HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 13
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Chapter 13

Trial

Carlos DeLuna's trial began on Friday July 15, 1983,1 just over five months after the slaying of Wanda Jean Lopez.

Karen Boudrie, a novice beat reporter in her early twenties,2 covered the case for KZTV, the CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi.3 DeLuna's was the first trial of any kind that Boudrie had covered as a journalist.4 A bit overwhelmed—"like a deer in the headlights"—Boudrie sat in the courtroom, listening intently to the evidence against DeLuna and reporting her observations to the Corpus Christi community through frequent segments on Newswatch 10.5

The young reporter was fascinated by the criminal trial process and spent the next six years investigating and reporting on police and courtroom events in Corpus Christi.6 Throughout those years, she made it her business to stay in touch with Carlos DeLuna.7 "I thought, maybe one day I'll be the person he reveals some deep, dark secret to," she admitted.8

Becoming a specialist in police and prosecutors, Boudrie moved on to cover criminal and capital trials for bigger-market TV stations near Atlanta and New Orleans.9 But the DeLuna case stayed in her mind in a way that no other did.10 Part of it, she believed, was that, "[e]very time I talked to Carlos, and in every letter, he talked about how his life had gone astray, but he always denied committing this crime."11

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Figure 32: Karen Boudrie reporting outside the Sigmor-Shamrock gas station. Wolfy's is in the background.

Statement of Facts, Trial Transcript, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) ("On the 15th day of July, 1983, the above entitled and numbered cause came on for trial before said Honorable Court, Wallace C. Moore, Judge presiding, and the following proceedings were had . . . .").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:26:50–1:27:23, 1:39:20–1:41:22 ("It [DeLuna's capital trial] wasn't your run-of-the-mill murder trial, not that any of them are. I've covered so many since then. And I can say that, not simply because it was the first, but because it was one of the more moving to me, and I guess interesting."; "This case affected me. Before, I was all for capital punishment . . . . As murders go, I've seen and read and covered even more brutal and heinous crimes than this one in particular. There were many times I thought, 'That person needs to be put to death.' But over the years it's changed for me. This [DeLuna's] case has done that. If we put to death one innocent man, then what's the point? We can put him away for life, but you can't say 'oops, we goofed' after someone's been put to death.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:30:50–1:31:35:

Every time I talked to Carlos, and in every letter, he talked about how his life had gone astray but he always denied committing this crime. Of course, as a journalist, everyone around you's saying, "Oh, come on, Karen, they all say that. They all say that. You're naive, you're green." So I had doubts. I had doubts about myself as far as, are you too green? Are you believing this guy because you haven't been around the block enough? But as the years progressed and I had covered more trials and got a little more experience under my belt, I realized that there was something happening with Carlos.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:30:50–1:31:35:

Every time I talked to Carlos, and in every letter, he talked about how his life had gone astray but he always denied committing this crime. Of course, as a journalist, everyone around you's saying, "Oh, come on, Karen, they all say that. They all say that. You're naive, you're green." So I had doubts. I had doubts about myself as far as, are you too green? Are you believing this guy because you haven't been around the block enough? But as the years progressed and I had covered more trials and got a little more experience under my belt, I realized that there was something happening with Carlos.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 03:21:35–3:22:38, 03:26:40–3:28:08 (reading from a letter to Boudrie from Carlos DeLuna dated December 4th, 1989, which reports Boudrie's age then, six and one-half years after DeLuna's trial, as twenty-nine);

DeLuna—New Document Analysis—Players Data Base 6–05 (Aug. 9, 2005), at Row 38 (entry for Karen Boudrie Evans) (listing Karen Boudrie's date of birth as Sept. 19, 1960, indicating that she was 22 years old at the time of DeLuna's trial).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:22:20–1:23:27 ("My name is Karen Boudrie Evers. In 1983 I went to work for my first television job in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the CBS affiliate, KZTV. I worked there for a couple of years, then I moved to the NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas. So I was there for a total of six years, until 1989.");

see Transcribed Videotape of TV Station Archive Tapes on Wanda Lopez Homicide, KZTV Channel 10, Feb. 4, 1983 Archive Tape on Wanda Lopez Homicide, Vargas v. Diamond Shamrock, No. 84–4951-D, 86–5900-D (Nueces Cty., 105th Dist. Tex. 1988);

