On September 28, 1972, Carlos pled guilty to one count of felony theft of a car and three counts of robbery by firearm. A judge sentenced him to ten years in prison for car theft and a hefty twenty years for each robbery, because each was committed “by firearm.” The sentences were made “concurrent.”171
Almost five years to the day later, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted to release Carlos on parole, effective on January 4, 1978. Nine months later, his relationship with Margie Tapia began.172
Figure 17: Carlos Hernandez (in hat, beer can in hand), Margie Tapia and Carlos’ youngest brother Frankie in the Fall of 1978, about ten months after Carlos was paroled from prison, six months into Margie’s pregnancy, and seven months before Frankie was murdered.
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Judgment of Conviction, Texas v. Hernandez, No. 14–986 (Nueces Cty., 105th Dist. Tex. Sept. 28, 1972) (sentencing Hernandez to 20 years in prison for robbery by firearms and stipulating that the sentences are to run concurrently).
Certificate of Parole for Carlos Hernandez, Tex. Bd. of Pardons and Parole (Dec. 17, 1977) (releasing Carlos Hernandez on parole effective January 4, 1978).