Murder Suspect’s Father Accused of Evidence Tampering

murder suspect
Juan Rivera | Image by Balch Springs Police

A second relative of a North Texas murder suspect has been taken into police custody for alleged evidence tampering.

Balch Springs police arrested Juan Rivera on Tuesday on allegations that he hid the gun used by his son John Rivera to commit murder this summer.

The fatal shooting of 39-year-old Bertin Albarran occurred on July 2 on Lake June Road.

Albarran was reportedly found just down the road from a party he had attended that evening.

Three months later, 22-year-old John Rivera, who lived at the home where the party took place, was named as the suspect. The Marshals North Texas Fugitive Task Force launched a manhunt, and Rivera turned himself in shortly thereafter.

No motive has been suggested by the police for the murder. Albarran had allegedly been shot inside the red Camaro he had borrowed from his sister and then pushed outside.

The arrest affidavit indicates that the victim’s cell phone remained inside the car, which Rivera allegedly drove to a car wash off Elam Road in Pleasant Grove.

Video footage then showed the suspect’s parents Juan Rivera and Kristie Alvarado meeting him at the car wash and both of them retrieving items from the Camaro — his father a gun (allegedly) and his mother an object yet to be identified.

In early October, John Rivera’s uncle Steven Alvarado was taken into custody on charges of evidence tampering. Police allegedly found him in possession of Albarran’s cell phone and his sister’s keys to the red Camaro. He has since been released on bond.

At the time, reports suggested that Rivera’s parents had vacated their residence.

However, Juan Rivera now faces the same charge as Steven Alvarado of tampering with or crafting false evidence, which is a third-degree felony in Texas and carries a prison sentence ranging between two and 10 years. It is unclear from reports whether the police recovered the alleged murder weapon.

No charges appear to have been pursued against Kristie Alvarado, the suspect’s mother.

John Rivera is still behind bars on a murder charge with a bond set of $500,000, according to Dallas County jail records.

In nearby Dallas, the police have waged a campaign against violent crime, and yet the murder and non-negligent homicide rate remains high, as covered in The Dallas Express. As of October 26, 211 offenses had been logged, marking a 14.1% year-over-year increase, according to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard.

The Dallas Police Department has struggled to curb this rise in murder and other crime — such as auto theft and drug offenses —  due to being critically understaffed. DPD maintains a force of fewer than 3,200 sworn personnel, roughly 800 less than the 4,000 recommended by a City analysis.

The effects of this shortage can be seen above all in Downtown Dallas, which logs significantly higher crime rates compared to the downtown area of Fort Worth. The latter is reportedly patrolled by a designated neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards.

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