HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 10
Page: 1 of 14
Text: A | A | A
All Chapter 10 Footnotes

Part III: The Prosecution of Carlos DeLuna

Chapter 10

Investigation

Detective Eddie Garza was a good soldier.

When Olivia Escobedo was assigned the DeLuna case, the respected detective1 had his doubts. He felt the case required a more seasoned investigator.2

"If you're convicting somebody of a capital murder," he told the out-of-town investigators, you'd better be "sure you have enough evidence that that person was at the crime scene."3 He wasn't convinced that Escobedo was up to the task.

Escobedo was green, and didn't have the reputation for good work that some of the other detectives had.4 She'd just been promoted to investigator, and her specialty was rape.5

In rape cases, the main evidence comes from the victim. In homicide, detectives don't have that luxury. You have to dig deeper.6 That's why Garza liked to work in teams of two or more homicide detectives, with three identification techs to process evidence, especially in capital cases.7

"Just to have one detective in charge" of a capital case, "I don't think that that's right."8 Escobedo's single I.D. tech was a converted patrol officer, reputed to have a drinking problem, who thought of himself as a photographer and fingerprint guy, not a full-fledged identification technician.9

Still, when the Chief of Homicide let Escobedo go it alone, Garza didn't object.10

Although he had dozens of homicide investigations under his belt,11 after he told Escobedo what his informants had heard Carlos Hernandez say about the Wanda Lopez stabbing, he let her decide what to do about it. It was her case.12

And when prosecutors Schiwetz and Botary asked him to testify to Carlos DeLuna's bad reputation, he did that, too.13 Still, Garza worried that police might have arrested the wrong man.14

Years later, the private investigators reexamining the case asked Garza to look over Escobedo's case file and the crime scene photos, and give his opinion about how her scene investigation had gone.15 He concluded that the crime scene had not been gone over correctly.16 Clues were overlooked, and the evidence Escobedo had come up with didn't prove that DeLuna committed the crime. The evidence probably proved he didn't. The Corpus police had the wrong man, he feared.17

* * * * *

There were a lot of things about the case Escobedo put together that didn't add up for Garza.18 Why Carlos Hernandez was going around saying it was he—and not DeLuna—who killed the store clerk, for example.19

The witnesses' descriptions of the man they saw around the crime scene didn't square either. Some saw a derelict in a mustache and shabby clothes sprinting west and north; others saw a clean-shaven man in dress clothes jogging east.20

Nobody explained why the killer had gone behind the counter, yet left without taking most or all of the cash.21

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter in Dallas, Texas (Feb 28, 2005) at 02:59:38–03:00:38 ("I knew [Detective] Eddie [Garza]. He was a nice guy. He had a good reputation just as being a good guy and a good cop . . . . [Detectives] Paul [Rivera] and Eddie [Garza] were like Batman and Robin. At that time, they were the greatest detectives ever.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:22:16–06:24:02 ("The two gentleman in the picture with Carlos there, to his left and to the right of the picture [are] Eddie Garza, and just behind Carlos is Paul Rivera, now I believe Chief Deputy of the Nueces County Sheriff's Office. They were the top murder investigators for the CCPD at that time");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:24:24–06:25:40 ("Eddie and Paul were conscientious. They were very good investigators. . . . They were the city's top murder investigators. . . . [T]hey were tough, but in the end, they tried to be fair.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:25:40–06:27:36:

Eddie [Garza] and Paul [Rivera] were the two top investigators for the Corpus Christi Police Department. There were even people senior, but if you had a serious murder case, and you wanted it investigated seriously, you wanted Eddie and Paul. They were considered the top people. I mean, if there were others involved they usually were on the periphery, and Paul and Eddie would do the serious, on-the-ground investigation. . . . I dealt with them in numerous cases. . . . [T]heir reputation was that they were fair men. And that, if shown, or if they came upon evidence that would harm their case, but actually, they thought, led to a different result, they wouldn't hide it.

