HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 6
Page: 12 of 17
Text: A | A | A
All Chapter 6 Footnotes

The next time police arrested Carlos—in February 1979, for driving under the influence and disorderly conduct at the emergency room, following the accident he caused—the police didn’t even bother to report him to the parole board. Instead, they fined him and released him after he called Fidela to bail him out.183

* * * * *

Soon after making parole and returning to Corpus, Hernandez surrounded himself with a circle of younger guys attracted by the power and coiled rage he exuded—by the charisma of an ex-con who was expert with a sharp knife and was not to be messed with.184

Like others, Lina Zapata, a Carrizo Street neighbor and long-time friend of Hernandez, used the Spanish word pachuco to describe him. A “gangster type from the old school,” she translated, someone who “carried knifes [and] had to show everyone they were macho.”185

In late 1979, investigator Eddie Cruz made it his business to get inside Hernandez’s gang on assignment from a criminal defense lawyer.186 Cruz made a study of Hernandez. He was both attracted and repelled by him.

Long afterwards, he remembered Hernandez as “a leader type person” with a bunch of young guys and a lot of attractive girls around him.187 He “knew he was good,” Cruz said, and liked the spotlight. He knew he “could go into the Casino Club and score any time [he] wanted to.”188 He had the “balls” to work the night shift in the toughest all-night bodega in town and not show fear.189

Hernandez built his style around his habits. He “loved to smoke,” Cruz remembered, and made a show of it, either Marlboros or “Winstons in the red pack.”190 He was constantly flipping open his knife, snapping it into place. He carried a “chicano-type” bicycle chain—a “pachuco” thing, Cruz explained. Carlos talked with his hands, making “all kinds of demanding gestures.”191

The younger guys would be there with Carlos, Cruz recalled, “talking until four, five in the morning,” drinking beer, smoking marijuana. “Then for some reason,” Carlos would “give some kind of a signal, and they’d just take off, just go.”192

Over time, Cruz found that Carlos “was really a mean guy”—someone you didn’t want “to cross in any way.” He was very violent. “The guy can just blow up and he’ll come at you. Maybe not himself, but he’ll put someone after you.”193 If Hernandez told his guys he wanted somebody beat up, he’d just have to say, “go get this guy, he’s a cólero,” a crazy guy, “or he’s putting the make” on one of Hernandez’s girlfriends, and “the other guys would go out and [do it].”194

Paula’s good friend Gloria Licea was one of Hernandez’s girlfriends at the time. Once, while she was seeing Carlos, she made the mistake of complaining about how badly her estranged husband had treated her. Not long afterwards, a bunch of young guys stabbed her husband on the street “to punish him for how bad he had treated” Gloria. Gloria suspected that Hernandez was behind it. When she later broke off relations with him, he threatened and stalked her.195

Police detective Eddie Garza also kept an eye on Hernandez and the young guys around him. He, too, remembered that Hernandez would “have [his] people beat the crap out of [other] people . . . . They looked to him as a leader.”196 The group “wasn’t a gang, like today,” Garza told investigators in 2004, but a “group that hung around with him.”197

They gathered at a bunch of places in the Hispanic neighborhoods in the old part of Corpus near downtown and the bay. Friday and Saturday nights, they’d be at the Casino Club on South Port where it intersected Marguerite Street. Other times, it would be a rough bar a mile south on Marguerite at Staples, or at Fidela’s house on Carrizo Street a few blocks further south, or else in nearby South Bluff Park. Or it might be Carlos’s apartment in the Six Points area further west along Staples, or at the nearby Maverick Market where he worked.198

Corpus Christi Criminal History for Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez, born July 1954, Nueces Cty. Dist. Attorney’s Office (May 5, 1983) at 1 (documenting Hernandez’s Feb. 12, 1979 arrest for “disorderly conduct,” “Offense No. 90212121. Fined.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:03:09–19:11:29:

Carlos always had guys there, so he’s kind of a leader type person. Soft spoken. . . . And Carlos was always looked up to by the other individuals. . . . Yeah, I think that Carlos Hernandez was the top individual. He wasn’t a short guy. He was a good-looking guy of average height. Yeah, I think that if Carlos Hernandez were to ask one of the guys—‘go get this guy, he’s a colero’ or whatever, or he’s putting the make on somebody, one of the girls there that visit with them at night—I think that the other guys would go out and [do it].

