HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 6
Page: 5 of 17
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Carlos “looked like the demon when he was under the influence,” Diana Gomez said, describing the man she lived with for several months in 1985. When he was sober, he “was totally the opposite,” she said. He would go off and do a day’s job. But at night, when he drank, he became “an evil person.”97 And drinking was an everyday thing.98

Hernandez wasn’t physically imposing—5’7” and about 160 pounds99—but he scared a lot of people.100 He had a violent charisma.

“[W]e were all afraid of Carlos,” his nephew John Michael Schilling told an investigator much later when he was interviewed in prison.101 “I was scared of him,” a lawyer who represented him acknowledged in an interview around the same time. Carlos was “dangerous, very dangerous.” He “talked shit.”102

“That guy brought a lot of fear in other people,” Freddy said. His wife Paula was scared of her brother Carlos. Their other brother, Javier, was scared of him, too,103 and for good reason. Javier once showed up at Paula’s house covered in blood after Carlos ended a dispute by stabbing his younger brother in the leg.104 That incident was John Michael Schilling’s most vivid recollection of his uncle Carlos, but not the only one. He also recalled his mother telling him his uncle “had carved an ‘X’ on someone’s back” with a knife.105

Even people who didn’t know Carlos were afraid of him. Partly it was the look in his eyes. He had “a look of real hatred,” recalled Paul Rivera, a Corpus cop who arrested Carlos several times.106 Partly it was Hernandez’s violent reputation.107

Everybody around the neighborhood knew what Carlos was like, his brother-in-law Schilling said. “He’d come around, [and] everybody would be real quiet. No one would say nothing. They didn’t even want to start a conversation with him.”108

Carlos’s long-time lawyer, Jon Kelly, remembers walking with him into a boisterous bar in the Hispanic part of Corpus. Suddenly, Kelly said, everyone got quiet. The guys playing pool gave up the table to Carlos.109 “You knew . . . people were saying, ‘That’s Carlos Hernandez,’” the criminal defense lawyer recalled with a touch of admiration.110

Another time, Kelly witnessed a confrontation between Hernandez and another man at a bar. “‘I beat up his girlfriend,’” Carlos told Kelly, explaining why the man was hostile. There were fists and knives, and ugly things were said. “I knew it was time to leave,” Kelly recalled.111

Kelly told Hernandez not to come around his home. It scared people, the lawyer said. “It wasn’t how he acted, but how he looked. You could sense the evil.”112

* * * * *

As Margie Tapia had quickly learned, Carlos mainly directed his double-edged charisma towards women. Freddy Schilling was another expert on Carlos’s treatment of women, observing up close Carlos’s violent protectiveness of his sister Paula,113 his relationship with Paula’s close friend Gloria Licea, and especially what happened to Dahlia Sauceda, a woman Freddy and Carlos dated at the same time—an arrangement that ended badly for everyone but Carlos.114

Carlos had a knack for getting out of trouble. He bragged about it and believed he had a special karma. Things would go poorly for others, usually women, but not for him. He would escape. He was untouchable, a cat with nine lives.115

At first, Freddy explained, Carlos was loving towards women. But then he became “jealous, very constantly haunting them. [They] couldn’t go there, couldn’t do this. His sexual toy.”116 Women feared him, Freddy said. “He would actually scare them to the point to where they couldn’t leave him. That’s the way he was.”117

Pet. for Divorce, In The Matter of the Marriage of Rosa Anzaldua Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez, No. 83–5525-H (Nueces Cty. Ct., 347th Judicial Dist. Nov. 7, 1983) at 4–5 (“[Rosa] prays that the Court immediately grant a temporary restraining order . . . . [Carlos Hernandez] has a violent and ungovernable temper and is unpredictable, and [Rosa] has reason to be and is in fear of [Hernandez].”);

Freddy Schilling, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 870, 871, 875–76 (“When [Carlos Hernandez is] drinking, he talks a lot, [and is] just kind of violent”; describing incident when he [Freddy Schilling] was asleep and woke up to find Carlos Hernandez beating him; “‘Q. When [Carlos] gets drunk, does he like to fight?’ ‘A. If you’re around him. If I would have been around him, he probably would have.’”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 23, 2005) at 11:24:50 (noting that other people “were afraid of [Carlos Hernandez]. And I think that especially his brothers Javier and Efrain, I think they were afraid of him.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:24:47 (“I’ll be honest with you, I was really scared of this dude [Carlos Hernandez].”)