Tamara Theiss's Notes on Interview with Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases (Feb. 27. 2005) at 1 ("I worked under [Detectives] Paul Rivera and Eddie Garza. . . . [T]hey taught me how to investigate a crime. . . . They really acted as my mentors . . . [and] taught me to go down every rabbit hole to see where it led, no matter what the result . . . [and] investigate every angle and every lead in a case, even if it didn't pan out.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:16:26–00:017:16 ("Q. [W]ho was the detective in charge of that investigation, the Carlos DeLuna investigation? A. The detective that was in charge of the case was Olivia Escobedo. Q. [J]ust to be clear, you provided her . . . information that Carlos Hernandez was the perpetrator of this crime. . . . A. I advised her that they needed to look at him [Hernandez] very hard . . . .").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:01:33–00:04:19:

I worked in numerous jobs. I worked in patrol for ten years, where I established a good rapport with the citizens of Corpus Christi, and I had many friends, many informants, and later on in 1970, I believe, I was promoted to Sergeant and I went to work in the criminal investigation division, where I was working in the burglary division, theft division, auto theft, and later on went and worked on several homicides and then I was assigned to the major crimes division, where we handle all unsolved murders and different types of crimes that were committed. . . . I was involved in . . . it was probably in the neighborhood of hundreds of homicides that I was involved in investigating during my tenure from 1970 through 1988. I worked on several homicides throughout those years. [I] wasn't always assigned to the homicide division, but when there was a major crime committed, I was assigned to several homicide investigations.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:15:44–00:16:20 ("Q. Now, after being told this, did you provide this information to the officers investigating the homicide? A. I contacted the detective in charge and informed of the information that I had received, but the detective itself [sic] said that they had enough evidence linking Carlos DeLuna to the crime itself. So I just backed away from it and let her work her case.").

Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 4–5 ("Q Are you familiar with the reputation he [Carlos DeLuna] enjoys in this community for being a peaceable and law-abiding citizen? A [by Garza]: Yes, I am. Q. Is that reputation good or bad? A. It's bad.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:08:47–00:09:55:

I have many doubts in regards to the case itself because I felt that we had the wrong person that had been executed for this particular crime because of the evidence that was presented in the courts, and the evidence did not coincide with this particular person's alibi as to him committing the crime. And the evidence gathered at the scene, the evidence gathered from the person that was convicted of the crime did not add up. I had other information as to another suspect that probably was involved in the crime itself."

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:10:11–00:11:03, 00:11:06–00:13:37:

From information that I had received from other informants that Carlos DeLuna, the person that was convicted of the crime, had not done this particular crime. He was arrested, yes, he was arrested by a [Sheriff's Department] constable [Ruben Rivera] . . . . But, later on, like I said, I developed information as to Carlos Hernandez being a person that had actually committed this crime. . . . It was a few weeks after the crime had been committed and Carlos DeLuna had been arrested and charged with capital murder in regards to this case. The information that we got, that Carlos Hernandez had gotten someone else to take a fall for him in regards to this crime. And the evidence that was collected at the scene did not, did not prove that Carlos DeLuna had actually committed this crime.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:08:19–00:08:36 ("Q. Did you have an opportunity to review the police reports and the crime scene photos in the last month or so? A. Yes, I have. I've read some of the reports and I've studied some of the photographs that were taken at the crime scene.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:42:13–00:45:16:

Q. [Y]ou've reviewed the police reports and the photos. Now, I want to begin with the police reports. In reading those reports, did you make any observations, summaries, things that you thought could have been handled better in reading those reports, based on your experiences and how you handled major cases at the time. . . .

A. And I am speaking in general of many things after reviewing the pictures that you gave to me to review and the reports that I went through.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:47:37–00:48:34:

Q. Am I correct: you've reviewed the police reports and the crime scene photos, and am I correct that you have indicated that there was no link made to Carlos DeLuna and the crime scene?

