HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 5
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“When he would go to jail, my mother was there to bail him out all the time,” Rose recalled. “And he would tell police officers, ‘you know I’m going to be . . . out of here in an hour. Watch my mom walk in, and she’s going to get me out.’ And that’s exactly what would happen.”194 Carlos “would just go out laughing, ‘I told you I’d be out.’”195 Rose believed her brother “pissed off a lot of people in Corpus.”196

“I believe strongly that a lot of those officers would say, ‘give him enough rope and one of these days he’s going to hang himself.’ That’s what I believe.”197 Since those days, Rose has struggled with her love and resentment for her brother and her mom, and with her sympathy and hatred for the police and other authorities who played such a big role in bringing both of them down.198

Rose despised Carlos’s constant stealing, lying, and huffing paint. But he was also a “kind heart,” always “helping you out if you needed help.”199 Carlos was the one who stuck up for her when Manuel blamed her for something he had instigated;200 the one who brought her hamburgers from work—“a big deal,” growing up in a poor family;201 the one who gave her lunch money because he knew how “embarrassing [it was], when you’re a teenager, and you have to go stand in line and get your free lunch ticket” showing everyone you’re too poor to pay. Manuel worked too, but he never did any of that.202

Looking back on it, Rose took solace in one thing: For all his showing off as a teenager, Carlos died a humble man.203 Not, though, before the police gave Carlos his comeuppance.

* * * * *

On June 19, 1980, Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Carlos for attempted rape in Garland, where his older siblings lived.204 While on bail for that offense, he was arrested in nearby Dallas driving a stolen car.205 He pleaded no contest to both charges.206

In pleading to the first charge, Carlos admitted that he followed the seventeen-year-old victim into a YWCA parking lot where he tore off her clothes and threatened to kill her if she didn’t stop resisting. He had no weapon.207

Two witnesses approached and scared off DeLuna. The victim went home and got her brother, and they went looking for her attacker.208 They found Carlos, still at the YWCA, but he ran away, shedding his shirt and shoes.209

The victim and her brother followed Carlos, but lost sight of him at 4267 Munger. They went home, where they gave a description to the police. Officers went over to the Munger address to begin a search and, to their surprise, found Carlos still there, hiding “in bushes.”210 The victim and witnesses identified him at the scene.211

Around the same time, Carlos also confessed to stealing a car out of the driveway of a man named John Williams Jones.212 Dallas police officers caught DeLuna with the car two days later, when he ran a red light right in front of them.213

Carlos was sentenced to two years minimum and three years maximum in prison for the two offenses.214 With credit for time spent in jail after his arrest and for good behavior while in prison, he was paroled sixteen months later on February 23, 1982.215 He stayed out of trouble for nearly three months on parole, but not more. On May 14, Carlos attended a welcome-home party for Marcos Garcia, a friend from prison. Margarita and Blas left him off at the Garcia home, wearing black slacks and a blue long-sleeve dress shirt.216

Sometime after 11 p.m., Carlos and Marcos left the party together. An hour later, after midnight, witnesses saw Carlos return alone, and around 1 a.m. they saw him run out of the Garcia home with his blue shirt unbuttoned.217 In the meantime, Marcos’s fifty-three-year-old mother, Juanita Garcia, had awoken to find a man lying on top of her. The man put a pillow over her mouth and threatened her.218 She thought she recognized the voice as DeLuna’s and made out his silky blue shirt.219

