from Players Bar. They found Hernandez-Hankins on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.

He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Delgado faces a murder charge and is being held in the Dallas County jail on a $300,000 bond.

The shooting occurred in District 3, represented by Dallas City Councilmember Casey Thomas II.

The first homicide of the New Year also took place in District 3, The Dallas Express reported. Thomas and District 3 have previously been covered in The Dallas Express Crime Boss series as the high rates of crime in Dallas over 2022 continue into the new year.

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