HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 8
Page: 7 of 9
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All Chapter 8 Footnotes

Ortiz said he met Hernandez at Armada Park in Corpus Christi, where a bunch of guys were drinking beer. Hernandez "started bragging about all his killings"—three of them, all women. There was one in a van, one at gas a station, and one under a bridge.100

"'I killed this chick, this chick, this chick,'" is how Manuel remembered Ortiz describing the conversation. Hernandez was a "woman killer," Ortiz had said, someone "who actually liked to hurt women."101

The main reason Ortiz wanted to talk to Manuel, however, was something Hernandez said about the "gas station" killing he had committed. On that one, Hernandez had bragged, "Carlos DeLuna took the fall." "DeLuna" took "Hernandez's rap."102

"Everyone knows that your brother was not guilty," Manuel remembers Ortiz saying.103

For months, the private investigators looked in vain for a Carlos or Charles Ortiz from Corpus who'd been in prison fifteen years earlier.104 Near the end of their work on the case, they homed in on a detail Manuel had given. He and Ortiz had taken the same plumbing course in the Old Clemens Unit.105 A search of prison records identified a Miguel Ortiz from Corpus, several years younger than Manuel, who was in the same prison and plumbing class.106

News reporters later caught up with Miguel Ortiz in Corpus Christi. It was a short conversation. Ortiz "said the two were drinking in a park when Hernandez talked about a clerk he had 'wasted' at a gas station. 'I just let that go,'" Ortiz told the reporters.107

* * * * *

Even Jesse Garza's lawyer Albert Peña heard the rumor that it was Carlos Hernandez, not Carlos DeLuna, who murdered Wanda Lopez.108

Speaking about it years later, the accomplished lawyer choked up at the thought of someone facing the death penalty for a crime another person committed.109 "I heard through police sources and through people at the courthouse, people in the know, that Carlos Hernandez was suspected of doing it," Peña said. 110 But they put "blinders on."111

In Peña's mind, everything went back to what happened in 1980. They should have put Carlos Hernandez away then for killing Dahlia Sauceda. If Olivia Escobedo and Ken Botary had done their jobs, Wanda Lopez would still be alive. And maybe others, too.112

Sources

Other Primary Records

  1. Carlos Hernandez Complete On-Line Criminal Record, Criminal History System;

  2. Criminal Case Report for Michael Ortiz, Neuces County District Clerk;

  3. DeLuna—New Document Analysis—Players Data Base 6–05, at Row 176 (entry for Mary Lou Jackson) (Aug. 9, 2005);

  4. O.N. Fulton, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Corpus Christi Police Department Offense Report (Jan. 11, 1996);

  5. Report of Vocational Training Completion for Michael Ortiz, Texas Dep't of Corrections (Aug. 5, 1991);

  6. S Carrizo St, Corpus Christi, Tex. 78401 Map, Google Maps, http://goo.gl/fzkJf (last visited May 4, 2011);

  7. S. Carrizo St, Corpus Christi, Tex. 78401 Map, Google Maps, http://goo.gl/JLIvk (last visited May 4, 2011);

  8. S Carrizo St, Corpus Christi, Tex. 78401 Map, Google Maps, http://goo.gl/OB6aI (last visited May 4, 2011);

  9. Summary of Pricilla Hernandez Criminal Records, Case 00–1635-C (Jan. 12, 2000);

  10. Temporary Orders, In re the Marriage of Rosa Anzaldua Hernandez and Carlos Hernandez (Nueces Cty., 347th Dist. Tex. Dec. 13, 1983);

See supra note 98; see also Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:17:03–14:18:38:

Q. You mention that you had these conversations with [Detective] Paul Rivera about your brother-in-law, Carlos Hernandez. Tell me about that.

A. Paul Rivera . . . In fact, one day he told me himself, "You know what, man? Your brother-in-law sure is one crazy motherfucker." He says, "He even scares me that he's going to do something to my family." He told me, words just like that.

Q. Paul Rivera's a big guy.

A. Big guy. . . .

Q. Tell me about any other things that they suspected Carlos Hernandez of.

A. . . . . [H]e [Detective Paul Rivera] did mention something about, that they suspected him [Hernandez] of other killings of women, one under the Harbor Bridge, I believe, and one on Leopard . . . .

Q. Do you know about when it was that that conversation took place?

A. Oh, God, I can't. I know it was in the eighties, mid-eighties maybe.

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman's Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 3, 6:

I'm sure he [Hernandez] was involved in other killings I hear[d] that . . . . [Detective] Paul Rivera told me Carlos Hernandez committed other crimes. Paul resented that I got him [Hernandez] off [after Hernandez was charged with the Dahlia Sauceda killing in 1986]. Carlos had a reputation, and that reputation was probably well deserved. There was a litany of crimes (murders) that CH [Carlos Hernandez was said to have] committed. Not sure he committed all of them. . . . They [police] had a litany of sins they thought Hernandez had committed.