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, inCorpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:31:10 (stating that Carlos Hernandez’s “weapon of choice was a knife. He always had a knife on him. And most of the time it was cutting up people or hitting them with a beer bottle or something.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Attorney for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 07:26:39–07:29:33 (“At one point [during a controversial investigation of a city councilman that Kelly conducted] my son was at home after school, and someone broke into our house. . . . And Carlos found out about it and asked it [sic] he, if I wanted him to look into it. . . . I imagine he would have beaten [the intruder] within an inch of his life. But that didn’t need to be done. . .”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi (Feb. 23, 2005) at 11:11:26–11:13:10 (describing her suspicion that Carlos Hernandez arranged for several men to assault and stab her ex-husband);

Bruce Whitman & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 2 (describing Carlos Hernandez as a “bad ass,” the “terror of [the] neighborhood,” and noting that he would “have people beat the crap out of people. . . . They [the kids who would do his bidding] looked to him as a leader.”);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 6 (“A couple of times when I was involved in politics—I was a troublemaker, and there was a threat against me. [Carlos Hernandez] volunteered to go after the guy. I said no, but he volunteered.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Pedro Olivarez, Jr., Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda (Aug. 20, 2004, and Mar. 1, 2005) at 2 (“Within a couple weeks of Dahlia’s death [a crime Hernandez had told Olivarez he was going to commit], Pedro was confronted by three Hispanic males outside the Casino Club. The men started beating Pedro and told him the beating was from Carlos [Hernandez] and if he (Pedro) said anything about the murder [of Dahlia Sauceda] he and his family would be killed.”).

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Lina Zapata, Friend of Carlos Hernandez (Nov. 20, 2004) at 2;

see also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:11:29–19:11:54:

Carlos Hernandez was the top individual. He wasn’t a short guy. He was a good-looking guy of average height. Yeah, I think that if Carlos Hernandez were to ask one of the guys—‘go get this guy, he’s a colero’ or whatever, or he’s putting the make on somebody, one of the girls there that visit with them at night—I think that the other guys would go out and—I’d see them at the store, and he’d tell them to go do this. Then I’d go inside and put the newspapers on the newspaper rack. And when I’d come back, those guys would be gone.

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Johnny Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 4, 2004) at 2 (reporting that Hernandez always carried a folding type knife and would show him [Johnny Ybañez] how to sharpen it: “In fact the knife he stabbed my mother with I had sharpened it for him.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:43:37 (noting that “[t]he attorney, Albert Peña” instructed Cruz “to go penetrate this little gang” that hung out around Carlos Hernandez, who Cruz knew because he had a newspaper delivery company that delivered papers to a market where Hernandez sometime worked the night shift and Hernandez would “have a bunch of guys there, hanging around, smoking cigarettes and what not out in front of the store”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:43:37:

I was able to go over there [to Hernandez’s apartment] at night, around two in the morning. I’d make a point to be there. They have beer, and they’d pull out a joint or two. They had all kinds of things. And they also had women, girlfriends. Hernandez had girlfriends that would go visit with him. So then I got to be one of the guys in their group. Not a member, but one of the guys that was accepted into being there. And they would introduce me as the newspaper guy. So I report to Peña the next day and tell him what was going on. He said to try to find out specifics.”

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:42:19 (“Carlos Hernandez had the apartment there, and that place always had seven, eight, nine people at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 in the morning. And this is the time with Mr. Peña, I would tell him I was going to be going there at night, because guys would come over to drink and have beer. I’d hear about it through my connection with Carlos Hernandez at the store.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:03:09 (“Carlos always had guys there, so he’s kind of a leader type person. Soft spoken. He was always smoking. He loved to smoke. He wouldn’t—the guy’s not a short guy, he’s average height. He wasn’t an ugly individual. The guy wasn’t an ugly person. Girls liked him, and I understand he had quite a few girlfriends.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:22:16 (“[Carlos Hernandez] knew he was good. And Carlos liked the spotlight, so to speak. Just like my nephew. Those guys were good-looking guys, and Jesse liked the spotlight and Carlos liked the spotlight. And they knew they could go into the Casino Club and score any time they wanted to. They both frequented the club.”);

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:49:04–03:50:30 (“Q. Do you know if Carlos Hernandez would patronize any establishments, bar establishments? A. No, just El Casino. That was the only place that Carlos used to go. Q. Carlos Hernandez was what? A. He used to go to El Casino. El Casino Club. They don’t have it open no more. . . .”);

other sources cited supra note 26.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:08:07:

[Hernandez] was never scared in that store. I think two or three years before that they had killed a young lady at a Maverick Market at the Six Points area . . . . A young lady had been killed at a Maverick Market. She’s working late hours, and stuff like this had happened. [P]eople would have trouble finding employees to work at night, but here, Carlos was never frightened. So Carlos had the huevos so to speak, the balls, to have a job like that.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:03:09–19:06:20 (“Carlos [Hernandez]. . . was always smoking. He loved to smoke”);

James S. Liebman’s Notes of Interview with Cruz Perez & Lisa Garza, Friends of Carlos Hernandez (Nov. 3, 2005) at 2 (recalling Carlos Hernandez smoking “Winstons in the red pack” in the mid–1980s);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Eddie Schilling, Nephew of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 8–9, 2004) at 1 (recalling Hernandez smoking Marlboro cigarettes in the late 1980s);

James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (July 13, 2004) at 2 (recalling that Carlos Hernandez smoked Marlboros in the late 1980s).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:03:09–19:06:20:

Carlos always had guys there, so he’s kind of a leader type person. Soft spoken. He was always smoking. He loved to smoke. He wouldn’t—the guy’s not a short guy, he’s average height. He wasn’t an ugly individual. The guy wasn’t an ugly person. Girls liked him, and I understand he had quite a few girlfriends.”; “He would always . . . snap one of those knives . . . [H]e would always, constantly (mimes flipping open a knife). And he would always have a chain, a chicano-type chain, a pachuco-type thing. And he always talked with his hands, make all kinds of demanding gestures. The guys, a lot of times, I’d be there, we’d go to talking until four, five in the morning. Then for some reason, he’d give some kind of a signal, and they’d just take off, just go.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:03:09–19:06:20;

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:07:12 (“[T]here was always beer and music and a little weed and whatever else.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:27:10 (“But later on we were able to get information on Carlos Hernandez. We found that he was really a mean guy. He was not a guy that you’d want to cross in any way. The guy was—we call them [cojones.] These guys are violent. The guy can just blow up and he’ll come at you. Maybe not himself, but he’ll put someone after you.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:11:29–19:11:54:

Carlos Hernandez was the top individual. He wasn’t a short guy. He was a good-looking guy of average height. Yeah, I think that if Carlos Hernandez were to ask one of the guys—‘go get this guy, he’s a colero’ or whatever, or he’s putting the make on somebody, one of the girls there that visit with them at night—I think that the other guys would go out and—I’d see them at the store, and he’d tell them to go do this. Then I’d go inside and put the newspapers on the newspaper rack. And when I’d come back, those guys would be gone.

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 946 (testifying that Gloria Licea used to be his girlfriend);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:45:20–18:45:41, 18:48:15–18:49:20 (“Carlos Hernandez had a girlfriend. I think they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Name . . . Gloria Licea. And Gloria Licea was very close with Carlos. I knew that they were more than friends, so to speak.”; “I remember one time that [Carlos Hernandez] kind of let me know, ‘Hey man, this is my lady, stay away.’”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi (Feb. 23, 2005) at 10:41:39, 11:13:10 (“[Carlos Hernandez] was nice to me. It didn’t last long, because when I tried to get out of the relationship, he started coming around to the house and stalking me and bugging me and stuff like that, when I tried to cut it off.”; “Q. Did you have any suspicions about who might have been behind [the stabbing of your ex-husband]? A. I thought off and on that it might have been Carlos Hernandez.”);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (July 21 and 23, 2004) at 1 (“Ms. Sanchez dated Carlos Hernandez in the late 70’s for approximately 6 to 8 months—he was dating other women as well. Ms. Sanchez’[s] brother, Johnny Longoria (deceased) was very upset with her because she was dating Carlos. He would tell her, ‘Nobody likes the guy—he is a crazy lunatic with a bad temper.’”);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 2004) at 1, 3:

Recently, GS [Gloria Sanchez] was talking to her older sister, Pat Salazar, in Corpus Christ re: having dated CH [Carlos Hernandez]. Sister said, “You’re lucky it wasn’t you [who he killed].” Sister said [Hernandez] would sneak around their house trying to get into the house. Stalking Gloria. Sister would see him hiding in the backyard in the grass. This was after Gloria had broken up, and he wouldn’t accept it. . . . After I was divorced, my ex-husband was stabbed; he said he didn’t know who did it; someone said he was stabbed to punish him for how bad he had treated/beaten Gloria. . . . She wouldn’t let husband in at home; but he came to her house stabbed; [“]I’m bleeding[“]; he was stabbed near South Bluff Park near her house [and adjacent to Carlos Hernandez’s Carrizo Street house]. . . . He said 2 guys came up and stabbed him, with an ice pick. She called [an] ambulance.

