Raymond Salazar Jr. pleaded guilty to both crimes in Williamson County Court. In exchange, his capital murder charge was downgraded to first degree murder.
Salazar stabbed 17-year-old Adam "AJ" Hilzer to death on Sept. 25, 2020.
On Monday, Assistant Williamson County District Attorney Danny Smith told the court Adam "AJ" Hilzer thought he was purchasing something from then 18-year-old Salazar. He got into the back of a vehicle driven by Salazar, where there were three other young men inside the car.
Salazar and Adam "AJ" Hilzer got into an argument. Shortly after, Salazar stabbed Adam "AJ" Hilzer and dragged him out of the vehicle. Smith said Salazar fatally stabbed Adam "AJ" Hilzer in the chest as he attempted to crawl away. Salazar disputed fatally stabbing Adam "AJ" Hilzer in the chest while crawling, though he did admit to fatally stabbing him in the chest.
"There’s no moving forward. We’re just at a pause right now. ‘Till the end of my days I’ll be paused," said Adam Hilzer, Adam "AJ" Hilzer’s father.
Salazar evaded authorities for more than eight months after the murder. He was apprehended in Houston in June 2021. Monday was the first time Adam "AJ" Hilzer’s family saw Salazar in person.
"There’s no more looking over the shoulder," said Adam Hilzer.
Months before the murder, on May 29, 2020, Smith said Salazar shot and injured another young man in Williamson County.
Salazar was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder. The sentences are concurrent — meaning Salazar will spend 35 years or less in prison. He has already served more than one year in prison.