HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 5
Page: 9 of 17
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All Chapter 5 Footnotes

If not for these “obvious” manipulations, Brauer wrote, Carlos “could be a pleasant boy to be around.”143

When Carlos was arrested five years later for killing Wanda Lopez, a judge ordered two evaluations.144 Psychologist James Plaisted tested Carlos’s I.Q. as 72, borderline mentally retarded.145 At first, Carlos answered most of Plaisted’s questions by saying he couldn’t remember anything, but “after rapport had been established and Mr. De Luna had become comfortable with answering questions,” he became more cooperative.146

Plaisted concluded that Carlos was malingering and was smarter than tests showed, given his “obvious . . . effort to deceive me into thinking he was suffering from a psychotic process,” and because of differences between what Carlos claimed to comprehend on written tests and what he understood when the same words were spoken orally.147

Plaisted knew a thing or two about deception himself. The year after examining Carlos, the psychologist was caught sexually molesting children in a church youth group he ran. After more incidents, he ended up in prison on a forty-year sentence.148

Psychiatrist Joel Kutnick performed the second evaluation of Carlos and afterwards asked the prosecutor, Steve Schiwetz, to provide “background information in terms of how far this defendant got in school and whether there was a question of his being retarded,” as tests initially had suggested. Schiwetz said he would look but never came up with anything. Kutnick reported to the court that school records were “not obtainable”149 and agreed with Plaisted that DeLuna was malingering.150

Twenty-one years later, investigators obtained Carlos’s school and juvenile evaluations within days of routine requests to the Corpus Christi School District and Juvenile Department. Both showed that his intelligence and learning capacity had been questioned since elementary school.151

* * * * *

Shortly after quitting school, Carlos met a girl named Aida or Ida Sosa at the Casino Club. Rose described Aida as “a street girl,” who “lived in abandoned houses with men.” “That girl was trouble,” Rose said.152 In a letter to a news reporter in 1989, Carlos also associated Aida with trouble. “I think I was 15 years old,” he wrote “when I first got in trouble with the Law. I was going out with this girl who was about two years older than me, and she had already been in trouble with the Law before.”153

“I truly did love her, or . . . thought I did,” Carlos continued. “But I met her brother and his friends, and that’s where all the trouble started.”154

Carlos asked Margarita if Aida could come live with them. When Margarita refused, there was a fight. It ended, Rose recalled, when Carlos said, “[I]]f you don’t let her come in, I’m going to move out,” and he did. Ever the follower, Carlos quickly adopted Aida’s lifestyle.155 The two lived in abandoned houses and began stealing from relatives and neighbors, sniffing paint, drinking and getting in trouble with the police.156

Rose recalled that they wouldn’t see Carlos for awhile, but “[a]s soon as he ended up in jail, my mom would take him out of jail, and then he would do it all over again. It was a cycle, just a turning-wheel cycle.”157

* * * * *

Carlos’s run-ins with the law began in early 1977, when he should have been in ninth grade. He was arrested once for truancy and twice for running away.158

In September 1977, Carlos went to Dallas to join his brother Manuel, and his mother reported him missing. When he returned to Corpus a week later, the authorities put him in Juvenile Hall for counseling. Noting that the 15-year-old had been out of school for over a year and wouldn’t cooperate, the Juvenile Department concluded that “no help could be offered” and released him.159

Letter from Roland J. Brauer, Ph.D. to Martineau Juvenile Shelter Regarding Carlos DeLuna (June 27. 1978) at 1.

Dr. James R. Plaisted, Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Evaluation of Carlos DeLuna (June 15, 1983) at 1 (“Referral Source: District Court. . . . Reason for the Referral: Dr. Kutnick performed a court-ordered psychiatric examination of Mr. DeLuna on May 19, 1983 and had some questions of whether the patient was genuinely suffering from a mental illness.”).

Dr. James R. Plaisted, Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Evaluation of Carlos DeLuna (June 15, 1983) at 1, 3 (“Procedures Used: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Revised; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Revised; Human Figure Drawing; Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test; Rorschach Inkblot Technique (Exner System); Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory; Wide Range Achievement Test; Review of the Patient’s Judicial File; Behavioral Observations and Clinical Interview.”; “Findings and Impressions: . . . Mr. DeLuna’s present level of intellectual function as measured by the WAIS-R is within the Borderline range (WAIS-R VIQ–72, PIQ–72, FSIQ–72.”)

Dr. James R. Plaisted, Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Evaluation of Carlos DeLuna (June 15, 1983) at 3 (“Clinical Interview, Early Segment: . . . It appeared to me that [DeLuna] wanted me to believe that he could not remember anything. . . .”; “Clinical Interview, Late Segment: . . . In [the] later segment, after rapport had been established and Mr. DeLuna had become comfortable with answering questions and responding to standardized psychological test items, his memory seemed somewhat different. In this later clinical interview segment, the patient was able to tell me that he had been in school in the local area. . . .”).

