17-year-old charged with murder in motel tub death

Carlos Mercado

AP Photo/Houston Police Department

HOUSTON - A 17-year-old has been charged with murder in the slaying of a 35-year-old man whose beaten and stabbed body was found in a Houston motel bathtub.

Harris County jail records show Carlos F. Mercado was charged Wednesday as an adult in the death of Carlos Villatoro, and is being held without bond.

In Texas, 17-year-olds are considered adults under the law.

A cleaning worker discovered Villatoro's body in the Tropical Motel.

Mercado was arrested before dawn Tuesday for a traffic violation as he allegedly drove the victim's car. Investigators say his clothes were bloody and that he admitted to the killing.

Houston police say Mercado and Villatoro checked into a room together and an argument ensued.

Authorities haven't released a possible motive in the death.