HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 7
Page: 7 of 18
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Peña then called Freddy and Paula Schilling to testify about Freddy's affair with Dahlia, how badly it tore up Paula, and Carlos's angry reaction to Freddy's desertion of his sister and Dahlia's disrespect for her.102 Freddy testified that Carlos was constantly violent towards him, saying "I did this to his sister and that he is going to do this to me and do that."103 It wasn't just running off to Houston with Dahlia, Freddy said, but "because I mess around . . . generally" with a lot of women.104

That, Peña suggested to the jury, was the meaning of the 'X.' It was a message to Freddy and his girlfriends about what happens to people who make trouble for Carlos Hernandez's sister.105

Freddy then revealed another way he believed his brother-in-law had nearly taken him down. Everyone in the neighborhood knew about Freddy's affair with Dahlia and about her and Paula's confrontations outside the Schilling home. The last of those was just two days before Dahlia got killed, when Dahlia called Paula a bitch, and Freddy warned her that "I was going to knock the hell out of her if she came around" again.106

Freddy was the first person arrested by the Corpus police on suspicion of killing Dahlia. Without an ironclad alibi from the boss at his night job and a clean bill of health from a lie detector test, Schilling himself might have been in the dock at that trial.107 Years later, Paula's illegitimate daughter Pricilla, who lived at Fidela's house with Carlos, recalled an angry fight in which Freddy accused Carlos of setting him up to take the blame for Dahlia's death.108

* * * * *

The best witness for Peña's defense, however, was Carlos Hernandez himself.

Peña began his examination by asking Hernandez to repeat to the jury his last story to the police: that he had sex with Dahlia in the van earlier that night but last saw her when she left him off at Fidela's house, hours before she was murdered.109

Ruthlessly, then, Peña took Hernandez's story apart, making sure everyone in the courtroom knew how much he enjoyed showing Carlos up.110

Peña repeatedly asked Carlos why he lied to Detective Rivera about not seeing Dahlia for months, and only came clean when confronted with his fingerprint on the beer can and his shorts in the back of the van. Peña repeatedly answered his own question, accusing Carlos of murdering Dahlia.111

When Hernandez wavered in explaining why he lied—he didn't want to get involved;112 he was afraid of having his parole revoked for drinking with Dahlia and carrying a knife;113 he was afraid of going back to prison where he'd been brutalized;114 he couldn't think of anything else to say115—Peña demanded that he pick his favorite excuse.116

When Hernandez did—claiming he'd forgotten about the sexual encounter until his fingerprint and undershorts reminded him—Peña pressed him on how, then, he was able to recall in such detail what "really" happened.117 Carlos, for example, pinpointed the time he left the 7-Eleven and ran into Dahlia the first time as 10:40 p.m. Where, Peña asked, did that certainty come from, after not remembering the incident at all?118

Hernandez answered that the details came flooding back after he'd reflected on them overnight.119 Peña pointed out that Hernandez gave Rivera both statements within hours on the same day.120 Indeed, according to police records121 and Detective Rivera's testimony,122 only two events occurred in between the contradictory statements: Hernandez more or less flunked a polygraph test,123 and he was coached by Fidela on the phone to say he'd been with Dahlia "earlier" than when she was killed.124

Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 858 – 875.

Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 870–71:

Q. Have you had the opportunity of observing Carlos when he's been drinking?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you had the opportunity of observing him when he's not been drinking?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Does he appear to be—be the same person when he's drinking as when he's not drinking?

A. No, sir.

Q. What is the difference?

A. When he's drinking, he talks a lot, just kind of violent.

Q. Violent?

Q. Yes, sir, with me.

Q. With you?

A. Yes, well, you know, around him, if he is drinking, he's always bringing up something, you know, about the past, that I did this to his sister and that he is going to do this to me and do that and all this.

Q. That you did what to his sister, that you were going out with Dahlia?

A. Well, yes, not only Dahlia.

Q. And also that you had gone off to Houston with Dahlia?

A. Yes, sir. Not exactly because I had gone off with Dahlia; because I mess around and stuff like that.

Q. Just generally speaking?

A. Yes, sir.

See supra note 103.