Dr. James R. Plaisted, Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Evaluation of Carlos DeLuna (June 15, 1983) at 2–5:

Clinical Interview, Early Segment: . . . It appeared to me that [DeLuna] wanted me to believe that he could not remember anything. . . . Clinical Interview, Late Segment: . . . In [the] later segment, after rapport had been established and Mr. DeLuna had become comfortable with answering questions and responding to standardized psychological test items, his memory seemed somewhat different. In this later clinical interview segment, the patient was able to tell me that he had been in school in the local area. . . . It certainly struck this examiner that Mr. DeLuna was attempting to deceive, and that his memory loss was selective. . . . Mr. DeLuna used words which he claimed not to have knowledge of during the IQ testing, and he showed a knowledge of these words. For example, when he was asked “What is your sentence?” near the end of the examination session, Mr. DeLuna replied, “I don’t have one.” And when I asked “Do you see lots of arguments there in the jail house?”, the patient responded “Yes . . . you learn to live with it.” I also asked him at one point to look at the ceiling and he reflexively looked up. The words “sentence,” “argument,” and “ceiling” were among those that the patient claimed not to have knowledge of [during the written psychological testing]. . . .Findings and Impressions: . . . It is my opinion that the results of this [I.Q.] testing are a gross underestimate of this patient’s intellectual abilities. I believe that his intelligence is much higher than indicated by the quotients . . . . There was considerable evidence of faking . . . . Conclusions: It appears fairly obvious to this examiner that Mr. DeLuna was making a major effort to deceive me into thinking that he was suffering from a psychotic process.

Judgments on Plea of Guilty or Nolo Contendere Before Court and Waiver of Jury Trial, Synopsis of the Judgment, Texas v. Plaisted, No. 92-CR-1926-H, 92-CR-1927-H, 92-CR-1928-H, 95-CR-0325-H, 95-CR-3578-H (Nueces Cty., 347th Dist. Tex. Dec 7, 1995) (reporting that Plaisted pled guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault of children and was sentenced to 40 years).

Dr. Joel Kutnick, Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Evaluation of Carlos DeLuna (June 14, 1983) at 3–4 (“Specifically, I was interested in the background information in terms of how far this defendant got in school and whether there was a question of his being retarded. Mr. Schiwetz did not have this information, but stated he would try to supply it to me if he got it. So far I have not heard back from Mr. Schiwetz, and feel that this information is just not obtainable.”).

Dr. Joel Kutnick, Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Evaluation of Carlos DeLuna at 4 (June 14, 1983) (“Impressions: Axis I: Malingering”);

see also James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernadez (Aug. 16, 18 and 20, 2004) (noting that Drs. Plaisted and Kutnick received $350 for each mental status evaluation performed for the local court or district attorney’s office and, noting with reference to their diagnoses, “‘malingering,’ yeah I heard that diagnosis a lot”);

James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Bill May, Corpus Christi Criminal Defense Lawyer and Former Assistant District Attorney (Jul., 13, 2004) at 2 (quipping that “the only diagnosis Kutnick knew was ‘malingering.’”).

See Letter from Jesus M. Chávez, Superintendent of Schools, Corpus Christi Ind. Sch. Dist., to William Belford (Aug. 3, 2004) at 1 (“Pursuant to your request of July 22, 2004, please find enclosed copies of the special education records on file with the Corpus Christi Independent School District regarding Carlos DeLuna.”);

supra notes 117–125, 141–143 and accompanying text (discussing the mental status evaluation of DeLuna’s in his school and juvenile records).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:16:05–20:18:39, 20:18:46–20:19:36:

Now that I’m thinking back, my brother never hung out with guys. He started hanging out with this girl that was doing drugs. . . paint. When I say drugs it’s more sniffing the paint. That’s when Carlos started changing, changing completely. Carlos never had girlfriends. Until he met this girl Ida [actually Aida Sosa], can’t remember her last name. Until he met Ida, Carlos completely changed. He dropped out of school. . . . This is before he met Ida, he dropped out of school because people were making fun of him at school because he wasn’t doing well and he just gave up. I believe Carlos dropped out at 7th grade. And then he got a job. He met the girl Ida, and that’s when Carlos started getting into problems. . . . He lived in abandoned houses with this girl, Ida. As far as I know, this Ida was a street girl, just lived in abandoned houses with men. And she happened to meet my brother Carlos, and that was the first girlfriend Carlos ever had. That girl was trouble. She was a street girl. And that’s when Carlos got into all these issues as far as breaking into people’s houses and stealing.

