HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 7
Page: 5 of 18
Text: A | A | A
All Chapter 7 Footnotes

After a day of testifying, with still more cross-examination left to go, Olivarez had had enough. He didn't show up in court the next morning. The judge sent the marshals out to get him and demanded an explanation. Olivarez explained that he was afraid someone "might beat me up or kick my ass or stab me or something" for testifying.79 The judge held him in contempt and sentenced him to thirty days in jail.80

Back on the witness stand, Olivarez's confusion grew. He admitted he had lied to police when he first said he didn't know anything about the killing.81

Olivarez gave five or six different explanations for his flip-flop the day trial was about to start. He first said that, weeks earlier, he'd been beaten up at the Casino Club by some guy named "David and a couple of friends of somebody else." But Olivarez admitted he had no idea whether Garza had sent the guys or whether the beating had to do with the case.82

Olivarez said he had recanted his claim that Garza was the killer (only, then, to recant his recantation) to get Peña off his back.83 His testimony about this second explanation gives a flavor of how hard it was to understand what he was saying:

Q: And you told [prosecutor Botary] that Jesse had not killed Dahlia?

A: I didn't told him that.

Q: You didn't say that?

A: No.

Q: Do you see that lady [pointing to the court stenographer, who had observed Olivarez tell Botary, just before the trial was to start, that Jesse hadn't killed Dahlia]?

A: Yes, because I wanted to get rid of you because I didn't want nothing against you.

Q: In other words you . . . lied to me?

A: Yes.

Later, Olivarez abandoned his initial reasons and offered others—at one point saying he lied because he was mad at his girlfriend:

Q: You were mad at your girlfriend. That's why you told me that Jesse had not killed Dahlia last Thursday?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Is that why you also told the lady [the court stenographer] that Jesse had not killed Dahlia, because you were mad at your girlfriend?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And you also told Kenneth Botary that Jesse had not killed Dahlia because you were mad at your girlfriend?

A: Yes, sir.84

Olivarez finally said he didn't know why he lied,85 and said he had no idea what it meant to be under oath when you testify.86

* * * * *

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 108–09 ("Court: Alright, Mr. Olivarez, do you want to give an explanation of why you weren't here this morning? Mr. Olivarez: I was afraid, sir, because even if Jesse gets out or his friends [sic] brothers, you know, and I told on them and they might still do it again, they might beat me up or kick my ass or stab me or something is why. I was afraid.").

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 109 ("Court: You have caused a considerable delay and expense to this county by not being here this morning. We have had to recess this case and start it Monday, so I am going to find you in contempt and sentence you to thirty days in the County Jail.").

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 227 ("Q. Did you lie to the police the first time they talked to you? A. Yes, sir. Q. What did you tell them? Did you tell them that you didn't know anything about it? A. Yes, sir. Q. Why did you lie to the police then? A. I don't know. Q. I thought you said you never tell a lie? A. I lied to them because I didn't point the finger at Jesse, but I took the test and they said they knew that I knew who was the guy and everything.").

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 4–5:

Q. Did you say that it was not true because you were afraid of something?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who were you afraid of?

A. Jesse and his friends.

Q. Has anything happened since you gave this statement to make you afraid?

A. They hit me all over and I got beat up.

Q. When did you get beat up?

A. At the Casino.

Q. When?

A. Friday and Saturday and Sunday.

Q. Of this week, this past week?

A. Three weeks and last month.

Q. Who beat you up?

A. David and a couple of friends of somebody else.

Q. Alright. Why did you connect that with Jesse Garza? Do those people know Jesse Garza?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did they say anything about Jesse Garza and your testifying?

A. No, sir.

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 8–9 ("Q. And you told him that Jesse had not killed Dahlia? A. I didn't told him that. Q. You didn't say that? A. No. Q. Do you see that lady? A. Yes, because I wanted to get rid of you because I didn't want nothing against you. Q. In other words you lied to me? A. I came to him because he told me to go up to the second floor because I lied to you. Q. You lied to me? A. Yes.").

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 234 ("Q. You were mad at your girlfriend. That's why you told me that Jesse had not killed Dahlia last Thursday? A. Yes, sir. Q. Is that why you also told the lady that came to the door that Jesse had not killed Dahlia because you were mad at your girlfriend? A. Yes, sir. Q. And you also told Kenneth Botary that Jesse had not killed Dahlia because you were mad at your girlfriend? A. Yes, sir.").

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1130 ("Q. But you told Mr. Botary [that he did not see Jesse Garza kill Dahlia Sauceda] when I wasn't there, didn't you? A. Yes, sir. Q. Was I on your back when you were talking to him? A. No, sir. Q. Why did you still tell him? A. I don't know, sir.").

Pedro Olivarez, Witness Against Jesse Garza in Trial for Murdering Dahlia Sauceda, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1131 ("Q. Do you know what being under oath means? A. No, sir. Q. Mr. Botary asked you if you knew what it meant to be under oath, and you said yes. You don't know what being under oath means? A. No.").

Chapter 7
Page: 5 of 18