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi’s Notes on Interview with Sylvia Hernandez, Sister-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez (Oct. 27, 2004) at 1 (describing Carlos Hernandez as having a “mean face” and noting that she was scared of him);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 2–4, 5 (“People gave him [Carlos Hernandez] a wide berth. . . . He could be frightening. I saw that.”; “I enjoyed dealing with him [Hernandez]. I treated him with respect. He did things for me. Only problem was when he came around to my house and scared people, and I had to ask him to stay away. It wasn’t how he acted but how he looked. You could sense the evil.”);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Gilbert Limon, Acquaintance of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 2 (stating that Carlos Hernandez “was strange, especially when he was drunk. He always carried a ‘Buck Knife’. . . . [T]he guy just starts carving on his stomach with his knife.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Maria Martinez, Neighbor of Hernandez Family (July 22, 2005) at 1 (describing Carlos Hernandez as a “mean man”);

Bruce Whitman’s Note on Interview with Eddie Schilling, Nephew of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 8–9, 2004) at 1 (noting that he observed Carlos Hernandez “do crazy things including fighting, yelling, throwing things, slamming doors all of which frightened Eddie and his siblings”);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with John Michael Schilling, Nephew Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 2 (“Mr. Schilling recalls that growing up everyone was afraid of [his uncle] Carlos [Hernandez]. He stated, ‘I just remember we were all afraid of him.’”);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Johnny Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 4, 2004) at 1 (“Once Carlos started drinking he got real dangerous and that’s when you had to stay away from him. I know this because I would drink with him—he bought me beer.”).

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with John Michael Schilling, Nephew Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 2.

James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Bill May, Corpus Christi Criminal Defense Lawyer and Former Assistant District Attorney (July 13, 2004) at 2 (“I was scared of him. Said shit that was totally incomprehensible. I was scared of him—dangerous, very dangerous.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 15:02:08.

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with John Michael Schilling, Nephew Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 1–2:

Mr. Schilling was close to his uncle Javier and liked him but he was not fond of his uncle Carlos. His impression of Carlos Hernandez was that he was a “violent man.” He recalls on one occasion that Javier showed up at his mother’s home covered with blood. He told her that he and Carlos had been drinking and Carlos stabbed him in the leg with a knife. When his mother asked Javier why he allowed him to do that he stated, “Because he’s my brother.”

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with John Michael Schilling, Nephew Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 2:

Mr. Schilling recalls that growing up everyone was afraid of [his uncle] Carlos [Hernandez]. He stated, “I just remember we were all afraid of him . . . . But the one thing I do remember was that he was always sharpening his buck knife”. . . . I asked Mr. Schilling if anyone in his family had ever talked about his uncle Carlos killing anyone. He stated, “I was never informed of any killings either by my mom or Carlos. I was really young and I don’t think they would have talked to me about that. However, I do recall my mother telling me that Carlos had carved an ‘X’ on someone’s back.”

James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Paul Rivera, Corpus Christi Police Detective (July 14, 2004) at 2;

see Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Johnny Arsuaga, Cousin of Carlos Hernandez and John Arsuaga (Nov. 3, 2005) at 1:

Johnny’s mother is sister to Fidela Hernandez making Johnny Carlos Hernandez’s cousin. Johnny is 44 years old and remembers Fidela and her family. Josephine visited Fidela when Fidela was living on Carrizo St. Johnny’s father refused to visit Fidela saying Fidela and her kids were crazy and bad. Johnny remembers Carlos Hernandez as follows: he was crazy, you could see it in his eyes; didn’t trust him; he had no respect for anyone; couldn’t fight with his fist; always carried a knife in a pouch on his belt; first went to prison when he was 17 years old.