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 19:59:44–20:02:48, 20:35:03–20:35:50 (“And I know he was very cocky, very showoff. When he would go to jail, my mother was there to bail him out all the time. And he would tell police officers, “you know, I’m going to be out here in 10–15 minutes. I’ll be out of here in an hour. Watch my mom walk in, and she’s going to get me out.” And that’s exactly what would happen. She would walk in and get him out.”; “You have to understand, going back from the early ages when my brother was going in and out of jail constantly. My mom was always bailing him out. He would always say, ‘I’ll be out of here in an hour, you watch.’ Because I would go with my mom to bail him out. He would just go out laughing, ‘I told you I’d be out.’”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:35:03–20:35:50 (“You have to understand, going back from the early ages when my brother was going in and out of jail constantly. My mom was always bailing him out. He would always say, ‘I’ll be out of here in an hour, you watch.’ Because I would go with my mom to bail him out. He would just go out laughing, ‘I told you I’d be out.’”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:33:28–20:34:20, 20:34:20–20:34:40 (“There again, I believe, I strongly believe, Carlos burnt so many bridges when he was a teenager and he was so cocky that he pissed off a lot of the police officers there in Corpus.”; “Corpus is a small town. I believe that, and I believe that these officers just said, ‘hey, heck with him. We’ve got you now. We’re going to make sure you’re out of here. We don’t have to mess with you anymore.’”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:33:28–20:34:20, 20:34:20–20:34:40;

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 19:59:44–20:02:58 (“And I believe that Carlos pissed off a lot of people in Corpus. He just, burned a lot of bridges. I believe strongly that a lot of those officers would say, ‘give him enough rope and one of these days he’s going to hang himself.’ That’s what I believe.”);

see also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rosie Esquivel, Girlfriend of Carlos DeLuna While He Was on Death Row, in Garland, Texas (Feb. 27, 2005) at 23:44:30–23:45:28 (stating that Carlos DeLuna had “been in a lot of trouble there in Corpus and the cops wanted to get rid of him. And since he was around the incident, this was the best way to stick Carlos DeLuna with this crime, to get him out of the way.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:34:40–20:35:50 (concluding that the authorities did not search for Carlos Hernandez “[b]ecause they hated my brother, they hated Carlos. I know they hated him. They hated him. And they knew that my mom was sick, they knew that she died. They didn’t care. This was a chance to get rid of my brother.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:55:00–20:55:50:

I’m very angry, still, about the way justice was given to my brother. I believe that all these things that he did before that made all these people mad does not give them the right to allow to have someone executed for being innocent. Carlos was, to them, he was like a piece of paper that just was crumpled and thrown in the garbage. They didn’t care. They didn’t care because they were sick of him. They didn’t want to help. And I didn’t know how to help. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what needed to be done.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:38:57–20:39:58 (“But did he have another side too, as far as stealing, and lying, and sniffing paint? Yes. But he also had a good heart in him, too. He had a kind heart, as far as helping you out if you needed help. He wasn’t this person that they picture, this killer. He wasn’t that.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:37:01–20:38:57 (“Carlos and I have always been close, as we were kids growing up together. Again, Manuel was the instigator of getting us in trouble all the time. So Carlos and I would always stick up for each other. Carlos and I have always been very, very—Carlos has always been kind to me. He’s never been mean to me at all.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) (“Manuel was the mean one, Carlos wasn’t. As I recall, when he was working. When Carlos dropped out of school, Carlos worked at Whatta Burger. There would not go a day if Carlos, when he got out of work, would bring hamburgers . . . . [W]hen we were kids growing up, we were real poor. So getting a hamburger was a big thing. So Carlos would always bring hamburgers home, that they were getting ready to throw away. He would bring those home. And that was a big deal.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:37:01–20:39:58:

[W]e were real poor. We had free lunch tickets. You fill out the paperwork—I forget how it works—and you get free lunches. That’s real embarrassing, when you’re a teenager, and you have to go stand in line and get your free lunch ticket. Everybody knew this, everybody in the school lunch knew that you were standing there to get your free meal, to get your ticket. . . . And he would always, any time I wanted a soft drink to drink, he would go to the store, buy it, and bring it home. That was a big deal. He would give me money to go to school with, the school bus. He would give me lunch money. . . . It was a big thing when Carlos would give me money and say, ‘Here, take this, buy your school lunch so you won’t have to stand in the free ticket lunch line. . . . That was a big deal for me, not having to be embarrassed, going to school every day and having to stand in that line for the free ticket. . . . Manuel worked, Manuel never did that. He never gave me money to go get a soft drink. To this day, my brother Manuel has never bought me a soft drink. But Carlos was always kind, a kindhearted person. If he had money and you asked for money, he would reach in his pocket and give you whatever. If you needed ten dollars, if he had it, he’d give you the ten dollars. That’s the kind of person Carlos was.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:03:51–20:05:15 (“He [Carlos DeLuna] mellowed out. He mellowed out. He was polite. If you would have known Carlos as a teenager, from the time he went to death row and spent 5–6 years in death row and came back to Corpus Christi. He wasn’t cocky. He was very humble. I believe Carlos, my brother at that time, while he was in prison, actually got to know God in his life.”).