Gloria Sanchez wasn’t the only woman Carlos stalked after she left him. See James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 3 (noting that, after Janie Adrian’s daughter Margie Tapia was freed from Carlos Hernandez by the police, he stalked her).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Attorney for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 07:26:39–07:29:33 (“At one point [during a controversial investigation of a city councilman that Kelly conducted,] my son was at home after school, and someone broke into our house. . . . And Carlos found out about it and asked it he [sic], if I wanted him to look into it. . . . I imagine he would have beaten [the intruder] within an inch of his life. But that didn’t need to be done. . . . “);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 10 (“A couple of times when I was involved in politics—I was a troublemaker, and there was a threat against me. CH [Carlos Hernandez] volunteered to go after the guy. I said no, but he volunteered.”).

Eddie Bruce Whitman & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 2;

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, inCorpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:23:49–00:24:04 (“The patrol division knew who [Carlos Hernandez] was, knew his hangouts, and the people that he hung out with”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, inCorpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:26:48–00:27:32:

Well, to me, they were always hanging around South Bluff Park, which—There was a, kind of like a play room, a pool hall, and a place where a lot of people that obtained drugs and dealed [sic] in drugs hung out most of the time, and that was in the South Bluff area along Staple Street. There’s a little road that runs out towards the back, and most of these people that are looking for some type of dope or something like that hang around that particular area. And this is where I confronted these people [including Hernandez] two or three times in that general area.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:41:15–18:43:37:

It’s a Maverick Market store . . . The store manager, or store clerk, or whatever they called them, happened to be Carlos Hernandez . . . . [E]very time we’d go there to deliver papers at three or four in the morning, he’d have a bunch of guys there, hanging around, smoking cigarettes and what not out in front of the store . . . I got into this group to where they knew me a little bit better. And eventually I was able to go to Carlos Hernandez’s apartment on Louisiana and one of those streets off Louisiana towards Six Points area. . . .

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Cruz, Private Investigator for Defendant Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 19:22:16 (noting that Carlos Hernandez frequently patronized the Casino Club);

Bruce Whitman & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective (Aug. 25, 2004) at 2 (recalling that Carlos Hernandez frequented the Casino Club and a bar near South Bluff Park).

Many people remembered Carlos Hernandez at the Casino Club. See, e.g., Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 13:54:03–13:55:06 (“Q. And who else went to the Casino club that you know? A. A bunch of people that I knew, Carlos Hernandez, Joe Oevo [?], I had friends.”);

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Mary Margaret Tapia, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in San Antonio, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 04:46:10–04:46:30 (“Q. I’m asking if you saw [Carlos Hernandez] at the club? A. Saw him at the club, never spoke to him, but saw him.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:49:04–03:50:30 (“Q. Do you know if Carlos Hernandez would patronize any establishments, bar establishments? A. No, just El Casino. That was the only place that Carlos used to go. Q. Carlos Hernandez was what? A. He used to go to El Casino. El Casino Club. They don’t have it open no more. Oh no, there was another bar, El Santa Fe. It was by Carlos’s house.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Jesse Garza, Defendant in Dahlia Saucedo Trial (Aug. 12, 2004) at 2 (“[Jesse] hung out at the Casino Club most nights it was opened. [Jesse] liked the ladies, he liked to dance and hang out with his friends including Pedro Olivarez. On this particular night … [a]s they walked away from the club a van pulled up. Dahlia was driving [and] asked [Jesse] and Pedro if they wanted to drive around with her? There was a man sitting in the front passenger seat when Dahlia drove up (later to be identified as Carlos Hernandez).”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda (Aug. 20, 2004; Mar. 1, 2005) at 1 (“Pedro Olivarez was a regular patron at the Casino Club in 1989. Pedro hung out there with his friends including Jessie Garza. The usual activity at the Club was to drink, dance and visit with friends. One particular evening . . . [a]fter the Casino Club closed for the night Pedro and Jessie stepped outside the club. A brown van pulled up driven by Dahlia with a Hispanic male sitting in the front passenger seat [later to be identified as Carlos Hernandez].”);

other sources cited supra note 26 and accompanying text.

Chapter 6
Page: 12 of 17