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

How [Gloria Sanchez] hooked up with CH [Carlos Hernandez]: Gloria got married, then was separated. Freddy (Schilling) was friend of her brother Johnny Longoria. GS [Gloria Sanchez] met [Carlos Hernandez’s sister] Paula thru [sic] Johnny; Paula introduced her to CH [Carlos Hernandez]. “My ex would come and Carlos Hernandez would hide in the bedroom.” Gloria’s daughter recently remembered him hiding their [sic] from her dad. Daughter also remembers Carlos had a crazy look in his eyes. Like guys at the carnivals. “Never nice.”

See also other sources cited supra note 93.

Pet. for Divorce, In The Matter of the Marriage of Rosa Anzaldua Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez, No. 83–5525-H (Nueces Cty. Ct., 347th Judicial Dist. Nov. 7, 1983) at 5 (citing Carlos Hernandez’s “violent and ungovernable temper”);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 2, 4 (describing the “wide berth” people gave Carlos Hernandez “when he got angry”; “In a cantina, he was given leeway by people. The only people who would challenge him were looking for a fight. Cantina etiquette was to give him plenty of room.”);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Gilbert Limon, Acquaintance of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 2 (recalling that Carlos Hernandez “was strange, especially when he was drunk. He always carried a ‘Buck Knife’. . . . [T]he guy just starts carving on his stomach with his knife.”);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with John Michael Schilling, Nephew Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 12, 2004) at 1–2:

Mr. Schilling was close to his uncle Javier and liked him but he was not fond of his uncle Carlos. His impression of Carlos Hernandez was that he was a “violent man.” He recalls on one occasion that Javier showed up at his mother’s home covered with blood. He told her that he and Carlos had been drinking and Carlos stabbed him in the leg with a knife. When his mother asked Javier why he allowed him to do that he stated, “Because he’s my brother.”

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Johnny Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 4, 2004) at 1 (“Once Carlos started drinking he got real dangerous and that’s when you had to stay away from him.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:32:05–07:32:35 (“Q. Now did Carlos Hernandez drink? A. Yes, a lot. He drinked a lot. And he was kind of like very—When he was drunk, the world was his. The world was his. It was like everything in the neighborhood belonged to Carlos. We couldn’t say nothing.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:34:55 (“Everybody around the neighborhood knew what Carlos was like. Nobody really wanted to mess with him. He’d come around, everybody would be real quiet. No one would say nothing. They didn’t even want to start a conversation with him.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Attorney for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:33:16 (“The men, when we were walking [into a bar], were rather boisterous around the pool table. When Carlos was seen it became very quiet. And, you know, you knew that something, that people were saying, ‘That’s Carlos Hernandez.’ I got that feeling.”);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 2–4:

People gave him [Carlos Hernandez] a wide berth. . . . [Hernandez was a] Tough guy. Mexican. Let it be known he was tough. Nobody bothered him. If he chose to play pool in a Cantina, people moved away. They let him play. Went drinking at a bar with Carlos. . . . [In] a cantina, he was given leeway by people. The only people who would challenge him were looking for a fight. Cantina etiquette was to give him plenty of room. . . . He could be frightening. I saw that. Someone he didn’t like, and vice versa; CH responded in kind. I knew it was time to leave. . . . I do remember in a cantina people saying, “you represent Carlos, he’s a bad guy.”

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 8:

A. I saw in the reaction to him by people [at the Cantina] that they gave him some berth.”

Q. Which Cantina?

A. It wasn’t an awful place. On Port a little further out. Wasn’t all cement bricks; had real tables and chairs; pool; people there appeared to know him. He asked where do you want to go. Carlos was with me; not frightening [for me to go]; clearly a cantina, not where lawyers would normally go, ever.

Q. Why did you go?

A. He [Carlos Hernandez] wanted me, too. Maybe he got me information. I offered him money for it. He said no, you’ll do m[e] a favor some time; buy me a beer. So he took me to the bar; I asked him where he wanted to go.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Attorney for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) 06:33:16 (“The men, when we were walking [into a bar], were rather boisterous around the pool table. When Carlos was seen it became very quiet. And, you know, you knew . . . that people were saying, ‘That’s Carlos Hernandez.’ I got that feeling.”);

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 4 (“I do remember in a cantina people saying, ‘you represent Carlos, he’s a bad guy.’”).

