HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 3
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All Chapter 3 Footnotes

Officers kept abreast of the manhunt on their car radios and walkie-talkies.46 The witnesses and onlookers listened, too.47

Sigmor Area Supervisor Pete Gonzalez was among those at the gas station. He'd gotten a call about an unexplained emergency and was told to go to the store. When he got there, he found the place swarming with police.48 His employee Wanda Lopez was on the ground, drenched in blood, and paramedics were frantically trying to revive her.49 Scuttlebutt in the crowd was that the techs got her back to consciousness a couple of times, but only briefly.50

Recollections differed about whether police put up crime-scene tape. There was none in the police photos taken outside the store and in the gas station lot, and Escobedo, the lone detective on the case, recalled much later that the Department didn't use police tape to secure crime scenes at the time.51 "We just had to yell at people to stay back and not step on our crime scenes," she explained.52

Gonzalez and station manager Robert Stange were able to wander between the frontage road and gas pumps and into the "wing" lots on either side of the store.53 They picked up information from brief conversations with police officers and chatter on police radios.54 The first thing they heard was that it was a robbery.55

The ambulance left for the hospital around twenty of nine, and Escobedo and the photographer were able to get inside the store.56

Ten minutes later, information about a suspect began flying around the parking lots at the gas station and Wolfy's. "It started as a rumor," store manager Stange recalled. Police car doors were open, and windows were down. "Radio transmissions were coming back that they had somebody under a car they were going to bring back to the location for identification."57

Stange heard that police had found a suspect a few blocks away hiding under a car.58 Someone said that they found a bloody shirt near the suspect.59 Although Stange didn't know it, the first statement was true, but the second was not. No shirt was found until the next day, and police needed lab tests to see if Wanda's blood was on it.60

* * * * *

Lieutenant Eddie McConley was the second ranking police officer at the gas station.61 Looking through the windows, he had immediately noticed a bloody scene inside the store and disarray from a violent struggle.62 Even after Escobedo and Infante went inside, he kept an eye on the doorway to be sure no one else entered and spoiled the scene.63 He positioned himself midway between the door and the witnesses at the corner of the building near the ice machine, remaining about ten to twelve feet from each.64

Eddie McConley, Corpus Christi Police Lieutenant, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983) at 55−56:

Q. When you received this communication that they had a suspect, did you receive it from your auto or the car you were driving, or did you have a walkie-talkie, or how did you receive it?

A. I had a walkie-talkie. I was standing out on the parking lot itself.

Q. Okay. So if a message comes over the walkie-talkie and there’s people within the general area there, maybe from here to where I am from you, maybe ten, fifteen, twenty feet or even closer, could I standing this or sitting this far from you right here in the courtroom, being about ten or twenty feet, could I hear that message coming over a walkie-talkie?

A. I suppose it’s possible. I really wasn’t paying attention to that particular aspect of it because we had so much traffic on the parking lot.

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:

Because my responsibility was to process the crime scene, I remained in the store working while the rest of the police were outside looking for DeLuna. I remember that there were police cars everywhere, at the station and all around the neighborhood around the station, looking for DeLuna. I could hear their progress on my radio. The police were responding to calls saying that people had spotted someone hiding under a truck that was parked on the street a couple blocks behind the gas station. Then I heard on the radio when DeLuna was pulled out from under the truck. I think that the police brought DeLuna back to the gas station right away so the witnesses could look at him.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:51:30–15:53:00, 16:05:55–16:06:10 (“There was certainly police cars in the parking lot at the time. Doors were open, windows were down, and the radio transmissions were coming back . . . .”; “While all this is going on, there’s police traffic reports coming through on the radio that [he listened to] . . . .”);

see Eddie McConley, Corpus Christi Police Lieutenant, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983), at 53, 56 (testifying that he stationed himself near the front door to the gas station and used a walkie-talkie to communicate back and forth to Officer Schauer about driving DeLuna to the gas station for identification; agreeing that, “if a message comes over the walkie-talkie and there’s people within the general area there . . . maybe ten, fifteen or twenty feet or even closer,” “it’s possible” that those witnesses could have heard the fact of that transmission that there was a suspect and that they were going to bring him “back” to the scene).