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Aida Sosa, Girlfriend of Carlos DeLuna (Sept. 27, 2004) at 1 (describing meeting Carlos DeLuna in 1978 at the Casino Club and believing he was older than he was; stating that the two lived in the garage of a friend who gave them food to live on; said they tried to sneak into Carlos’s room at his parents’ house but had to leave when his sister told her mom about it);

see also Pre-Disposition Investigation for Carlos DeLuna, Al R. Reyna, Intake Coordinator, Probation Dep’t (June 27, 1978) at 3 (“Education: Carlos DeLuna was attending the eighth grade at Tom Browne Junior High School in Corpus Christi, Texas and dropped out in 1977. He did not attend school for the entire school year of 1977–1978”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005), at 03:24:20–03:25:12 (reading from a letter written to her by Carlos DeLuna written in early December 1989):

I will go ahead and tell you a little bit about my childhood. . . . I grew up in a poor neighborhood, and we were poor in many ways, but I’d still never gotten in any trouble, yet, with the Law. I think I was 15 years old when I first got in trouble with the Law. I was going out with this girl who was about two years older than me, and she had already been in trouble with the Law before. But I truly did love her, or I thought I did. So you know how that goes, when they say “love is blind,” I do honestly believe that. But I met her brother and his friends, and that’s where all the trouble started.

See also James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 17, 2004) at 1–2, 4:

I know how Carlos got in this bad circle; it was because of Ida Sosa. . . . Ida Sota (Sosa) was to blame for his down fall. . . . Carlos DeLuna as kid: good kid, until met Ida Sosa. Then life changed. Before that he played. Scared of dogs . . . . Then the spray [paint]; stupid things in the street. My mother didn’t want him hanging around with that girl (Sosa), so she kicked him out. Then she begged him to come home, and then took him and the girl into her home, so he wouldn’t live on the street. He would go for 2 to 3 weeks and she couldn’t find CDL [Carlos DeLuna] Man[ue]l would let Carlos in thru the back window . . . .

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 03:24:20–03:25:12 (reading from a letter written to her by Carlos DeLuna written in early December 1989):

I will go ahead and tell you a little bit about my childhood. . . . I grew up in a poor neighborhood, and we were poor in many ways, but I’d still never gotten in any trouble, yet, with the Law. I think I was 15 years old when I first got in trouble with the Law. I was going out with this girl who was about two years older than me, and she had already been in trouble with the Law before. But I truly did love her, or I thought I did. So you know how that goes, when they say “love is blind,” I do honestly believe that. But I met her brother and his friends, and that’s where all the trouble started.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:19:50–20:20:42 (“Carlos left the house. I was still in junior high when Carlos left the house, because my mom was getting tired of him getting into all this trouble. He wanted to bring this young lady to come and live in our house, Ida. And my mom said no. So he said, ‘fine, if you don’t let her come in, I’m going to move out.’ And he left, and that’s when he started living in abandoned houses.”)

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:19:50–20:20:42:

Carlos left the house. I was still in junior high when Carlos left the house, because my mom was getting tired of him getting into all this trouble. He wanted to bring this young lady to come and live in our house, Ida. And my mom said no. So he said, “fine, if you don’t let her come in, I’m going to move out.” And he left, and that’s when he started living in abandoned houses. And I didn’t see Carlos for a while. He was living in these abandoned houses, stealing, sniffing paint, drinking, getting in trouble with the law.

See Susan Montez’s Notes on Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna (July 19, 2004) at 3 (“Toni said Carlos broke into her house and stole some stuff.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:19:50–20:20:42 (“Carlos left the house. . . . And I didn’t see Carlos for a while. He was living in these abandoned houses, stealing, sniffing paint, drinking, getting in trouble with the law. As soon as he ended up in jail, my mom would take him out of jail, and then he would do it all over again. It was a cycle, just a turning-wheel cycle, constantly.”);

see also Susan Montez’s Notes on Interview with Toni Peña, Half-Sister of Carlos DeLuna (July 25, 2004) at 3 (“Toni remembered when Carlos and Manuel started getting into trouble. Margarita would worry about them and go looking for them when they did not come home.”).

J.R. Fernandez, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Supplementary Report Form for Carlos DeLuna, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (July 19, 1978) at 1 (“Above three juveniles [including Carlos] were arrested. . . . Previous Contacts [with law enforcement]: #2 Carlos DeLuna 3–30–77 Truant; 6–20–77 Runaway; 7–19–77 Runaway.”).

Juvenile Call Sheet for Carlos DeLuna, Juvenile Dep’t, Case #7147 (Sep. 23, 1977) at 1 (“The above subject was reported as a runaway. He eventually returned after being in Dallas a week with his older brother. Presently he is not attending school.”);

Pre-Disposition Investigation for Carlos DeLuna, Al R. Reyna, Intake Coordinator, Probation Dep’t (June 27, 1978) at 1–2, 3 (“Previous History . . . . B. Juvenile Department: 1. Runaway—9–23–77—This was Carlos’s first referral to this department and the case was assigned to Mr. Carl Barker to work with Carlos as a runaway. However, according to Mr. Barker, Carlos never cooperated and therefore no help could be offered.”; “Education: Carlos DeLuna was attending the eighth grade at Tom Browne Junior High School in Corpus Christi, Texas and dropped out in 1977. He did not attend school for the entire school year of 1977–1978”).

Chapter 5
Page: 9 of 17