A. After reading the reports and everything else, I have no physical evidence, actually, that connected him, whether it be a fingerprint on a package of cigarettes that was on top of the counter, whether the scene was processed properly.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:13:37–00:14:25:

Q. Mr. Garza, I have provided you with all the police reports, all of the photos that we've obtained on this case and I've given those to you to review. You've based some of your comments or all of your comments today regarding this case solely on that, or have you based it on that and other things?

A. I had received the reports that have been supplied by me and photographs that have been supplied by me. I have studied these reports, and I also add that I have recollection of the crime itself when it was committed, from information that was going around by the detective in charge of the case.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:53:28–01:54:43 ("Q. Based on your experiences as a police officer, as an investigator, and your evaluation of the police reports, evidence obtained, eyewitness identification, reviewing the crime scene photos, do you believe Carlos DeLuna committed this crime? A. No.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:10:11–00:11:03, 00:11:06–00:13:37:

And the crime scene itself was really a crime scene that was not gone over. If I would have been investigating this case, I would be extremely careful of how the crime scene was processed, and, to me, the person assigned with the identification division that went to this scene did not do a proper job, especially on a capital murder case. There was many pieces of evidence that could have come into view that were probably completely ignored and overlooked.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:44:14–45:16:

And I am speaking in general of many things after reviewing the pictures that you gave to me to review and the reports that I went through. The crime scene itself was not processed properly. There could have been someone else identified as committing the crime. And there was evidence that was stepped on by the investigator that was at the scene. And to me, if you just stay out of a crime scene and talk to the witnesses outside and secure the scene and let just identification take, whether it be one day, two days, or three days, just to be at that scene, processing the scene, I think that the results of this case would have been totally different. There was too much evidence that could have been obtained that was never even touched.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:07:20–01:19:40 (enumerating the various items that should have been taken from the crime scene to be tested and concluding that doing otherwise constituted "an improper identification of the crime scene");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:37:08–01:39:04:

To me, the investigator that was assigned to this case did not have the ample knowledge of the criminals involved in this deal, had no knowledge of what the people involved in this crime were capable of. She didn't have the proper experience of how to investigate a major crime. The identification person did not have the proper experience in how to deal with a high-crime scene like something that would lead to a capital murder case. To me, it was improperly handled from the investigative part and also the identification part. More time should have been taken at the crime scene. There should have been one or two other experts called to the crime scene before the crime scene was turned over back to the owners of the establishment. And this way, you're dealing with a capital murder, you're dealing with a person that might get convicted of capital murder and put to death, and you want to make sure that you have the right person, and either with physical evidence that is found in the scene or other types of evidence linking the offender to this particular crime. To me, it was not handled properly from the investigative view and from the identification part of it.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:46:50–01:47:50 ("But it's all contained to a small area, I'd say no more than about ten by ten area. And, to me, that was a pretty small crime scene that a lot more evidence that was not collected, that was overlooked, was left at the scene without even collecting.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:08:47–00:09:55:

I reviewed [the evidence in the investigative file], and, to me, I had my doubts as to the offender that was convicted of the crime, and I believe it was a capital murder case and the person has since been put to death by lethal injection. I have many doubts in regards to the case itself because I felt that we had the wrong person that had been executed for this particular crime because of the evidence that was presented in the courts, and the evidence did not coincide with this particular person's alibi as to him committing the crime. And the evidence gathered at the scene, the evidence gathered from the person that was convicted of the crime did not add up. I had other information as to another suspect that probably was involved in the crime itself.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:37:08–01:39:04:

