HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 13
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All Chapter 13 Footnotes

Lawrence's final question calmed DeLuna down. "Did you ever go into that Sigmor Shamrock on February the 4th, 1983?" "I never went in there," Carlos responded.220

* * * * *

Trying to recall the evidence presented by the defense twenty years earlier, Karen Boudrie and Becky Nesmith remembered only two words: "Carlos Hernandez."221 Nesmith didn't remember the Perales sisters at all. Boudrie vaguely remembered Mary Ann as a "very reluctant" witness who said she was somewhere else that night, but who had left room for doubt about whether she had the right day.222

Neither Boudrie nor Becky remembered anything else. Just "Carlos Hernandez." And that was the problem. They distinctly remember that there was only a name, nothing more. At that point, both said, the thinness of the prosecutors' case was overwhelmed by the utter void at the core of the defense Carlos DeLuna offered.

Before she heard DeLuna testify, Becky remembered, she had "questioned, did he do it? Because they did say that there was another man, that he was the one that did it."223 But "[w]hen Carlos DeLuna said that he did not do it, that it was another Carlos, when I heard that at the trial I thought, that's just a lie."224

"Where was that other guy?" she remembered thinking. "There was no other guy."225

"What a coincidence," Becky went on. "It's not me, it was him. It was another Carlos. It just sounds typical that he would blame that on someone else."226

Sitting with the other reporters and interviewing people around the courtroom, Boudrie had the same feeling. Who is this "mystery Carlos—does he really exist?" "Why can't they produce this guy? How difficult would it be?"227

The kicker for Boudrie, though, was what she was hearing from the state.

"We tried," the prosecutors told her. "[W]e exhausted all avenues to find Carlos Hernandez."228 "We couldn't find him, he doesn't exist." And Boudrie remembered thinking "I'm sure they did [try]. They want to find the right man."229

After that, she recalled, "there were . . . jokes" in the press section "about Carlos Hernandez, this fictional Carlos Hernandez. He could have thought of a better alibi than that."230

"[E]verybody got caught up in it," she said.231

* * * * *

Carlos's testimony was no joke to his sisters. Convinced by what Carlos had told them from the start, that he hadn't knifed Wanda to death, they believed his testimony, and hoped the jurors would too.232 They had no idea what others in the courtroom were thinking.

* * * * *

For Wanda Lopez's brother Richard Vargas, what amused some spectators only angered him. After hearing the voice of his sister played constantly on television and then again in the courtroom,233 all Richard knew was that justice had to be served.

DeLuna was the man the state had charged, and he was arrested in suspicious circumstances just blocks from the scene of his sister's murder.234 How dare he try to blame some other Carlos? Even if he didn't do it, he should have turned the other guy in.235

* * * * *

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 424 ("Q. Did you ever go into that Sigmor Shamrock on February the 4th, 1983? A. I never went in there before, Sir.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005), at 02:04:00–2:05:24:

I remember that's the crux of the defense, was Carlos Hernandez. Of course, the prosecution made so much of this ghost, Carlos Hernandez. "We couldn't find him, he doesn't exist." "We tried," I remember, "we tried, we exhausted all avenues to find Carlos Hernandez." And at the time I thought, I'm sure they did, they want to find the right man. In hindsight, now, after years of covering these things, I think, I wonder how hard they really tried? But I remember too, thinking, if they wanted to save his life, why couldn't they produce this guy? How difficult would it be to find this guy? I remember thinking that. . . . You think, why can't they produce this guy?

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Becky Nesmith, Cousin of Wanda Lopez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 8, 2004) at 05:20:33–05:25:37:

I remember sitting there watching Carlos DeLuna . . . . I sat there and questioned, did he do it? Because they did say that there was another man, that he was the one that did it. But there was no other man or name mentioned in the trial, that I knew about. But I did sit there wondering, did he do it or did he not do it. . . . When Carlos DeLuna said that he did not do it, that it was another Carlos, when I heard that at the trial I thought, that's just a lie. What a coincidence. It's not me, it was him. It was another Carlos. It just sounds typical that he would blame that on someone else. But where was that other guy. There was no other guy.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 03:01:40–03:02:55:

Q. Mary Ann Perales/Benavides, one of the women that Carlos had said he had been with, do you remember that at all?

A. Right. I remember her being very reluctant to be involved in the case at all, in any form or fashion. . . . I remember Mary Ann Perales testifying that she was at a baby shower, I believe, when Carlos says he was with her. But she didn't seem to be adamantly sure, I think it left room for doubt, perhaps, that dates and times had been mistaken. This is just many years later, trying to remember this particular witness. I just remember Perales being very reluctant. I don't know that the information was really that solid. That's the impression I got coming away from her testimony.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Becky Nesmith, Cousin of Wanda Lopez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 8, 2004) at 05:20:33–05:25:37:

I remember sitting there watching Carlos DeLuna . . . . I sat there and questioned, did he do it? Because they did say that there was another man, that he was the one that did it. But there was no other man or name mentioned in the trial, that I knew about. But I did sit there wondering, did he do it or did he not do it. . . . When Carlos DeLuna said that he did not do it, that it was another Carlos, when I heard that at the trial I thought, that's just a lie. What a coincidence. It's not me, it was him. It was another Carlos. It just sounds typical that he would blame that on someone else. But where was that other guy. There was no other guy. And now knowing that there was another Carlos with a different last name, and knowing that Carlos DeLuna, his clothes didn't have blood, why couldn't they have matched the footprints in the blood at the scene? Why didn't his clothes have blood from the scene? Why didn't they investigate the club he was coming from, which was next door to the Diamond Shamrock? Why couldn't they ask people at the club if they had seen this man, or who he was with that night, when there was someone else with him, and someone else was blamed. But no one else, but they weren't questioned.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:04:00–2:05:24:

I remember that's the crux of the defense, was Carlos Hernandez. Of course, the prosecution made so much of this ghost, Carlos Hernandez. "We couldn't find him, he doesn't exist." "We tried," I remember, "we tried, we exhausted all avenues to find Carlos Hernandez." And at the time I thought, I'm sure they did, they want to find the right man. In hindsight, now, after years of covering these things, I think, I wonder how hard they really tried? But I remember too, thinking, if they wanted to save his life, why couldn't they produce this guy? How difficult would it be to find this guy? I remember thinking that. . . . . You think, why can't they produce this guy?.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Becky Nesmith, Cousin of Wanda Lopez in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 8, 2004) at 05:20:33–05:25:37.

See supra note 223.

See supra note 223.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:04:00–02:07:20, 02:10:16–2:11:29 ("I remember that's the crux of the defense, was Carlos Hernandez. . . . I remember too, thinking, if they wanted to save his life, why couldn't they produce this guy? How difficult would it be to find this guy? I remember thinking that. . . . . You think, why can't they produce this guy? . . . I just remember this mystery Carlos Hernandez—does he really exist? Who is he? Did he really get away with this crime?"; "I . . . remember thinking, why can't they produce him? Somebody didn't try hard enough. They just didn't try hard enough. Thinking Carlos's defense could have been better.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:04:00–2:05:24 ("I remember that's the crux of the defense, was Carlos Hernandez. Of course, the prosecution made so much of this ghost, Carlos Hernandez. 'We couldn't find him, he doesn't exist.' 'We tried,' I remember, 'we tried, we exhausted all avenues to find Carlos Hernandez.' And at the time I thought, I'm sure they did, they want to find the right man.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005), at 02:04:00–2:05:24:

I remember that's the crux of the defense, was Carlos Hernandez. Of course, the prosecution made so much of this ghost, Carlos Hernandez. "We couldn't find him, he doesn't exist." "We tried," I remember, "we tried, we exhausted all avenues to find Carlos Hernandez." And at the time I thought, I'm sure they did, they want to find the right man. In hindsight, now, after years of covering these things, I think, I wonder how hard they really tried? But I remember too, thinking, if they wanted to save his life, why couldn't they produce this guy? How difficult would it be to find this guy? I remember thinking that. . . . You think, why can't they produce this guy?

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:11:29–02:12:30 ("There were, kind of, there were jokes about Carlos Hernandez, this fictional Carlos Hernandez. He could have thought of a better alibi than that, or thought of a better story than that. . . . I think everybody got caught up in it. This is a horrible crime, he must be horrible person, so let's convict him and go on to the punishment phase. Everybody was kind of on the bandwagon, so to speak.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 02:11:29–02:12:30.

See supra Chapter 5, note 101 and accompanying text.

See supra notes 154 and accompanying text.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Richard Louis Vargas, Brother of Wanda Lopez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 07:13:05–07:14:05 ("Q. Richard, do you think the police did a good job in finding out who did this thing to your family? A. At the time, yes.").

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Richard Louis Vargas, Brother of Wanda Lopez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 07:16:24–end of tape ("Q. Do you think Carlos DeLuna was responsible for this crime? A. In that aspect, it's a harsh way of putting it but I'm not going to use that as an example for the future ones, the one that do a crime like this. If you play with fire and you want to cover up for your friend and you want to look good and not get your friend in trouble and you know who did it and you take it, you take it to your death.").

Chapter 13
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