See Plea Bargain Agreement at 1, Texas v. DeLuna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. June 19, 1980) (for the offense of attempted rape).

True Bill of Indictment at 1, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. July, 1980) (indictment reciting “that on or about the 19th day of June in this year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and 80 in the County and State, did unlawfully, then and there with the specific intent to commit the offense of rape, attempt to have sexual intercourse with [the alleged victim] hereinafter called complainant, a female not his wife, without the consent of the said complainant, by knowingly and intentionally use [sic] force and threats; said attempt amounting to more than mere preparation that tended but failed to effect the commission of the offense intended.”);

True Bill of Indictment at 1, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–10406 MQ (Tex. Dist. Ct. July 7, 1980) (reciting “that one Carlos De Luna hereinafter styled Defendant, on or about the 26 day of July in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and 80 . . . did unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly operate a motor-propelled vehicle, namely: a van, without the effect consent of John William Jones, the owner thereof.”).

Prosecution Report for Carlos De Luna, City of Garland Police Dep’t (July 26, 1980);

Waiver of Indictment at 1, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. Sep. 25, 1980):

[W]aiver of Indictment—Plea of Nolo Cotendere . . . . Now comes defendant in the above cause, and would respectfully show the court that he stands accused by information of the following felony offense: attempted rape and Defendant avers that he understands his rights to be prosecuted by indictment herein, and voluntarily waives this right therein and agrees and consents to prosecution herein by information . . . and now voluntarily enters his plea of guilty to the charge herein . . . .

See also United States Dep’t of Justice, Federal Bur. of Investigation, Identification Division, Identification record for Carlos De Luna based on FBI or SID identification number (May 25, 1983) at 1 (reflecting 1980 convictions for attempted rape and unauthorized use of a vehicle).

Stipulation of Evidence at 1, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. Sep. 25, 1980) (“Comes now Carlos De Luna, the defendant in the above entitled and numbered cause, and consents to the stipulation of evidence in this case . . . and further agrees and stipulates that the following facts are true and correct and constitute evidence in the case: Oral testimony of complainant [the alleged victim] concerning attempted rape committed by Carlo De Luna which will prove the offense as stated by the assistance district attorney.”);

Marta Aguirre, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980):

Testify that she was followed by defendant onto the YWCA parking lot by the defendant. That he grabbed her by the hair pulled her toward some parked vans and tore her clothes off. That he threatened to kill her if she did not submit and quit resisting. That she would’n’t [sic] open her legs so the defendant could make penetration. That the defendant got up and left when the witnesses walked up toward she and defendant. That she went to her apartment, told her brother Pedro and they both went to find the defendant. . . .

Marta Aguirre, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980) at 1;

Alvina Hernandez & Maria Ramirez, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980) (“(Both) Testify that they were walking home and as they came to the YWCA parking lot, they saw the defendant struggling with complainant who was nude. That they went toward them and the defendant got up and walked away. That they went with complainant to her apartment. That later the officers asked if they had seen the defendant with complainant. That they made identification of the defendant in custody of police.”).

Pedro Aguirre, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980) (testifying that “he went with his sister who pointed out the defendant” who ran away, dropping his shoes and shirt as he ran, and that they “lost him at apartments at 4627 Munger”).

