TX v. Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles: Daily Trial Updates

Posted at 6:00 AM, July 18, 2023 and last updated 7:14 AM, July 18, 2023

LAREDO, Texas (Court TV) — A former Border Patrol agent found guilty of murdering his lover and their young son was sentenced to two life sentences without parole.

The jury’s verdict and judge’s sentence were handed down just before midnight Monday in Laredo, Texas.

ronald burgos-aviles listens during sentencing

Ronald Burgos-Aviles listens as the judge sentences him to two life sentences without parole. (Court TV)

On July 6, Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles, 33, was convicted of two counts of murder in the April 2018 deaths of Grizelda Hernandez, 28, and their toddler son, Dominic Alexander Hernandez.

In a news conference the day after the brutal murders, Laredo Police Department Chief Claudio Trevino said Burgos-Aviles was identified as a person of interest within minutes, in part because he stayed at the scene and called 911, asking for an ambulance to be sent.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hernandez’s family alleges that Burgos-Aviles began a relationship with Hernandez while living with another woman with whom he had children. Hernandez revealed she was pregnant, and initially told Burgos-Aviles that she intended to raise the child on her own. That child, Dominic, was born on July 26, 2016.

Hernandez eventually decided to return to school in the hopes of pursuing a career as a nurse, and reached out to Burgos-Aviles in the spring of 2018 to ask for financial assistance for daycare and bills. The wrongful death lawsuit describes Burgos-Aviles’ reaction as “resistant and irate” and says that he was concerned about the impact this would have on his other relationship and his job.

Trevino described Burgos-Aviles in 2018 as a 9-year veteran of Border Patrol, serving as a supervisor.

Photos of Grizelda Hernandez and Dominic Hernandez

Grizelda, 28, and her son Dominic were killed on April 9, 2018. (Family Photos via lawsuit)

Burgos-Aviles allegedly asked Hernandez to meet him at Father McNaboe Park on April 9, 2018, with their son. “This meeting was a set-up by the defendant to rid himself of his perceived ‘problem,'” the wrongful death suit alleges.

“Upon information and belief, the bodily injuries inflicted by defendant did not kill them instantly and both had to endure excruciating pain and suffering of the attacks before finally succumbing to their injuries and passing away.”

Hernandez and her son were stabbed to death. Their bodies were found in a secluded wooded area with an empty stroller and belongings scattered nearby.




  • The jury heard testimony from a retired lieutenant who testified to Burgos-Aviles’ behavior in jail.
  • A doctor testified to Burgos-Aviles testosterone levels.
  • Relatives of Burgos-Aviles took the stand.
  • Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, July 17.


  • Burgos Aviles’ attorneys argued for a mistrial citing “the perversive media coverage” of the trial that may have prejudiced the jury against their client and renewed their motion for a change of venue.
  • WATCH: Mistress & Child Murder Trial Penalty Phase: Day 5
  • Thea Posel told the court that four of their witness “feared for their lives” after two experts testified, and two potential lay witnesses are expected to testify during the penalty phase.
  • Judge Lopez denied the motion for a mistrial but agreed there would be no live broadcast of Burgos Aviles’ family.
  • Forensic psychologist Dr. Mark Cunningham said it’s unlikely that Burgos Aviles will commit ‘serious violence’ while serving a life sentence.
  • WATCH: Juror Dismissed in Mistress & Child Murder Trial


  • The state rested its aggravating evidence against Burgos-Aviles.
  • Jurors heard from a cultural anthropologist and a psychologist about why they should sentence Burgos-Aviles to serve life in a Texas prison.
  • WATCH: Mistress & Child Murder Trial Penalty Phase: Day 4

PENALTY PHASE DAY 3 – 7/ 11/23

  • Jurors hear jailhouse phone calls between Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles and his wife, Amy, and mother Marysol. Prosecutors say it shows his character after the murders.
  • Burgos Aviles was on suicide watch following his arrest but showed no signs of distress.
  • The defense’s medical expert says Burgos Aviles was taking a combination of prescription drugs – Phentermine, Testosterone shots, and Arimidex – which may have caused various side effects, but he was not suffering from psychosis on April 9, 2018.


