HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 13
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Figure 33: (Counter-clockwise from top right) Courtroom sketches during the DeLuna trial of the jury, visiting Judge Wallace C. Moore, and Carlos DeLuna. TV news shot of Mary Ann Perales waiting to testify.

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On the morning of the third day of trial, the lawyers got their chance to argue directly to the jury. The State of Texas went first.

In his powerful closing argument, Schiwetz pulled together all the pieces of his and Botary's case into a coherent picture: "There shouldn't be any doubt in this case whatsoever about who committed this murder or about why he did it."288

The prosecutor began with the witnesses at the gas station and Phase III, arguing that each got a close look at the man he or she identified as DeLuna and that each fingered DeLuna shortly afterwards.289

In the absence of the manhunt tape—in which each of the BOLOs gave Baker's and Aguirre's original descriptions to the police (grey sweatshirt, red flannel jacket, blue jeans)—Schiwetz emphasized the details from the Arsuagas' descriptions and the conforming parts of Aguirre's testimony.290 He brushed aside Baker's contrary descriptions, saying Baker now remembered only the face.291

Everything else, Schiwetz said, pointed to DeLuna as well: the $166 inventory shortage at the Sigmor, mirroring the $149 in DeLuna's pocket;292 DeLuna's preference for Winston cigarettes;293 his criminal record;294 his flight from police and capture cowering under a pickup truck soon after the crime.295

Then, expressing concern that "Y'all [only] got to hear it rather hurriedly the other day," Schiwetz played the 911 tape again.296

This time, though, he stopped the recording several times to linger over details. Now the killer is inside the store;297 now other customers are gone and she's alone with him;298 now she's terrified for her life, he's pulled the knife out.299 And then the climactic moment, again:

[T]he person didn't give her a chance. He walked right up, you can hear . . . the sound of a struggle, and then she starts screaming. She lets out that one horrible scream, and I submit to you that's when he pushed that knife into her.300

"Why would he do that," Schiwetz continued, "just walk up there and kill a woman who's willing to give him what he wants?" He answered his own question. "She's talking on the telephone, giving the police a description of this guy, calling for help . . . . He knows she knows what's up so he killed her."301

Turning philosophical, Schiwetz reflected that "[w]e use the term cold-blooded murder real loosely sometimes." But the jurors, he said, "ought to take a long look at the face of Carlos DeLuna, the face that George Aguirre saw, the face that Kevan Baker saw, the face that Julie Arsuaga saw, the face that John Arsuaga saw, because that's about the best look you're ever going to get at a cold-blooded murderer."302

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Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 484–85.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 473–82; see Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 477, 492 ("Now, the memory is a strange thing. All of our memories work a little different. But I want to submit to you he [George Aguirre] got a chance to look at that man for five or ten minutes and right afterwards, it became immediately apparent to him that that man's face and what that man looked like was going to be important and he needed to remember it. And he did. He remembered it and when he saw it again 30 minutes later, he was able to identify him. George Aguirre had no reason to lie."; "We use the term cold-blooded murder real loosely sometimes, you ought to take a long look at the face of Carlos DeLuna, the face that George Aguirre saw, the face that Kevan Baker saw, the face that Julie Arsuaga saw, the face that John Arsuaga saw, because that's about the best look you're ever going to get at a cold-blooded murderer.").

See. e.g., Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 476 ("[H]e saw the man putting a knife into his pants, dark-colored pants, the man was wearing a white shirt . . . And he pulled out a dark-colored wallet, a black wallet, and he said, 'You want some money?' And Mr. Aguirre could see inside and he said there wasn't much money there, somewhere between one and four dollars . . . .").

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 479 ("And you remember what Kevan said, 'I don't remember the pants, I don't remember much about the shirt, I can't tell you if he was even wearing shoes, but I remember that face.'").

Cf. Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 18, 1983) at 273–74, 276 ("[I]t looked like he was either starting a beard or that was—you know, he just hadn't shaved in, you know, ten days, a couple weeks . . . the most hair he had on his face was the moustache area"; "I [described the man to Officer Mejia as wearing] something red with flannel or something flannel with red in it . . . .").

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 482:

The manager of that store, Mr. Gonzalez, told you that they inventory every Tuesday. He inventoried the Tuesday before. They usually come up somewhere between 20 or 30 or $50.00 short every week . . . . Four days later he goes down to inventory right after all this gone on, right after Olivia Escobedo has gone in there and found the cash register open with a couple bills and change laying on top and bills lying on the floor, he inventories and what's the shortage? A hundred and sixty-six dollars. A robbery, you bet there was a robbery.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 485, 489 ("I thought it was interesting, his buddy, the one that came up and testified for him, Danny Fino, do you remember what kind of beer he told you he drank? Miller Lite. Lite beer from Miller. Cans look familiar? These are the cans found behind the gas station where Wanda Lopez bled to death."; "Now, what's interesting about the 85 is what's found on the counter afterwards. There are several of these pictures, but you will see it's a package of Winston's which we have introduced in evidence. We know, for instance, that the Defendant also smokes Winston's.").

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 492–93:

Now, one of the things the Court charges you here relates to the prior convictions of this Defendant. Certainly evidence was admitted before you in regard to the Defendant having been convicted of offenses other than the one for which he's now on trial . . . One of them was for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle . . . He was also convicted of the offense of attempted rape. Now, we don't know anything about the facts of that offense . . . I want to ask you if a man who would attempt to rape a woman, at least we can presume it was a woman, if a man who would attempt to rape a woman might get up on the stand and lie to save his own life. You're allowed to take that into consideration.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 483 ("Now, Carlos De Luna. Carlos De Luna, who has been identified by four people as the man who was either there with a knife right before the murder, there fighting with the woman at the time of the murder, or running away from there within seconds after the murder, is found right in front of this house on Franklin Street . . . found hiding underneath a truck in a gutter full of water about 30 minutes later.").

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 485 ("I want to talk to you some about this tape. Y'all got to hear it rather hurriedly the other day. There's a couple things that are interesting on here from an evidentiary standpoint . . . .");

see Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 486–91.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 487.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 488.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 490–91.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 491.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 491–92:

Now, why would he do that? Why would he just walk up there and kill a woman who's willing to give him what he wants? He didn't have to do it. Well, y'all can take that thing back there and listen to it again, if you want to. But keep in mind that she's sitting there talking on the telephone right in front of that guy, "Can't talk, he's right here." She's sitting there talking on the telephone, giving the police a description of this guy calling for help and looking right at him. He knows the fellow outside has seen him. He knows she's looking right at him. He knows she knows what's up, so he killed her.

Steve Schiwetz, Prosecutor, Closing Statement, Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 20, 1983) at 492 ("We use the term cold-blooded murder real loosely sometimes, you ought to take a long look at the face of Carlos DeLuna, the face that George Aguirre saw, the face that Kevan Baker saw, the face that Julie Arsuaga saw, the face that John Arsuaga saw, because that's about the best look you're ever going to get at a cold-blooded murderer.").

Chapter 13
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