HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 8
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All Chapter 8 Footnotes

That's why Janie was irritated at Carlos for running his mouth. It was dangerous to learn "more than what we were supposed to have known"—especially when it was Hernandez himself you knew something about.68 Hernandez "would really really remember stuff that people would do him," Janie recalled, "and he would go back" for them.69

Luckily, Janie said, the police never came around asking if anyone knew anything about Hernandez and Wanda Lopez.70 Although Carlos was bragging about it up and down Carrizo Street, they never came around. It was decades before anyone did.71

"Maybe I should have said something at the time," Janie said, "but we're not like that. We're not."72

Asked her opinion, twenty years later, about who killed Wanda Lopez, Janie said "Carlos Hernandez," because that's what had "come out of his mouth . . . . There was a stabbing and her name was Wanda Lopez."73 When she heard that, she said, "It came into my head, how could this be?" But she decided it was none of her business. "I mean, he shouldn't be saying nothing like that."74

* * * * *

When Pricilla Hernandez was thirteen, she left Fidela's house on Carrizo Street to go live with her mother, Paula. When that didn't work out, Pricilla next moved in with her father, Beto Vela, and his wife, Linda Perales Vela.

Beto told Linda that he didn't even know Paula had a daughter by him until Pricilla showed up on his doorstep once when she was twelve years old.75 Pricilla remembered Fidela pointing Beto out to her as her father, and encouraging Pricilla to go live with him.76

Beto and Linda took Pricilla in, but that didn't work out, either. Pricilla's new parents discovered that she was pregnant, and believed the father was their own fifteen-year-old son, Pricilla's half-brother Paul. Beto and Linda kicked them both out after catching them in bed together.77 Linda ended up raising Pricilla's daughter78 and maintained an on-again, off-again relationship with Pricilla herself.79

Over the years, Pricilla told Linda a lot about what went on in Fidela's house on Carrizo Street and what her uncle Carlos Hernandez did to her. That helped Linda make sense of her stepdaughter. Knowing that Pricilla had seen men coming in and out of the house for sex with her grandmother, and that she'd been raped by her own blood relative, Linda figured the girl was bound to end up doing something like that herself.80

Strangely, Linda Perales Vela was also connected to Carlos DeLuna's family. She met Carlos's brother Manuel in church when she was ten, around 1970. In the mid–70s, they began dating and hanging out at the Casino Club. Linda met Manuel's brother, Carlos, at the club. He was "real hyper," she remembered—"not a fighting person," she said, but "he talked fast and drank a lot."81

In 1983, Linda heard that her name had come up in connection with the killing of Wanda Lopez at the Sigmor Shamrock gas station. Carlos DeLuna had been arrested for the crime, and he had said something about running into Linda and her sister Mary Ann at the skating rink that night. Linda heard about this from Mary Ann, who went to court to testify about it.

No one had contacted Linda at the time.82 Reflecting back on it later, she doubted she saw DeLuna at the skating rink that night, but she wasn't sure. She used to go to the rink a lot, but by 1983 she was probably home with her children.83

Years later, right after Linda divorced Beto Vela, she reconnected with Manuel DeLuna, and they were married for a short time in 1998.84 That's what brought the killing of Wanda Lopez and the two Carloses together for Linda.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:55:05–07:55:30 ("Q. And did you go to the police? A. No, no, we didn't want, we weren't—I mean I'm the type of person that you hear something, that you just shut up and that's it. You don't know nothing, you didn't hear nothing. Cause we were afraid that we knew more than what we were supposed to have known. Q. Who were you afraid of? A. Carlos.");