Pedro Aguirre, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980);

Officers R. McCollum & H.G. Cunningham, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980) (“Testify that they were called to 4619 Ross Ave. where they took the information from complainant and complainant brother Pedro. . . . That they [the officers] went to 4627 Munger where Pedro had lost defendant. That the defendant was found in the bushes and arrested and identified by complainant and later by witnesses. . . .”).

Marta Aguirre, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Dep’t (1980) (“Complainant . . . made identification of the defendant to officers.”);

Alvina Hernandez & Maria Ramirez, Untitled Witness Report, Statement to Garland Police Department (1980) (“(Both) Testify that . . . later the officers asked if they had seen the defendant with complainant that they made identification of the defendant in custody of police.”).

Prosecution Report for Carlos De Luna, City of Garland Police Dep’t (July 26, 1980) at 1 (“Summary of case: On July 26, 1980 the complainant, John William Jones, reported his 1969 Ford Van . . . stolen to the Garland Police Department from in front of his residence at 2413 Westway in Garland, Texas. On July 27, 1980, at 2:00 AM, Officer T.K. Elliott # 4297, of the Dallas Police Department, stopped this vehicle in the 400 block of South Beckley and found the driver to be Carlos Deluna, and a passenger by the name of Rudolfo Molina, Both persons were placed under arrest, advised of their constitutional rights, and transported to the Dallas city jail.”).

Prosecution Report for Carlos De Luna, City of Garland Police Dep’t (July 26, 1980) at 2 (witness statement of John William Jones):

This is the Complainant. He can testify that sometime between 10:30 PM, on July 25, 1980, and 6:45 AM, on July 26, 1980, some unknown person(s) took his 1969 yellow Ford Van from in front of his residence at 2413 Westway in Garland, Texas; to not giving anyone permission to take and operate this vehicle; to being notified by the Garland Police Department that the Dallas Police Department had recovered the vehicle; to going to that location where his vehicle was released to him; and to not giving this defendant or any other person permission to take and operate his vehicle.

Prosecution Report for Carlos De Luna, City of Garland Police Dep’t (July 26, 1980) (witness statement of T.K. Elliott) (“Officer Elliot is the arresting officer. He can testify that on July 27, 1980, at 2:00 AM he did stop the Complainant’s stolen vehicle in the 400 block of South Beckley in Dallas, Texas, after it had travelled through a red light and failed to stop; that upon his investigation, he found the vehicle to be reported stolen out of Garland, Texas; and to placing the Defendants under arrest for ‘Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.’”).

Waiver of Indictment at 1, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. Sep. 25, 1980):

Waiver of Indictment—Plea of Nolo Contendere . . . . Now comes defendant in the above cause, and would respectfully show the court that he stands accused by information of the following felony offense: attempted rape and Defendant avers that he understands his right to be prosecuted by indictment herein, and voluntarily waives this right therein and agrees and consents to prosecution herein by information . . . and now voluntarily enters his plea of guilty to the charge herein . . . .

Plea of Nolo Contendere, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. Sep. 25, 1980):

The defendant having been indicted on the above entitled and numbered cause for the felony offense of Attempted Rape, a Third Degree Felony . . . entered his plea herein, the defendant was duly arraigned and in open Court pleaded Nolo Contendre to the charge contained in the indictment . . . . It is therefore considered adjudged by the court that the said Defendant is guilty of the felony offense of Attempted Rape . . . and that he be punished by confinement in the Texas Department of Correction for 3 years . . . .

Sentence, Texas v. De Luna, No. f80–8598mq (Tex. Dist. Ct. Sep. 25, 1980):

This day this cause being again called, the state appeared by her Criminal District Attorney, and the Defendant Carlos De Luna . . . and whose punishment has been assessed by the Court at confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections for 3 years be delivered by the Sheriff of Dallas County, Texas . . . . [A]nd said Defendant shall be confined in said Texas Department of Corrections for not less than 2 years nor more than 3 years . . . . [A]nd that the Defendant is granted credit for time served beginning on date of July 28.