My opinion is all based on experience, experience that I have had and the experience that the investigator in charge of the case has. To me, the investigator that was assigned to this case did not have the ample knowledge of the criminals involved in this deal, had no knowledge of what the people involved in this crime were capable of. She didn't have the proper experience of how to investigate a major crime. The identification person did not have the proper experience in how to deal with a high-crime scene like something that would lead to a capital murder case. To me, it was improperly handled from the investigative part and also the identification part. More time should have been taken at the crime scene. There should have been one or two other experts called to the crime scene before the crime scene was turned over back to the owners of the establishment.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:08:47–00:09:55 ("I reviewed [the file in the Wanda Lopez killing], and, to me, I had my doubts as to the offender that was convicted of the crime, and I believe it was a capital murder case and the person has since been put to death by lethal injection. I have many doubts in regards to the case itself. . . [a]nd the evidence gathered at the scene, the evidence gathered from the person that was convicted of the crime did not add up.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:08:47–00:09:55, 00:10:11–00:11:03, 00:11:06–00:13:37:

I had other information as to another suspect that probably was involved in the crime itself. . . . From information that I had received from other informants that Carlos DeLuna, the person that was convicted of the crime, had not done this particular crime. He was arrested, yes, he was arrested by a [Sheriff's Department] constable [Ruben Rivera]. . . . But, later on, like I said, I developed information as to Carlos Hernandez being a person that had actually committed this crime. . . . It was a few weeks after the crime had been committed and Carlos DeLuna had been arrested and charged with capital murder in regards to this case. The information that we got, that Carlos Hernandez had gotten someone else to take a fall for him in regards to this crime. And the evidence that was collected at the scene did not, did not prove that Carlos DeLuna had actually committed this crime.

See supra Chapter 8, notes 45–112 and accompanying text; Chapter 9, notes 7–9 and accompanying text.

Bruce Whitman and James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 3 ("I think it was a screwed up damned case. Required a more seasoned investigator. Just because he's arrested under the car, they thought it was open and shut. But where's the evidence?");

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:34:31–01:35:35, 01:37:08–01:39:04:

[I]t all goes back to the person that's in charge of the crime scene, the person that is collecting the evidence. If he is not properly trained or has [not] had enough experience in a big homicide like this, they're going to miss some [finger]print area, they're going to miss something in the crime scene. . . . My opinion is all based on experience, experience that I have had and the experience that the investigator in charge of the case has. To me, the investigator that was assigned to this case did not have the ample knowledge of the criminals involved in this deal, had no knowledge of what the people involved in this crime were capable of. She didn't have the proper experience of how to investigate a major crime. The identification person did not have the proper experience in how to deal with a high-crime scene like something that would lead to a capital murder case.

See supra Chapter 2, notes 35–52, 75–81, 90–101, 135–177, 185–200, 210–214 and accompanying text & Figures 3 and 4.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 01:27:53–01:28:10 (noting that, "if any money came from that crime scene. . . there should have been some speck of blood on [it].");

see supra Chapter 4 notes 42–58, 80–86 and accompanying text.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:11:06–00:13:37 ("If I would have been investigating this case, I would be [sic] extremely careful of how the crime scene was processed . . . .");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:45:19–00:45:51 ("The evidence is important because if you're convicting somebody of a capital murder case you better be well sure that you have enough evidence that that person was at the crime scene. The person they have charged, I'm talking about. That person, you have to link him with witnesses' statements, with the physical evidence that is found at the scene, whether it be footprints, fingerprints, palm prints, anything.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:34:31–01:35:35 ("[I]t all goes back to the person that's in charge of the crime scene, the person that is collecting the evidence. If he is not properly trained or has [not] had enough experience in a big homicide like this, they're going to miss some [finger]print area, they're going to miss something in the crime scene.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:40:40–01:41:21:

Q. And the investigator investigating this case [Escobedo]: how much experience had the investigator had in major crime scene investigations or major case investigations?

A. I believe that this was her first or second major crime scene that she had investigated. Most of the cases that she handled were rape cases and simple assaults and things like that. But a major, major capital murder case like this, I think this was really her first or second case that she had handled.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 07:09:12–07:10:22 ("[Olivia] Escobedo I remember. I'd leave it to other officers to talk in terms of her qualifications. I don't remember her on major cases before [the Wanda Lopez killing]. . . . I don't remember her, Escobedo, being an important part of [investigating murder] cases before. If she's chief investigator [on a case], she got promoted. For what? I don't know.").