Pete Gonzales, Shamrock Gas Station Area Supervisor, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex., July 15, 1983) at 165−66 (testifying that he arrived at the station and “found the place completely engulfed with police cars, and my employee, Wanda Lopez, was laying—the medics ambulance service was working on her”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:31:27–15:33:12 (“I remember [Shamrock Area Supervisor] Pete [Gonzales] describing that she had stumbled towards the door, and she had fallen against the door frame, and that’s where they found her when they got there. I believe she was revived before she left the store, and once in the ambulance, and they tried to revive her again at the hospital, but she had passed away. They were able to pull her back several times.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:31:27–15:33:12 (“I remember [Shamrock Area Supervisor] Pete [Gonzales] describing that she had stumbled towards the door, and she had fallen against the door frame, and that’s where they found her when they got there. I believe she was revived before she left the store, and once in the ambulance, and they tried to revive her again at the hospital, but she had passed away. They were able to pull her back several times.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:31:27–15:33:12.

See Crime Scene Photograph 25500010, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500022, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500023, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500024, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500025, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500026, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500029, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500032, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500033, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500034, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983);

Crime Scene Photograph 25500035, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983)

(all showing views of the Sigmor Station parking lot and other areas immediately surrounding and outside the store while emergency personnel worked on Wanda Lopez and while police vehicles and officers and onlookers are visible—in none of which is any crime tape visible); 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) screen shot 2 (same);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 17:16:12–17:16:35 (“I don’t recall crime scene tape at all”).

Cf. Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 5, 1983) (“Sgt. Infante of the ID section was on the scene which had been secured and sealed by Patrol”);

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 2:00–2:14 (“[T]he cops just started flying in. So I just stopped what I was doing. Basically, that’s about what went down. Of course, everything was taped up.”).

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 (“We didn’t have any police tape to secure the scenes. We just had to yell at people to stay back and not step on our crime scenes.”);

see Bruno Mejia, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 66, 67–68 (“Okay, at that point, there were several people starting to crowd around. I asked each and every one of them if they had seen anything and if they didn’t, to please leave, that this was a crime scene and we could not disturb it in any way . . . .”).

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:37:15–15:38:06, 15:35:45–15:36:36, 15:49:30–15:50:18, 15:53:00–15:57:20 (describing areas of the gas station parking lot where Stange and Gonzales were able to “wander”; after the ambulance left, “the police allow[ed] us to get closer” and Stange and Gonzales “began to meander around the area of the store” on the west side near Dodd Street; “Pete [Gonzales] tried to stay close to one police officer or another virtually all the time. He would come back and bring a little more information each time.”).

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:49:30–15:50:18 (“Pete [Gonzales] tried to stay close to one police officer or another virtually all the time. He would come back and bring a little more information each time.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 16:29:08–16:29:55 (“[E]verybody—I say everybody, the police— . . . said it was a robbery. We were discussing it outside as a robbery and something going wrong”).

See supra notes 39, 40.

Eddie McConley, Corpus Christi Police Lieutenant, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983) at 52–53, 56 (“I heard Mr. Schauer come on the radio with his location and that he had a suspect that they had pulled from underneath a truck. He gave me a brief description of him and based on what had been put out over the radio and BOLO and whatever, I instructed him to bring him back to the Sigmor Shamrock Station”; noting that McConley received this information over a walkie-talkie while he was outside the store in the parking lot);

Mark Schauer, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 127–28 (“I put out a broadcast that … we had picked up a suspect in the area”; “he told me to bring the suspect over to the scene of the crime”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:51:30–15:53:00, 16:05:55–16:06:10 (“It started as a rumor, or—There was certainly police cars in the parking lot at the time. Doors were open, windows were down, and the radio transmissions were coming back that they had somebody under a car and they were going to bring back to the location for identification.”; “While all this is going on, there’s police traffic reports coming through on the radio that they believe they found a suspect . . . under a car . . . .”);

see Mark Schauer, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Supplementary Police Report (Feb. 8, 1983) at 2 (“Lt. McConley contacted me on walkie and advised me to bring the suspect back to the scene so that the witnesses could observe him. I transported the suspect back to the Shamrock on 2806 [sic] South Padre Island Drive . . . .”);

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:

Because my responsibility was to process the crime scene, I remained in the store working while the rest of the police were outside looking for DeLuna. I remember that there were police cars everywhere, at the station and all around the neighborhood around the station, looking for DeLuna. I could hear their progress on my radio. The police were responding to calls saying that people had spotted someone hiding under a truck that was parked on the street a couple blocks behind the gas station. Then I heard on the radio when DeLuna was pulled out from under the truck. I think that the police brought DeLuna back to the gas station right away so the witnesses could look at him.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:49:16–15:50:18, 15:31:27–15:33:12:

Q. How did you hear that the individual that they had in the car, the suspect, had been found nearby? . . .

A. [by Stange]. That was going around the parking lot. The people that were milling around the parking lot. And that was other police officers, some of the other investigators. . . . We do know the suspect was found under a car. We don’t know if a chase was involved. I believe they had his bloody shirt. . . . [T]hey did say they found him hiding under a car . . . only a few blocks [away].

