HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 3
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All Chapter 3 Footnotes

In his testimony, Baker noted another discrepancy between DeLuna—in this case, as he looked in court—and the man who tussled with Wanda at the Sigmor.112 "I would say the gentleman on your left," Baker pointed to DeLuna, wearing a button-down dress shirt and dress pants, "looks very much like a lawyer or a doctor."113 The man Baker had seen coming out of the Sigmor store had looked different—like "someone who had been on the street and was very hungry." His clothes were dirty and disheveled. He looked "like a transient."114

* * * * *

At his home in Michigan twenty-one years later, Baker told the detective he was seventy percent positive that the man in the police car was the man he'd seen wrestling with Wanda.

"[S]eventy percent is not a hundred percent," the detective said.

"Right. It's not," Baker agreed.115

Baker explained. "I'm going, 'God that looks like him, you know, it really does.'" Then he reflected, "[I]t goes back to, I'm a [short] white guy. . . . [T]o you," he said to the black detective, "which one of these 5 blond short guys is it?"116 Baker didn't mince words. He had trouble recalling Hispanic names; they were all "Julio" to him, he said.117 And he had trouble telling Hispanics apart118 and judging their age.119 "It's tough," he said, "to identify cross cultures."120

He hadn't wanted to "screw anybody," he said, but at the same time, he had to make an "adult judgment," "try to connect the two together."121 "I wasn't all that sure," he later said to a news reporter. "But him being Hispanic and all . . . I said, 'Yeah, I think it is him.'"122

There was one thing, though, that had bothered Baker at the time and had concerned him ever since. He brought it up several times to the detective and later to a news reporter. "I will say this. One of the police officers did mention to me that 'we found this guy hiding underneath a car without a shirt on, two blocks north of us or three blocks north of us.'"123 Baker thought that "might have tinged my—not tinged, but maybe tried to direct me that this is the guy or something [by saying] right there, 'we found him a couple blocks north.'"124

And again: "The cops told me they found him hiding under a truck. That led me to believe this is probably the guy."125 "That's probably why I was seventy percent sure."126

Would he have been less than seventy percent sure if a cop had not told him that? On the audio-tape, Baker's answer is emphatic. "Yes." In that case, it would have been only "fifty-fifty."127

The private detective pressed Baker on the point:

Q. When they asked you if this is the guy, and you said "yeah, it is." Even though you said, "yeah it is," in your mind, were you 100 percent sure?

A. Oh no.

Q. You weren't a hundred percent sure?

A. No.

Q. And you responded "yeah, it is," because—

A. . . . I went to facial features, basically eye-to-eye contact . . . . I was waiting for a gun to come out . . . .128

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For the first discrepancy Baker mentioned, see 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 279 (“Q. (By Mr. Schiwetz) Does the man, Mr. De Luna, look any different today than the way you saw him that night? A. Same facial features, basically; less scars, scratches on his face, after I initially identified him, he had a few scratches on his face; and, of course, he’s clean shaven.”);

supra notes 104, 108.

See 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 41−42 (“I would say the gentleman on your left looks very much like a lawyer or a doctor looks at the moment. That night I saw him I would say he had been someone who had been on the street and was very hungry. Q. Okay. Would you describe in these words the man that you saw on the 4th of February as maybe a transient? A. Yes.”);

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 286 (“Q. That person that you had seen earlier at the station, would you describe him as a—looking like a transient? A. Yes, sir, I would. Q. . . . Well, what is a transient to you? A. To me a transient is somebody unshaven, I mentioned looking hungry, clothes weren’t all, you know, really pressed or super neat and clean.”).

See 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 41–42;

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 286.

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 03:00–4:00, 24:54–26:08, 26:08–26:57, 43:10–43:58 (“Q. [H]ow certain were you on a scale of 100%? A. Probably 70%. It wasn’t 50–50. It was more. We looked at each other about that long—[indicating by pausing about a second] or a little longer. Q. So, the night of the incident, February in ’83, you were 70% sure that was the guy that came out of the store. A. Yes.”; “A. [O]ne of the officers came up to me and asked me is this the gentleman in the back seat of the car, and like I said, I was about 70 percent positive. . . . Q. So on a scale of 100%, you were 70% positive that the person that they brought back to you in the car was the same person who ran out the door? A. Right, right, yes . . . .”; “Q. Ok, 70 percent is not a hundred percent, right? A. Right. It’s not.”; “I’m 70% sure.”).