Compare Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:58:46–02:59:38 (answering a question about Olivia Escobedo's reputation among criminal courts, beat reporters, and the police and court personnel they worked with: "Olivia Escobedo? Terrible. . . . They said she was awful. I had some dealings with her down the road, but most people said she was not a good detective. . . . But there was a lot of talk of incompetence with Olivia that I recall. Then [at the time of the Wanda Lopez killing], and then in later cases as well.");

and James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 24, 2004) at 2 ("In regard to Olivia Escobedo: Nobody thought well of her in the department.");

and Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:58:58–07:02:25 ("The people I think, I heard were involved [in conducting the DeLuna investigation] were people that I don't think were that good. Q. And when you say 'those people' you mean the investigators that IDed him? A. Cops. Yeah . . . ."; "And it was at night when [Detectives] Eddie [Garza] and Paul [Rivera] weren't working, yeah. If Eddie and Paul were there, they might have viewed it differently.");

and Bruce Whitman and James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 2 (discussing another homicide case involving a killing in a bar that Escobedo handled by herself and in which he did not believe she charged the right man with the killing);

and Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Glenda Ruggles, Corpus Christi Police Department 911 Operator (Nov. 17, 2005) at 1 (on file with author) (reporting that "it was common knowledge [in the Corpus Christi Police Department in the late 1970s and early 1980s] that Olivia [Escobedo] held her position in detectives not because she was capable of performing the duties of a detective but because of [favoritism from a superior officer]"; describing Olivia Escobedo as 'totally useless' [as a detective], 'she didn't . . . know enough about her job to know . . . how to do it'") with Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) 02:59:38–03:00:38 ("I knew [Detective] Eddie [Garza]. He was a nice guy. He had a good reputation just as being a good guy and a good cop . . . . [Detectives] Paul [Rivera] and Eddie were like Batman and Robin. At that time, they were the greatest detectives ever.");

and Tamara Theiss's Notes on Interview with Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases (Feb. 27. 2005) at 1 ("I worked under [Detectives] Paul Rivera and Eddie Garza. . . . [T]hey taught me how to investigate a crime. . . . They really acted as my mentors . . . [and] taught me to go down every rabbit hole to see where it led, no matter what the result . . . [and] investigate every angle and every lead in a case, even if it didn't pan out.");

and other sources cited supra note 1.

Eddie McConley, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 288–89 (describing McConley's role as commanding officer at the crime scene and explaining that Escobedo was assigned to take charge of the investigation because she happened to be the "detective on duty" on "[t]hat particular night");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:16:20–00:16:38 ("Q. Now, who was the detective in charge of that investigation, the Carlos DeLuna investigation? A. The detective that was in charge of the case was Olivia Escobedo. She worked mostly rapes and was assigned a couple of homicides during the time.");

Tamara Theiss's Notes on Interview with Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases (Feb. 27. 2005) at 1:

In 1983 [at the time of the Wanda Lopez investigation], I had been promoted to the position of investigator, and was on the rotation of officers who responded to calls for violent crimes. Although I specialized in investigating sex crimes, I became the lead investigator on the Wanda Lopez case because I just happened to be working as the lead investigator on the night shift when her 911 call came in. I remember that I had only been at work for a few minutes when her call came in. I recall that it was a "robbery in progress" which justified sending an investigator and a lot of police to look for the suspect.