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:47:02–07:47:41 ("Q. What did [Carlos Hernandez] say about Wanda Lopez? A. That he had stabbed her. But I wasn't really sure. I didn't want to say nothing. I was afraid if I knew something he would come, if he knew that we knew more than what we were supposed to have heard.");

see also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:29:22–07:29:35 ("[Carlos Hernandez] would really really remember stuff that people would do to him and he would go back.");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 4, 2004) at 2 ("CH [Carlos Hernandez] would talk a lot of shit. Fighting person, always carried a knife. JA was afraid for Margie [her daughter when her daughter was dating Carlos].").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:29:22–07:29:35 ("[Carlos Hernandez] would really really remember stuff that people would do to him and he would go back.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 08:03:42–08:04:37 ("Ms. Adrian, you just told me . . . some things you haven't told anybody else outside your family? Do you feel good about that? A. Yes, in a way I do, in a way, maybe if I would have [said something] . . . maybe [it] could have been my daughters [who Carlos came after].");

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:59:16–08:03:42:

A. If this thing . . . if this . . . if they would have waited a little bit longer [before convicting Carlos DeLuna] or tried to look for people that really lived there, this thing wouldn't have gone this far. But they didn't never try to look for. This is the first time we have ever heard about this [investigation].

Q. Anybody ever come out and say—

A. Nobody did ever come out looking for us, asking nothing or nothing. We didn't know. For us this claim, this case was just over and done with and that was it. . . .

Q. But the police, did they ask? A. Nope, they never did. This is the first time I ever, well until your guys came around this time, that I heard about [an investigation]. But nobody did come out and tell us or ask us anything or let us know nothing.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 08:00:48–08:03:42 ("This is the first time I ever, well until your guys came around this the time, that I heard about it. But nobody did come out and tell us or ask us anything or let us know nothing. It's like they just did this case, throw it in the trash can and that was it.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:54:30–07:56:10;

see also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 08:03:58–08:05:18 ("But I mean I should have said something at first. Maybe then, it shouldn't have gone this far. . . . Well I mean if we would have said something about Carlos Hernandez maybe at the time that we knew what was going on, they would probably be able to stop him. Because he was, like I said before, very very abusive. Q. And do you think it would have changed things for the 'tocayo?' A. Yes, Yes. . . .");

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, 'Did One Man Die For Another Man's Crime? The Secret That Wasn't', Last of Three Parts, Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory ("'I kept it to myself,' she [Janie Adrian] said in her Corpus Christi home. 'Maybe I could have said something then.'").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 5, 2004) at 07:57:42–07:58:04 ("Q. Who do you think is responsible for Wanda's death? A. Carlos Hernandez. If it hadn't come out of his mouth, but when he used to get drunk he used to say a lot of things he not supposed to have said. And that time that he was out there that he said that Wanda, that there was a stabbing and her name was Wanda Lopez. It came into my head that how could this be, I mean he shouldn't be saying nothing like that.").

See supra note 73.

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 4 ("Linda met Beto's daughter, Priscilla [sic], when Priscilla [sic] was 12 years old. Beto claimed that he did not know Priscilla [sic] was his until she came to their door step when she was 12 years old.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 06:25:32–06:26:44:

Well, for one, I really didn't know my father. I met him when I was fourteen. He came into my life. My grandmother thought that would be a good idea. I got pregnant right after leaving my grandmother's. I went to my mother's, and I destroyed my mother's life by getting pregnant. And I had my daughter. And I wanted to know my father so badly, so I went over to his house. Well, apparently they promised me the world. They said they would take care of me and the baby. Well, I met some guy by the name of Ray Salazar. That's my daughter's father. And when they found that out, they told me that they would help me and take care of her and put me through school and everything.

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 5 ("When Priscilla [sic] came to Linda and Beto's house, she had sex with her half brother Paul. Priscilla [sic] became pregnant by Paul and had the baby. After Linda found out about Priscilla [sic] and Paul she kicked both of them out of the house. Paul lived with his mother and Priscilla [sic] lived with her mother."; noting that Pricilla had the child when she was fifteen, and that Paul and Pricilla were around the same age);

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Rita Hull, Friend of the Hernandez Family, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sept. 14, 2004) at 8 ("Beto . . . had a son (Paul) the same age as Priscilla [sic] and the son and Priscilla [sic] [had] sexual relations which resulted in the baby girl . . . .").

Pricilla has always denied that her half-brother is the father of her oldest child, and says she was already pregnant by a man named Ray Salazar when she moved into Beto and Linda's home. Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 06:25:32 (stating that Ray Salazar was the father, as opposed to Beto's son Paul).