see also Answers and Deposition of Joan L. Terrell, Custodian of Records for KZTV, Channel 10, Vargas v. Diamond Shamrock, No. 84–4951-D (Nueces Cty., 105th Dist. Tex. Apr. 27, 1987) (reporting production of archived videotapes of news segments by Corpus Christi KZTV News Watch 10 covering Carlos DeLuna's July 1983 trial).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:24:55–1:26:50 ("But I must say that Carlos DeLuna's trial was my very first trial of any kind. I paid, I guess, extra attention, because it was so fascinating to me. It was the very first trial I ever covered as a journalist. . . . I was very green covering the trial itself, but I found it very, very fascinating.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:25:58–1:26:50 ("As I said, being a novice, really, at the time I was covering Carlos DeLuna's [trial], I was kind of like a sponge, soaking up everything. It was kind of like a deer in the headlights, in watching this process and just learning.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:09:24–02:09:52 ("Also being my very first murder trial, so it was tenfold sensational and exciting to me, because I had never experienced anything like that before. It was very interesting to see the beginning of this trial, the end, and continue on with the process of appeals.");

see also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:22:20–01:24:50:

My name is Karen Boudrie Evers. In 1983 I went to work for my first television job in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the CBS affiliate, KZTV. I worked there for a couple of years, then I moved to the NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas. So I was there [in Corpus Christi] for a total of six years, until 1989. Then I moved to Georgia to start up a television station in Georgia as the news director and main anchor there. And after a couple of years I moved to New Orleans to work at the FOX affiliate in New Orleans, where I worked on-air as an anchor and reporter for about nine and a half years. Then I got out of TV news and started my own public relations and advertising and video company, which I've been running for the past three years now. It's still in New Orleans, primarily. . . . Probably the majority of the time in Corpus Christi as a reporter, I was a beat reporter covering police and courts. I covered City Hall for a while, and various general news. But one of the reasons I was hired away from one station was for the courts and the police contacts I had made, so that was kind of my forte. I started my day as a police beat reporter at the police station. Before I even went into the office, [I] would start at the Corpus Christi police station, or the courthouse, depending on what month it was. For a while I would do courts, or police, or both. I would cover an event as it happened, when the police were on the scene, then end up covering the trial, following the process through. Which wasn't the case with Carlos DeLuna, because that crime happened right before I got there in Corpus.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 1:27:23–1:30:50:

As I continued, and had the opportunity to continue to follow the case over the years. I met Carlos DeLuna on Death Row a year after he had been sentenced. Went up to Huntsville [where death row is located] . . . . After that first meeting, Carlos began to write to me. He had my address at the station, because I had to write to him to request the interview, to get on his list, and whatnot. So he began to write to me. . . . And as a journalist, I wanted to keep that connection going. I thought, maybe one day I'll be the person he reveals some deep, dark secret to, perhaps, and just continue to stay connected as this case developed. I figured this would be years and years before the appeals were exhausted. . . . I remember at one point, too, there was a death date set. And he came back to Corpus. I actually got to talk with him briefly in the hallway. I think one of the prosecutors or somebody had let me get close to him. They were holding him in a back room and I got to talk with him briefly. Then, I don't know, I guess it was a couple years later, or a year or two later. He had received a stay at that point. I went up to interview him again on Death Row.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 1:41:22–1:43:40 ("And I covered the civil trial involving the Diamond Shamrock and Wanda Lopez's family. I covered that. This case never seemed to let go of me. All those years I was in Corpus, there were connections. There were appeals, I would follow the case itself as a reporter. But different aspects of it, these people that were involved, always seemed to crop up in my life in one way or another.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 1:29:04–1:29:56 ("And as a journalist, I wanted to keep that connection going. I thought, maybe one day I'll be the person he reveals some deep, dark secret to, perhaps, and just continue to stay connected as this case developed. I figured this would be years and years before the appeals were exhausted.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 01:22:20–1:27:23:

A. So I was there [in Corpus Christi] for a total of six years, until 1989. Then I moved to Georgia to start up a television station in Georgia as the news director and main anchor there. And after a couple of years I moved to New Orleans to work at the FOX affiliate in New Orleans, where I worked on-air as an anchor and reporter for about nine and a half years. . . .

Q. Over the course of your work in Corpus Christi, how many capital trials did you cover?

A. Gosh, I wish I knew the actual answer. But a number of capital murder trials I watched and covered. And then in New Orleans, covered a number of capital murder trials as well, and noticed the differences in what constitutes a capital trial in Louisiana versus Texas versus Georgia. . . . It [DeLuna's] wasn't your run-of-the-mill murder trial, not that any of them are. I've covered so many since then.

Chapter 13
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