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn't: Violent Felon Bragged that he Was Real Killer, Last of Three Parts, Chi.Trib. (June 27, 2006), available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory (interviewing Escobedo and noting she, "primarily had investigated sex crimes [for the Corpus Christi Police Department] and handled the De Luna case alone").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:11:06–00:13:37 ("If I would have been investigating this case, I would be extremely careful of how the crime scene was processed, and, to me, the person assigned with the identification division that went to this scene did not do a proper job, especially on a capital murder case. There was [sic] many pieces of evidence that could have come into view that were probably completely ignored and overlooked.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 00:45:19–00:45:51 ("The person they have charged, I'm talking about. That person, you have to link him with witnesses' statements, with the physical evidence that is found at the scene, whether it be footprints, fingerprints, palm prints, anything.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:34:31–01:35:35:

Again, it all goes back to the person that's in charge of the crime scene, the person that is collecting the evidence. If he is not properly trained or has [not] had enough experience in a big homicide like this, they're going to miss some [finger]print area, they're going to miss something in the crime scene. That's why it's always good to protect the crime scene for as long as it may take, whether you need to call in other expert identification people to go to the scene and process the scene, more time would have been needed. What they should have done is they should have secured the scene completely for at least 24 to 48 hours until everything had been gone over to identify the offender that they had to the crime scene.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:52:06–01:53:28:

Not everybody has a photographic memory to remember what they saw, especially in a violent crime scene. So you have to piece the identification together with the evidence, physical evidence, tying that particular person to that crime scene and to the crime itself. If you don't have both, then you've got to look at the identification that the person that identified it made, and you've got to look at it real hard and real good because it might not be the proper identification if you don't have the physical evidence to go along with that identification.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:44:45–01:46:29:

At least three detectives should have been involved in a capital murder crime. Just to have one detective in charge, I don't think that that's right. Because there are so many things that you look into on a major crime, on a capital murder. It's just better to have—two or three heads is better than one. You can think of something, but the other person is already thinking of something else that might be there. . . . There should have been at least three or four [lab technicians] . . . . to process a scene like that and make sure that the proper evidence is gathered and the proper evidence is looked through. It's not only just one technician looking at everything else, you have to have a team of at least three to four technicians looking at different areas of the crime scene. . . . And if you get one person working a capital murder crime, I'm sorry, there's a lot of paperwork that's involved with it and a lot of reports that you have to write and everything else in order to put your case together. One person working at it alone—I have worked alone at a capital murder case, but it's very difficult, very hard. I've already requested other people to assist me when I investigated a capital murder crime.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:44:45–01:46:29 ("At least three detectives should have been involved in a capital murder crime. Just to have one detective in charge, I don't think that that's right.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 01:39:09–01:41:37:

The crime scene technician was Joel Infante. Joel was in patrol most of the time and later on he got assigned to the identification division. He might have had some experience in lifting prints, but to process a major, major crime scene, I don't think that this person had the proper training, the proper knowledge of what to look for at a crime scene. . . . I don't know exactly how long [Infante] had actually been assigned to the identification section, but I knew him when he was in patrol, and I know that in patrol you just go through the form[al]ities of how to secure a scene and things like that. But to have the proper expertise in a major crime scene, you have to have people that have worked on big major crime scenes and have the knowledge and training on how to recover evidence, how to obtain evidence, how to handle it properly, where to send it, whether you're going to leave it in the local lab or whether you're going to package it up and send it to the Department of Public Safety or even the FBI laboratory. . . . [Infante] had had his problems . . . . I knew of problems that he had in the department.

Bruce Whitman and James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 3 (stating that the single crime technician assigned to the Wanda Lopez case was reputed to have a drinking problem and to perform sub-par work);

see Tamara Theiss's Notes on Interview with Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases (Feb. 27. 2005) at 2 ("I think I had the help of a fingerprint technician, but no one else.");

Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician (July 25, 2005) at 1 (acknowledging that as of 1983, the expertise and responsibility of "officers assigned to the I.D. Division" were limited to "fingerprinting individuals arrested and brought into the police station" and "respond[ing] to crime scenes for the sole purpose of dusting for fingerprints and taking any photos the investigating officer requested");

Bruce Whitman and James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Paul Rivera, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 2 (stating that the lab technician on the DeLuna case was reputed to have a drinking problem; also noting that the "I.D. Division was very inefficient at the time but is better now").

Chapter 10
Page: 1 of 14