United States Dep’t of Justice, Federal Bur. of Investigation, Identification Division, Identification record for Carlos De Luna based on FBI or SID identification number (May 25, 1983) (“Date Arrested or Received: 10/09/80 . . . . C—Unauth Use of Mtr Veh—1; C—Att Rape—1; D—Convicted—Confinement—3Y) (“Arrested or Received: 06/19/80”);

see also Criminal History for Carlos De Luna, Texas Dep’t of Public Safety (May 25, 1983) (reporting that Carlos was received by the Texas Department of Corrections on Oct. 9, 1980 from Dallas County with a 3-year sentence for attempted rape and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, was paroled on February 23, 1982, returned to prison on June 22, 1982 for the violation of the parole which was subsequently revoked, and paroled again into the mandatory supervision of Nueces County on December 30, 1982).

Connie Campos, Sentencing Witness Against Carlos DeLuna, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983), at 18 (“[DeLuna] was wearing black pants and a blue long sleeve shirt, but he had folded up [the sleeves by] so much.”);

Juanita Garcia, Sentencing Witness Against Carlos DeLuna, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 23, 24–25 (testifying that the first time she met DeLuna he wore “[a] light blue shirt and a black pants”; describing DeLuna’s shirt as “a light blue shirt . . . it was [the] silky one that he had been [wearing] before”);

Lucinda Garcia, Sentencing Witness Against Carlos DeLuna, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 12–14:

Q. I am going to ask you if you have a brother named Marcos Garcia.

A. I do.

Q. Where does Marcos live now?

A. He’s in the penitentiary. . . .

Q. Now, direct your attention back to May the 14th—May the 15th—May the 14th of 1982 and ask you if you saw your brother on that day.

A. Okay. We picked him up in Houston on a Friday.

Q. Okay. And where did—where was he coming from?

A. From Houston.

Q. Had he just gotten out of the penitentiary?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did you take him?

A. I took him home to Corpus.

Q. And where was he going to be staying in Corpus?

A. With my mother [Juanita Garcia]. . . .

Q. [D]id the family have a little get together for Mr. Garcia, for Marcos?

A. Yeah. Well, everybody was there, uh-huh.

Q. Now, did any people who were not members of the family come over there that day?

A. He was supposed to meet Carlos De Luna there at the house.

Q. Did Carlos De Luna come over to the house?

A. Yes, his parents brought him over. . . .

Q. Do you recall what he was wearing?

A. A blue shirt, I can’t exactly tell you what color pants they were.

Connie Campos, Sentencing Witness Against Carlos DeLuna, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 19–20:

Q. And tell the court how it was that you came to see Carlos De Luna.

A. Okay. I was sitting there and then I saw him come up to the house. He went to the back of the house, well, I guess somebody was telling him, and then he came back up, he just opened the door and he walked in . . .

Q. Okay. Were there any lights on in the house?

A. The front porch and where I’m sitting in my front yard, you can see—through the window you can see the bathroom light, and that was on. And then about—I would say about fifteen minutes after he got in, the light went off and then I heard something drop on the floor. It was about 1:00 o’clock when he came out. He came out with his shirt unbuttoned, he—well, when he walked in, his shirt was pulled in and it was pulled out and it was open from the front and he ran towards—there’s an elementary school, Rose Shaw Elementary School.

Juanita Garcia, Sentencing Witness Against Carlos DeLuna, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 24–25 (“Q. And what did that person do? A. He jumped me on top of the bed. Q. And after he jumped on top of the bed, what did you do? A. Then he start struggling and putting a pillow in my mouth. Q. What else did he do? A. He said, ‘don’t holler, lady, or I’m going to kill you.’”).

Juanita Garcia, Sentencing Witness Against Carlos DeLuna, Sentencing Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 21, 1983) at 25 (“Q. Did you recognize that voice? A. Yes, sir. Q. Whose voice was it? A. It was Carlos De Luna. Q. And could you see the man’s clothes? A. I could not see it, but in the—by the light of the moon, it was a light brown—a light blue shirt and I could feel it, that it was silky one that he had been there before.”).

Chapter 5
Page: 12 of 17