Jon E. Garrett
Writing the future of journalism one post at a time


July 27, 2012

The yoga dealer and the drug dealer:

Alleged drug lord Pardo sought to heal body with homeopathic diet, yoga

Kellie Arnold is not just an award-winning math teacher for Manor ISD, she’s also one of Austin’s up-and-coming yogis. Over the years she’s had some interesting clientele, but it wasn’t until recently that she found out that she might have been giving private lessons to a murderer.

Courtesy APD
Amado “Mayo” Pardo

Amado Pardo, owns Mexican restaurant and music venue Jovita’s with his family.  An Austin institution, Jovita’s attracted customers from all walks of life and enjoyed a popular and loyal following in the community. At least it did until June 21, when Pardo was among 15 charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

So, where does Arnold fit in? Well, it turns out the jocular student she gave private sessions to in the summer of 2011, interested in yoga philosophy and her Native American ancestry (he claimed to be ‘Indian’), she knew as Mayo, was Pardo.

It’s a nickname many in the community know him by, but one thing most did not know was that he had served three prison sentences during the 1970s and 1980s, two for murder, before opening Jovita’s in 1982 with other family members in the neighborhood he grew up in.

Arnold only became aware of her connection to Pardo, and his alleged crimes, when reading a story on, which has followed the case closely.

So, what did she think of sharing mat time with a man facing life in prison and is accused of being a member of the Texas Syndicate prison gang?

“He was nice,” she said, noting that he was a bit flaky perhaps, often forgetting he had made appointments. As for what she taught him, Arnold said the 64-year-old was limited by his body.

“When I first met him he said he had been told by doctor a couple of years prior that he was dying of some sort of Cancer,” she said. According to what he told Arnold, Pardo refused to use the doctor’s methods and was pursuing alternative treatment and a homeopathic diet. “He was very bent over, couldn’t stand up straight, so we did a lot of therapeutic yoga, trying to just open him back up,” she added.


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Jon E. Garrett



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  1. Jnel Forrest

    oh my, that is scary, but you are in my prayers, as well as many others praying for you sweetheart, you do have a Guardian Angel over you. Love, Mom.

  2. Kimber

    Mayo was convicted of murder over 25 years ago; as a heroin addict who grew up in the prison system. Upon his release, he sobered up and hasn’t had a violent history since. Mayo is a good, caring man. When does time served count? Is it fair to hold someone’s past against them even after they have shown a life change?

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