HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 13
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All Chapter 13 Footnotes

Carlos had hoped to have his mother give that testimony and convey a mother's belief that a son asking his parents for a ride home, with more money in his pocket than he could expect to get from a convenience store robbery, was not likely to go commit one ten minutes later.178 But Margarita was in the hospital where she would shortly die, and the job of testifying fell to Carlos's taciturn stepfather.179

Apart from some discussion of Carlos's shoes and clothes on the night of the incident—Blas didn't remember what Carlos wore180—the state's cross-examination zeroed in on only two questions. The first was about his and Margarita's conversation with Carlos after the young man's arrest:

Q. What did [Carlos] know had happened?

A. Just that he was being accused of a thing that he had not done.181

To answer the second question, Blas drew on all fifteen years he'd known his step-son:

Q. Do you know if Carlos De Luna owned a knife?

A. Carlos has never carried a knife, sir.182

* * * * *

With his mother in the hospital, no investigation of Carlos Hernandez by law enforcement or his own lawyers,183 and little besides Mary Ann Perales's contrary recollection to show for the meager investigation his lawyers did conduct,184 DeLuna had no defense apart from his own testimony.

James Lawrence guided his client with questions that were short and to the point. DeLuna answered most of Lawrence's questions the same way, not always with the right word or grammar but understandably enough.

* * * * *

Lawrence picked up the story with Carlos's return to Corpus Christi in January after leaving prison on parole. Right off, Lawrence had his client disclose his Dallas convictions for attempted rape and car theft.185

Carlos testified that Blas helped him get a job laying concrete and that he rode to work every day in his stepfather's car.186 He followed that routine on the morning of February 4 until he was paid and sent home early. He and co-workers cashed their checks, bought beer, and ended up back at his mother's house that afternoon.187

After a trip to the Whataburger with a neighbor, showering and changing into dress clothes, and accompanying Margarita and Blas to a Kroger's for some payday marketing, DeLuna got his parents to take him over to the Gulf Skating Rink between 7:00 and 7:15 p.m.188 "I went inside to see if this girl was there I was waiting for but she wasn't there, so I stepped back outside."189

Here, DeLuna's story merged with the one he'd first told De Peña back in March, about his passing encounter with Mary Ann and Linda Perales at the skating rink before moving on to Wolfy's a mile away.190 Evidently, DeLuna didn't get the message from his lawyers that Mary Ann Perales—who played only a peripheral role in his story in any event—had a good reason to think she was elsewhere that night, and that the prosecutors were sure to inform the jury of it.191

* * * * *

Carlos testified that when he left the skating rink, he ran into the Perales sisters, who were sitting in a yellow Ford Pinto. He had known them years before when he was in junior high school.192

See supra Chapter 5, notes 4, 85–86 and accompanying text.

See supra Chapter 5, notes 1–5, 87 and accompanying text; Chapter 11, notes 148–149 and accompanying text.

Blas Avalos, Stepfather of Carlos DeLuna, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 408 (noting that Blas did not remember what clothes or shoes Carlos wore that night).

Blas Avalos, Stepfather of Carlos DeLuna, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 408.

Blas Avalos, Stepfather of Carlos DeLuna, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 408.

See supra Chapter 11, notes 278–280 and accompanying text; supra Chapter 12, notes 1–19 and accompanying text.

See supra Chapter 11, notes 138, 149–150, 181–184 and accompanying text.

Carlos DeLuna, Defendant in Killing of Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 410–11 ("Q. And what were you doing—what were you serving time in prison for? A. Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and attempted rape, sir.").

Carlos DeLuna, Defendant in Killing of Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 411–12:

Q. From the time of your release [from prison on parole] or at the time of your release, where did you go?

A. Home, sir. To my stepfather's house, 2046 Rockford. . . .

Q. Now, on that—do you recall the events of February the 4th, 1983?

A. I do.

Q. Did you go to work that morning?

A. I did.

Q. Who did you go to work with?

A. For Triarch Corporation, sir.

Q. Yeah, but who did you go to work with?

A. Oh, my stepfather.

Q. Does he own a car or something?

A. Yes, sir, he does.

Q. Do you own a car?

A. No, sir.

Carlos DeLuna, Defendant in Killing of Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 411–14:

Q. Did you work that day?

A. I did.

Q. How long did you work?

A. Till about 11:30.

Q. Would that be 11:30 in the morning?

A. I started work at 7:00 and got off about 11:30 in the morning.

Q. And why did y'all get off work at 11:30?

A. It started to rain. . . .

Q. After you got off work at 11:30, what did you do, if anything?

A. Went back to the office to pick up my check, sir.

Q. Who did you go with?

A. Danny Fino and Ramiro something, I can't remember his last name.

Q. Were you all working out there at Holidays or whatever it was in Flour Bluff?

A. We were.

Q. What time did y'all get back to—the office?

A. I would say about 12:30, like that.

Q. Okay. Were the pay checks waiting for you or—

A. No, we had to wait awhile.

Q. And were you paid?

A. I was.

Q. What did you do then, if anything?

A. You mean after I got paid?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, I got my pay check, sir, and I asked Danny Fino to take me to cash my check and Ramiro.

Q. And did y'all go cash the check?

A. We did.

Q. Do you recall where you went?

A. HEB [a supermarket] on Morgan and Baldwin.

Q. Do you recall what you did after you cashed your check?

A. Yes, we went to the Shamrock gas station on Horne Road and Greenwood.

Q. What did you do there?

A. We bought a twelve-pack of Miller Beer.

Q. And who bought it?

A. I did. . . .

Q. What happened after you bought the twelve-pack of Miller Beer?

A. I gave one each and I had one, we went home to my house, 2046 Rockford, got there and I gave them another one and got off at home.

Q. Do you recall more or less what time of the day that was?

A. I would say about 2:30, 3:00 o'clock.

Carlos DeLuna, Defendant in Killing of Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 414–16:

Q. What did you do then, if anything?

A. I went inside the house, then I noticed my neighbor across the street outside, I went over his house.

Q. Did you do anything after that?

A. Yes, I did. I asked him if he knew anybody who could fix watches because I had a watch that was broken and he said no, but he would take me to find somebody to fix watches.

Q. Did you go look for someone to fix your watch?

A. We did.

Q. Were you able to find anybody?

A. We weren't.

Q. What did you do then?

A. Well, we kept looking for awhile, got tired of looking, went to a Whataburger on Gollihar. Ate there.

Q. About what time of the day or night was this?

A. I would say sometime about 4:00.

Q. What happened then after Whataburger?

A. We came back home to my house.

Q. Did you do anything at your house?

A. I went inside, took a shower, changed, was sitting down and my stepfather asked me if I wanted to go to Kroger's with him.

Q. Did you go to Kroger's?

A. I did.

Q. Who went to Kroger's?

A. Me, my stepfather and my mother.

Q. What happened after that?

A. Well, after that we came back home.

Q. Do you know what time it was?

A. I would say somewhere about 6:30.

Q. What happened then?

A. Oh, we sat around for a while, my father sat around for a few hours [to] rest, my stepfather, and I asked him to take me to the Gulf Skating Rink, I was supposed to meet somebody there, sir.

Q. And did anyone take you to the Gulf Skating Rink?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who did?

A. My stepfather and mother.

Q. Did you actually go to the Gulf Skating Rink?

A. I did.

Q. Do you recall what time more or less that you arrived at the Gulf Skating Rink?

A. About 7:00 o'clock, 7:15.

Carlos DeLuna, Defendant in Killing of Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 416 ("Q. What did you do at the Gulf Skating Rink? A. I went inside to see if this girl was there I was waiting for but she wasn't there, so I stepped back outside.").

See supra Chapter 11, note 176 and accompanying text.

See supra Chapter 11, notes 181–188 and accompanying text.

Carlos DeLuna, Defendant in Killing of Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 19, 1983) at 416:

Q. What happened when you stepped back outside?

A. When I stepped back outside, I noticed two girls I knew and I went over there to talk to them.

Q. What were their names?

A. Mary Ann Perales and Linda Perales.

Q. Were they driving a car, were they on foot or were they with someone else?

A. They were driving a car.

Q. Do you recall what type of car that was?

A. Something like a yellow Pinto car, I think it was a Pinto.

Q. Where do you know them from?

A. I knew them back in like '76, sir, we used to go to dances together, '77.

Chapter 13
Page: 12 of 23