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 4–5 (discussing a confrontation in a bar Kelly observed when he went there with Carlos Hernandez: “He [Carlos Hernandez] said, “I beat up his girlfriend” (explaining why someone was hostile to him in a cantina). . . . I remember the confrontation; fists, knives; menacing. I knew it was time to leave. I d[id]n’t know what would happen. Ugly things were said. He [Hernandez] wouldn’t back down usually.”; “He [Hernandez] could be frightening. I saw that. Someone he didn’t like, and vice versa; CH [Carlos Hernandez] responded in kind. I knew it was time to leave.”).

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 5:

Carlos was not liked. Why? I imagine because he was dangerous. He was not the prince of peace. I enjoyed dealing with him. I treated him with respect. He did things for me. Only problem was when he came around to my house and scared people, and I had to ask him to stay away. It wasn’t how he acted but how he looked. You could sense the evil. You felt like you couldn’t trust him. But he acted obsequious when he came to the house.

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman’s Notes on Interview with Gloria Sanchez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 2004), at 1 (“Paula [Hernandez] and CH [Carlos Hernandez] were really close. . . . When GS [Gloria Sanchez] was going out with CH, Paula wanted me to stay with him.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Eddie Schilling, Nephew of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 8–9, 2004) at 2 (“[Carlos Hernandez] and Eddie’s mother Paula were ‘very close’ and [Carlos] was protective of Paula.”).

See infra notes 220–232 and accompanying text; infra Chapter 7, notes 135–138, 158–159, 169, 215–217 and accompanying text.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:32:05 – 07:33:28:

Q. Now did Carlos Hernandez drink?

A. Yes, a lot. He drinked a lot. And he was kind of like very—When he was drunk, the world was his. The world was his. It was like everything in the neighborhood belonged to Carlos. We couldn’t say nothing. He was always very abusive. . . .

Q. And how about when he was drunk. Would it change how he spoke about things?

A. Yes it sure did. He said things he shouldn’t have said. Things that weren’t, that I felt we didn’t have to know. . . .

Q. And what was his tone[;] why was he saying these things?

A. Like he was very, like he was somebody big, somebody that people wouldn’t say nothing to him. That he could do things and people wouldn’t say nothing.

See infra Chapter 7 notes 200–203 and accompanying text [ca. n.199]. Carlos Hernandez was arrested multiple times after his release from prison in 1978—including for parole violations such as possessing a weapon—but never had his parole revoked. See, e.g., Arrest Report for Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (July 29, 1978) at 1 (arresting Carlos Hernandez for public intoxication and for violating a weapons ordinance by carrying a fixed blade knife);

Arrest Report for Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Aug. 19, 1978) (arresting Carlos Hernandez for assault);

Arrest Report for Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Jan. 10, 1980) (arresting Carlos Hernandez for outstanding warrants);

Arrest Report for Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Oct. 26, 1981) at 1 (arresting Carlos Hernandez for threatening his girlfriend with a knife);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, inCorpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:31:10–00:33:20 (“Carlos Hernandez was almost always assaulting women and assaulting guys. And his 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 Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:32:14.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:32:14.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:48:56 (“He looked like the demon when he was under the influence, Carlos Hernandez, in other words. It was totally the opposite of when he was sober. When Carlos Hernandez was sober it was different, he would go and do a day’s job, but then at night it was like an evil person. And this was an every day thing, drinking, drinking, it was an every day thing.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Dina Ybañez, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 7, 2004) at 03:46:13 (“He never looked normal. When he was drunk he looked uglier. He had an evil look on his face . . . .”);

other source cited infra note 98.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Diana Gomez, Girlfriend of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 02:48:56 (“He looked like the demon when he was under the influence, Carlos Hernandez, in other words. It was totally the opposite of when he was sober. When Carlos Hernandez was sober it was different, he would go and do a day’s job, but then at night it was like an evil person. And this was an every day thing, drinking, drinking, it was an every day thing.”).

Carlos DeLuna and Carlos Hernandez Height and Weight Comparison (Jan. 25, 2010) (collecting descriptions of Carlos Hernandez’s height and weight at various times as recorded by the police in arrest reports, and indicating, for example, that Hernandez he was 5’7” and 160 pounds at multiple times in 1983).

Chapter 6
Page: 5 of 17