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 43:58–45:10 (“I couldn’t say, ‘no that’s not him,’ but at the same time I’m going, ‘god that looks like him, you know, it really does.’ But then again it goes back to, I’m a white guy. Is this white guy, to you, which one of these 5 blond short guys is it?”).

We characterize Baker as “short” here in view of his trial testimony that his height is 5’6”. See 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.

See Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 34:30–36:05, 38:33–39:08, 39:08–39:46 (“Q. What about someone named Hernandez? Carlos Hernandez, does that name ring a bell? A. Oh no. ‘Julio’ (laughs). I hate to say that, I’m not prejudiced by any means.”; “Q. I asked if you knew Carlos DeLuna or anything about him? A. I don’t remember any Hispanic names.”; “Trying to think of an older Hispanic guy, [who] worked at the car dealership [with me]. His name was Frank, and he was in his seventies at that point. . . . I’m not prejudice[d] but it’s like ‘Julio’ again. I just don’t remember Hispanic names real well.”).

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 43:58–45:37 (“A. But then again it goes back to, I’m a white guy. Is this white guy, to you, which one of these 5 blond short guys is it? Q. You’re talking about identifying someone cross cultures, too, makes it difficult? A. Right, right. It really does. I’ve been—I’ve traveled enough—it’s tough you know to identify cross cultures.”).

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 13:55–14:56 (“Q. Do you remember about how old this gentleman was, the fellow who ran out of the store? A. Hispanic again. It’s like, how old are you? I’m gonna guess 35. Q. Thank you. I’m 41. A. I’m 54 personally; it’s something with other nationalities; I would guess young 30’s probably maybe late 20’s.”).

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004).

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 41:45–43:10; 45:10–45:37 (“I was trying to be positive, not burn somebody, you know, because I wouldn’t want that to happen to me either. So I tried to make an adult judgment”; it’s tough you know to identify cross cultures. I didn’t wanna be, I didn’t wanna screw anybody. But at the same time I tried to make an effort to recognize the things I did see, and try to connect the two together.”).

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn’t: Violent Felon Bragged that He Was Real Killer, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-06-27/news/0606270137_1_gas-station-stabbed-killing/2.

See Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004), at 26:57–28:00, 43:10–45:10 (“The only thing that I can actually say that—that the police did, that might have tinged my—not tinged, but maybe tried to direct me that this is the guy or something—was right there, was ‘we found him a couple blocks north.’”; “the girl had already been transported away [in the ambulance] and we were still trying to sort it out, [and] here comes a cop: ‘we found him. Is this the gentleman? He was hiding underneath the car.’”; “they said, ‘we found this guy a couple blocks north, up here underneath a car.’ And that’s probably the only prompting . . . .”).

See Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004), at 26:57–28:00, 43:10–45:10 (“The only thing that I can actually say that—that the police did, that might have tinged my—not tinged, but maybe tried to direct me that this is the guy or something—was right there, was ‘we found him a couple blocks north.’”; “the girl had already been transported away [in the ambulance] and we were still trying to sort it out, [and] here comes a cop: ‘we found him. Is this the gentleman? He was hiding underneath the car.’”; “they said, ‘we found this guy a couple blocks north, up here underneath a car.’ And that’s probably the only prompting . . . .”).

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn’t: Violent Felon Bragged that He Was Real Killer, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-06-27/news/0606270137_1_gas-station-stabbed-killing/2.

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 43:10–45:10.

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 43:10–45:10 (“A. [T]hey said, ‘we found this guy a couple blocks north, up here underneath a car,’— and that’s probably the only prompting, whether—Q. Did that comment help you in your identification? A. . . . That’s probably why I’m 70% sure. It might have had an influence. Q. If they had not said that, would you be less than 70% sure? A. Yes [emphatic, here]. Q. About where would you say you’d be if they hadn’t said that? A. It would be a 50–50 I think.”);

see also Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, The Secret that Wasn’t: Violent Felon Bragged that He Was Real Killer, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-06-27/news/0606270137_1_gas-station-stabbed-killing/2 (“Among the [Tribune’s] findings: The only witness who came face to face with the killer at the station after Lopez was stabbed now says he was not positive of his identification of [DeLuna]. He identified [DeLuna], he said, after police told him they had arrested [DeLuna] hiding under a truck near the scene of the attack—information that eased his uncertainty.”).

Transcribed Audiotape Interview with Kevan Baker, Eyewitness to Attack on Wanda Lopez, in Jackson, Mich. (Nov. 22, 2004) at 41:45–43:10.

Chapter 3
Page: 9 of 12