Joseph Rupp, Nueces County Medical Examiner, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 699–700 ("The single marking ['X'] in the mind of the individual served some purpose. . . . [T]here must have been a reason to inflict this single marking. It has a meaning. The exact meaning, I'm not sure of, but it would indicate that this was just not a random thing. This was a mark on her to show either something or him something or someone else something.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Albert Peña, Lawyer for Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:03:24 ("And I asked [the medical examiner, Dr. Joseph Rupp] about the 'X', 'What does that mean, you being an expert and . . . . he said, 'What that meant is he was making a statement to the other group of people . . ., and that is, 'Don't cross me, it will happen to you.'.")

Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Jesse Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 873–74:

Q. The weekend of November 20, the weekend prior to November 20, the date that Dahlia was found—

A. Yes, sir.

Q.—did you have occasion to talk to Dahlia?

A. No, sir.

Q. All right, did you see Dahlia anywhere?

A. No, sir.

Q. You no longer were seeing Dahlia?

A. No, sir, I had told her to stop coming around my house because before that, you know, it was a couple of days before that my wife and her had an argument and Dahlia called her and called her a bitch, and so my wife called her back and called her a bitch and Dahlia called back again and said she was going to call the police . . . .

Q. Well, did you come home that weekend and observe your wife crying?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did you do after you saw your wife crying?

A. I got mad and I called Dahlia and I tried to get ahold of her and her stepmother, Vicka, told me that she had gone to Houston.

Q. And what did you tell Vicka?

A. I told her I didn't want her coming around there because I was going to knock the hell out of her if she came around.

Q. You were going to knock the hell out of who?

A. Dahlia.

Q. And you told her this the weekend before [Dahlia] was found [dead]?

A. Yes, sir.

Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 876, 878 ("Q. Now where were you the morning that Dahlia was killed? A. Working. . . . Q. To your knowledge, had the police verified that? A. Yes, sir, they called my boss up. . . . Q. And to your knowledge, have the police talked to the people [patronizing Maverick Market, where Freddy worked,] and verified that you were there? A. Yes, sir.");

Edwin DeSha, Jr., Polygraph Report of Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, Texas Dep't of Pub. Safety (Nov. 20, 1979) at 1 ("Evaluation of this subject's polygrams failed to reveal to this examiner any significant criteria that would indicate deception at questions pertaining to knowledge of and/or participation in this offense.").

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 3, 2004) at 1 ("They were fighting about who was going to take the fault for killing [Dahlia Sauceda]. My uncle [Carlos Hernandez] got angry, violent. [Hernandez] thought Freddy was going to tell on [him].");

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 06:24:23–06:24:51 ("I think my step-father [Freddy] believed that my uncle Carlos had committed the crime [murdering Dahlia Sauceda]. . . . [A]pparently [other] people thought that my [step-]father [Freddy Schilling] had committed the crime, because I guess he was dating her or seeing her.");

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez (Oct. 29, 2004) at 3 (describing a fight between Carlos and Freddy Schilling after Dahlia's murder).

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 930 ("[Q.] When is the last time you saw [Dahlia]? A. The night before her incident. Q. The night before? A. Yes, sir.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Albert Peña, Lawyer for Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 17:50:33–17:52:00 ("But in any event, I had a lot of fun with him. He was about ready to come out of there with that knife at me. I got him real angry at me. He obviously had a hot temper, which played right into my hands.").

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1003–06:

Q. During your conversation did Paul Rivera tell you that he knew you were with her that night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he tell you that he found a fingerprint matching your known print on a can of beer in the van?

A. Yes, sir, he did.

Q. Did that—was he telling you these things to try to get you to confess to him that you were with her?

A. Yes, sir. . . .

Q. Did he tell you that he found a pair of undershorts in the van?

A. Yes, sir. . . .

Q. And when did you remember [that you were with Dahlia the night she was killed]?

A. I think it was the following day.

Q. What caused you to remember?

A. After so much interrogation . . . I rested on it, thought about it and all.

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1048, 1053 ("Q. All those three X's are pretty close to each other? A. Yes, sir, they are. Q. Those X's are those the same type of X you made on Dahlia Sauceda's back? A. I didn't do any such thing, sir."; "Q. The reason that you wanted to leave fast is that you had already killed her? A. No, sir, I didn't. Q. You hadn't killed her yet? A. I didn't kill her, sir.").