After Beto and Linda kicked her out, Pricilla moved back in with her mother Paula. Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 06:25:32–06:26:44 ("Well, they kicked me out of the house, and apparently they took over my baby, saying that they were going to report me as an unfit mother, at fourteen.");

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 5 ("[After Linda and Beto kicked her out] Priscilla [sic] lived with her mother.").

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 06:25:32–06:26:44 ("Well, they kicked me out of the house, and apparently they took over my baby, saying that they were going to report me as an unfit mother, at fourteen. Well, I didn't know any better. I believed them. So ever since then they've had my oldest daughter.");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez (Dec. 3, 2004) at 2 (stating that Beto and Linda got Pricilla to sign papers giving them the rights to her daughter).

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 22–26, 2004) at 4 ("Ms. Ayala said the Pricilla would have more information about Carlos Hernandez. She did not have her telephone number or her new address. She just moved out of the housing authority (Ayers) and moved to house by the Trade Center near SPID.");

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 5–8 ("Priscilla [sic] does not talk to her family. . . Linda does not speak with Priscilla. [Pricilla's daughter who Linda raised] ignores Priscilla when they run into each other on the bus."; "Last Sunday, Linda saw Priscilla [sic] at the flea market. Priscilla had a huge burn on her hand. It looked like a 3rd degree burn. Linda said she could see her bone. Priscilla did not seek medical attention for her injury.");

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 06:27:48–06:28:40 ("Q. So, when [you] went over to meet them [Beto Vela and Linda Perales Vela], and they took in your daughter . . .. A. Right. Q. And at that point, what did you call her [Linda]? What was she to you? A. I thought she was very nice. I mean, I called her my step-mother. Q. How long did you live there with them? A. Not very long. Once they took the baby, they threw me out.");

Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Aug. 9, 2004) at 2 ("[Pricilla Jaramillo] said she is close to her step-mother Linda Perales and in fact one of her daughters is presently living with [Linda].");

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo, Niece of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Oct. 29, 2004) at 2 ("Priscilla [sic] saw Linda Perales the other day.").

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 5–7 ("Priscilla told Linda that there was 'sexual stuff with the family.' Linda states that 'she [Pricilla] was doing that stuff with someone in the family.' There was a, 'family incest thing.' . . . Priscilla [sic] may have been sexually abused. Her grandmother was with people—in and out of the house. Family—they were sick. They would be with each other. Then she [Pricilla] ended up doing it. . . . Linda did not know Carlos Hernandez. She later learned that Carlos that he . . . raped Priscilla [sic].").

Susan Montez's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (July 20, 2004) at 2–3 ("Linda knew Carlos DeLuna because she liked and hung out with his brother Manuel. . . . Linda remembered Carlos as being 'real hyper.' He talked fast and drank a lot. They all hung out at the Casino Club. Linda loved that place. She loved to go there and dance. . . . She remembered Carlos getting into trouble and going to juvie [home], and some kind of boot camp. He was not a fighting person. Linda remembered that at some point Carlos left or was kicked out of the house.").

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 1–2:

Linda volunteered that Carlos DeLuna claimed he saw her and her sister (Mary Ann) at the skating rink on the night of the crime. . . . Carlos DeLuna told the police that he was at the skating rink with Linda Perales and her sister Mary Ann. Mary Ann testified at DeLuna's trial and stated that she was not at the roller rink. Linda never testified at trial. . . . Linda did not know about the trial against Carlos DeLuna until after her sister testified. Her sister told about the trial after she testified.

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 22–26, 2004) at 3 ("[I]n 1980 I got married and I never really saw Manuel or Carlos after that. Then in 1983 I had my 3rd child so I probably I would not have been hanging out with them.").

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi's Notes on Interview with Linda Perales Ayala, Step-Mother of Pricilla Hernandez Jaramillo and Ex-Wife of Manuel DeLuna, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Sep. 14, 2004) at 3 ("Linda married Manuel in 1998 . . . . They were married for about one year.").

Chapter 8
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