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:51:30–15:53:00 (“I believe they [police officers] stated they had a suspect and he was under a car, but I don’t recall at the time whether it was stated that he was under a car or found under a car. But if nothing else, we did hear that later. Before the police officers all left, and before the suspect left, we had learned that he had been located under a car. They did find a bloody shirt, I couldn’t tell you if that was at the scene or not.”).

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Robert Stange, Shamrock Gas Station Manager, in Fredericksburg, Tex. (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:49:16–15:50:18, 15:51:30–15:53:00 (“Q. How did you hear that the individual that they had in the car, the suspect, had been found nearby?” “A [by Stange]. That was going around the parking lot. The people that were milling around the parking lot. And that was other police officers, some of the other investigators. . . . We do know the suspect was found under a car. We don’t know if a chase was involved. I believe they had his bloody shirt.”; “I believe they [police officers] stated they had a suspect and he was under a car, but I don’t recall at the time whether it was stated that he was under a car or found under a car. But if nothing else, we did hear that later. Before the police officers all left, and before the suspect left, we had learned that he had been located under a car. They did find a bloody shirt, I couldn’t tell you if that was at the scene or not.”).

See Letter from James F. Waller, Jr., Supervisor, Tex. Dep’t of Public Safety, to Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases (Feb. 17, 1983) (“On February 9, 1983, you personally submitted the following: 1. U.S. currency, five dollar bill, serial #B12101408B, 2. A pair of men’s black pants, 3. One pair white tennis shoes, 4. One long sleeve men’s shirt. It was requested that examinations be made to determine the presence of blood on the submitted items, and, if present, the origin and type.”);

see also M. Shedd, Corpus Christi Police Sergeant, Supplementary Report (Feb. 6, 1983) at 1 (“I contacted Mr. Armardo Garcia, 4946 Easter. . . . He told me that the night of the above offense, police were searching his neighborhood for the suspect. He was told by the officers to call the police if he found a knife or shirt. This morning at approximately 11 a.m., while cleaning his yard, he found a white shirt, and a pair of track shoes in his yard. He found the shirt near his back fence, and the shoes between his residence and 4950 Easter. I retained the items and tagged them as evidence at the city booking desk, tag #40188.”);

Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Supplementary Report (Feb. 10, 1983) at 10:

On 02–09–83 the following items were removed from the Property room by this officer, to be submitted to Department of Public Safety Lab. The following notation was made on the back of each label: Removed from property room-to DPS, followed by the time and date 2/9/83. . . . #40138: Removed at 10:30 A.M. a pair of men’s black slacks, removed from suspect at time of arrest, to be examined for blood. #40188: Removed at 10:25 A.M. a pair of men’s white tennis shoes and a man’s long sleeve white shirt, both items are to be examined for blood substance.

For photos of Carlos DeLuna, shirtless, after he was arrested see Pl.’s Ex. 6 (photo 2), 7 (photo 1), 8 (photo 1), Vargas v. Diamond Shamrock, No. 84–4951-D, 86–5900-D (Nueces Cty., 105th Dist. Tex. 1988);

infra Figure 6.

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 278 (“I’m not sure of the police officer’s name. . . . It was a—a black gentleman.”);

Mark Schauer, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 112–13 (“The supervisor was Lieutenant McConley. Q. Lieutenant McConley. And he’s a black officer; is that correct? A. That’s correct.”).

Eddie McConley, Corpus Christi Police Lieutenant, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 18, 1983) at 289 (“I posted [an officer] directly in front of the front doors because I could see the large amount of blood and whatever was inside. I could see that the place was in disarray and whatever, you could tell that there had been a struggle there.”);

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 remember that there was blood everywhere inside the gas station.”).

See supra note 62.

See Aerial Photograph of Shamrock Gas Station, Vargas v. Diamond Shamrock, No. 84–4951-D, 86–5900-D (Nueces Cty., 105th Dist. Tex. 1983) (Chapter 2, Figure 1);

Crime Scene Diagram, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) (reproduced infra Figure 5); Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983) at 43 (“Q. [Y]ou were asked to either come and—and try to identify someone or—or whenever they brought supposedly a suspect back? A. Uh-huh. We [Baker and the other witnesses] was standing on—standing at the front door looking towards the highway. We were on the left near the ice machine at the left-hand corner of the building.”);

Eddie McConley, Corpus Christi Police Lieutenant, Pretrial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. June 20, 1983) at 53 (“Q. Where were you when they brought Mr. De Luna back? A. Almost directly in front of the front door where the victim was lying.”);

see supra note 33 and accompanying text (estimating the distance between the door and the ice machine as 25 feet or less).

Chapter 3
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