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1032 ("A. I just don't want to get involved with people. Q. Even if it meant you being charged with the offense of murder? A. I don't know, sir.").

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1007:

Q. Okay, my question is were you or were you not trying to hide the fact that you were with [Dahlia Sauceda] that night to Paul Rivera when he was interrogating you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were trying to deny it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Well, were you trying to deny it because you knew you were with her and you just tried to hide that fact?

A. No, sir.

Q. Well, I don't understand [why Hernandez lied to Detective Rivera]. Why don't you explain it to me? A. I was scared at the moment, frightened for what happened, the trouble she's caused since I was on parole and still on parole, and I was frightened anything could happen to me.

See supra notes 28, 31, 113; supra Chapter 6, notes 47–49, 173–174 and accompanying text.

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1007–08 ("Q. Well, did you tell Paul Rivera that you were with a friend by the name of Yoland [sic] Rodriguez that night? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you, in fact, with Yolanda Rodriguez? A. No, sir. Q. Why did you tell him that? A. I couldn't think of anything else, sir.").

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 950 ("Q. Well, you can't have it both ways. If you told your mother you didn't remember [what happened when he (Hernandez) was with Dahlia the night she was killed] and you were telling her the truth, but you didn't tell the police because you didn't want to get involved, well, which is it? Was it because you didn't remember or was it because you didn't want to get involved? A. I didn't remember at the time, sir.").

See supra note 111.

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 958, 1042–43 ("Q. And isn't it true that in the statement you said ten o'clock is when you first saw Dahlia? A. I told him ten or 10:30. Q. Doesn't your statement say ten o'clock? A. Yes, sir. Q. Why did you tell him ten or 10:30; you didn't remember you had seen the clock in the back?").

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1006 ("Q. And when did you remember [that you were with Dahlia the night she was killed]? A. I think it was the following day. Q. What caused you to remember? A. After so much interrogation . . . I rested on it, thought about it and all.").

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 935–36 ("I'm asking you, had you signed a statement when you talked to your mother? A. I think so. . . . Q. Well, do you remember telling your mother you didn't remember being with Dahlia that night? A. Yes, sir, I did. . . . Q. Okay, so is that what you put down in your statement, that you didn't remember? A. No, sir. Q. So obviously your statement was made after you had talked to your mother, right?").

Paul Rivera, Corpus Christi Police Detective, Supplementary Report (Dec. 14, 1979) at 2:

Reporting officers went to the DPS building and Mr. Eddie De Shea [sic] gave subject two polygraph tests and according to Mr. Eddie De Shea [sic] the results were inconclusive. Reporting officers then brought subject Carlos Hernandez back to the police station and he was re-interviewed reference the homicide involving Dahlia Sauceda. After a brief interview, subject Hernandez stated that he did in fact see Dahlia Sauceda the night prior to her body being found dead.

Paul Rivera, Corpus Christi Police Detective, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 1233 ("Q. When did you first speak with [Hernandez]? A. On December 10, 1979.");

Carlos Hernandez, Statement to Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Dec. 10, 1979) at 1.

See supra notes 29, 36 and accompanying text.

Carlos Hernandez, Trial Test., Texas v. Garza, No. 79-CR–881-C (Nueces Cty., 94th Dist. Tex. Jan. 31, 1980) at 949–50, 1040 ("[Q.] You did tell your mother you didn't remember [what happened when he (Hernandez) was with Dahlia the night she was killed]? A. I didn't. I told her I didn't remember. . . . Q. That's when your mother suggested to you: 'Well, tell the police that you saw her earlier. Tell them that you saw her earlier.' Your mother told you that? A. This year earlier. Q. But your mother told you to tell them that, didn't she? A. Yes, sir."; "Q. Your statement, if I understand it, is you were with her earlier, like your mother advised you to tell them you were with her earlier. Were you or were you not with her earlier? A. I was, sir.").

Chapter 7
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