  • Jurors heard testimony from Angelica Hernandez, the sister of victim Grizelda Hernandez and aunt of victim Dominic Hernandez
  • Jurors heard testimony from Mary Hernandez, the mother of victim Grizelda Hernandez and grandmother of victim Dominic Hernandez
  • Other witnesses of the day included Det. Joshua Nunez with the Laredo Police Dept. (Det. Nunez is also Grizelda Hernandez’s cousin) and Det. Raimundo Garcia with the Laredo Police Dept.
  • According to testimony, Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles asked to meet with Grizelda and Dominic the Sunday before the murders at Father McNaboe Park
  • Grizelda communicated with her family that Dominic’s father asked her to get an abortion and did not want to be part of the child’s life. Family members were aware that Dominic’s father’s name was “Anthony” and were shown a picture of the defendant
  • Prosecutors presented explicit text messages and photo exchanges Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles had with another woman before, during, and after the murders of Grizelda and Dominic Hernandez
  • Jurors saw a video chat between Burgos Aviles and his youngest son, showing his parenting and strong language used toward the child


DAY 7 – 7/6/23

DAY 6 – 7/5/23

DAY 5 – 6/30/23

  • A paternity test comparing the DNA of Grizelda Hernandez, Dominic Hernandez, and Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles, confirmed that Burgos-Aviles is Dominic’s father, with a probability greater than 99.99%.
  • WATCH: Mistress & Child Murder Trial: Week 1 
  • Grizelda Hernandez was stabbed 27 times. She suffered from hemorrhaging on her brain from someone hitting her head with a hard item or hitting her head on a hard surface and a fractured wrist.
  • Dominic Hernandez died due to a fatal injury to his neck.
  • The presence of blood was found on the stroller handle, fabric, seat buckle, and a rock.
  • WATCH: Jury ‘Glued’ to Burgos-Aviles Police Interview

DAY 4 – 6/29/23

DAY 3 – 6/28/23

  • Law enforcement officials with the Laredo Police Department testify to hearing the radio transmission that Burgos-Aviles was the possible suspect in the double homicide.
  • Jurors see Dominic’s clothing, shoes, and stroller during testimony.
  • A Laredo Police Officer testifies to seeing a woman pushing a stroller through the park at 9:56 a.m.
  • According to investigators, it would have taken Grizelda 10-15 minutes to walk to where her body was located.
  • Burgos-Aviles demanded that detectives take him to the home of who was blaming him for the crime to identify him.
  • Detectives say they observed red markings on Burgos-Aviles’ arms.
  • WATCH: Mistress & Child Murder Trial: Day 3

DAY 2 – 6/27/23

  • Jurors see surveillance video of Burgos-Aviles arriving home at 10:27 a.m. and leaving his home ten minutes later on the day of the murder.
  • Grizelda Hernandez’s best friend testifies that she encouraged Grizelda to get a restraining order after Burgos-Aviles sent her a threatening message.
  • Grizelda Hernandez knew little about Burgos-Aviles and began searching the internet for information and his address to serve child support paperwork. She discovered that he was married with two children during the search.
  • Cell phone data was extracted from the phones belonging to Grizelda Hernandez, Dominic Hernandez, and the defendant.
  • Border Patrol Agent describes finding Dominic’s body in a bushy area near the Rio Grande River.
  • The defense attempts to show that the Border Patrol Agents’ testimony changed after learning their supervisor was the main suspect in the murders.
  • An unsolicited, tearful response from a witness causes a strong emotional response from the victim’s family when he stated, “we’re supposed to be the good guys.”
  • WATCH: Mistress & Child Murder Trial: Day 2

DAY 1 – 6/26/23

  • The jury hears opening statements
  • Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles allegedly lured Grizelda Hernandez and her one-year-old son, Dominic, to Father McNaboe Park in northwest Laredo.
  • Grizelda Hernandez was stabbed 27 times. Her injuries were to her head, face, chest, back, arms, and hands.
  • “The evidence will show this baby (Dominic) was being hunted. Not by a creature or animal, but by his own father,” D.A. Isidro Alaniz said during his opening statement.
  • Dominic Hernandez was stabbed twice, once to the chest and once to his neck.
  • A toxicology test was not requested during the autopsy of Dominic Hernandez to determine the injury to his left thigh.
  • Burgos-Aviles met his son for the first time in March 2018. The meeting was cut short because Dominic had an injury to his left thigh which doctor’s describe as a spider bite.
  • Grizelda Hernandez met “Anthony Burgos” online in 2015.
  • Burgos-Aviles was married with two children, ages 10 and 3, at the time of the murder. His wife is also a Border Patrol agent.