Peso Chavez's Notes on Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 5, 2004) at 2 ("When he [Schilling] was questioned by Paul Rivera of the Corpus Christi PD [about Carlos Hernandez's possible role in killing Dahlia Sauceda], Mr. Rivera told him, 'This guy (referring to Carlos Hernandez) scares me. I know he killed this girl. He's also a suspect in killing other girls—the Harbor Bridge Killing.'");

see also Bruce Whitman & James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Eddie Garza (Aug. 25, 2004) at 2 (discussing unsolved Corpus Christi murder in the 1980s involving "someone found under Harbor Bridge");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Paul Rivera, Corpus Christi Police Sergeant (July 14, 2004) at 5 (discussing unsolved murder of victim "found under Harbor Bridge").

Bruce Whitman's Notes on Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 11, 2004) at 1 (quoting Manuel DeLuna saying that Ortiz "did tell me that ch [Carlos Hernandez] was a very bad, and I mean bad, person and he actually liked to hurt women and kill them");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Bruce Whitman's Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 11, 2004) at 1 ("Ortiz came up and said CH [Carlos Hernandez] did it; bragged; other guys there; bragging; I killed this chick, this chick, this chick. Ortiz thinks he's a woman killer. CH says, 'That CDL [Carlos DeLuna] took my rap; he hasn't said anything; he took my rap. Everyone knows that your brother was not guilty.'").

James S. Liebman's Notes on Bruce Whitman's Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 11, 2004) at 1 ("Ortiz said that night at the park he and some other guys were drinking beer and ch [Carlos Hernandez] started bragging about all his killings and he mentioned the killing that Carlos De Luna was doing time in the pen for a capital murder and the he took his (ch's) rap.");

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 17, 2004) at 1 ("Ortiz came up and said CH [Carlos Hernandez] did it; bragged; other guys there; bragging; . . . 'That CDL [Carlos DeLuna] took my rap; he hasn't said anything; he took my rap. Everyone knows that your brother was not guilty.'").

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 17, 2004) at 1 ("Ortiz came up and said CH [Carlos Hernandez] did it; bragged; other guys there; bragging; . . . 'That CDL [Carlos DeLuna] took my rap; he hasn't said anything; he took my rap. Everyone knows that your brother was not guilty.'").

See Ben Blake & Annie Slemrod, Information Regarding Matches for Carlos Ortiz (Aug. 15, 2004); PublicData.com Results for Carlos Ortiz (undated); Finding Carlos Ortiz (undated internal memo); Memorandum on Miguel A. Ortiz (Sept. 21, 2004) (all documents on file with author).

James S. Liebman's Notes on Interview with Manuel DeLuna, Brother of Carlos DeLuna (Aug. 17, 2004) at 1:

Tells me about . . . Ortiz relating incident in Armada Park in CC. Guy came up . . . . [Ortiz] was coming through the classification line. I knew everyone I was in the educational unit. I asked his name. Had a high school diploma. 120-something IQ — high compared to others. I saw his file. He joined the plumbing trade to be with me. Short time in with me. . . . Once in a while after he went to trustee camp, he came back to plumbing classes, then he disappeared. . . . I think it was Carlos [sic] Ortiz but don't remember first name. Taller than me, 5'9" or 6'. Big old head; water melon head. Convicted out of Corpus. His TDCJ number should be higher than mine—higher than 492323, maybe beginning with 5 or 6. 160 to 170 pounds. 22/23 years old; born '64–67.

See Criminal Case Report for Michael Ortiz, Nueces County District Clerk (describing records search conducted on Feb. 25, 2005) at 1–3 ("Name: Ortiz, Michael, Date of Birth: 02/21/1967 . . . . Offense Desc.: Theft 3rd . . . . Arrest Date: 03/18/1988, Sentencing Time: 20 Years. . . Sentence Date: 03/22/1988; Offense Desc.: Theft 3rd Degre[e]. . .. Arrest Date: 11/05/1987 . . . . Sentencing Time: 20 Years . . . . Sentence Date: 03/22/1988.");

Report of Vocational Training Completion for Michael Ortiz, Texas Dep't of Corrections (Aug. 5, 1991) ("Date Completed Training: 6/28/91 Course Title/Trade Area: Plumbing").

Steve Mills & Maurice Possley, 'Did One Man Die For Another Man's Crime? The Secret That Wasn't', Chi. Trib., June 27, 2006, http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/eedition/chi-tx-3-story,0,761635.htmlstory:

In addition to the four women who recounted Hernandez's admissions, the Tribune interviewed a Corpus Christi man who told a similar story. Miguel Ortiz, who has a criminal record, said the two were drinking in a park when Hernandez talked about a clerk he had "wasted" at a gas station.

"I just let that go," Ortiz said.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Albert Peña, Lawyer for Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:24:20–18:26:48:

Q. What did you hear about Carlos Hernandez after that [i.e., after representing Jesse Garza in 1980], outside the context of this case? What do you know about Carlos Hernandez as a person?

A. As a person? He was a bully, he beat up people. . . . And then I started hearing rumors that he was responsible for a capital murder case that occurred in Corpus Christi. I don't remember the year, but it was years after Jesse Garza. There was another young man, whose last name was Luna [sic], was actually convicted and has been since executed.

Q. Tell me what you've heard. . . .

A. Well, unfortunately, I heard that Carlos Hernandez had done it, and police were going through the city. (chokes up) Excuse me. Capital murder, there's no appeal. I'd heard that, through police sources and through people at the courthouse, people in the know, that Carlos Hernandez was suspected of doing it. Not this fellow Luna [sic]. But again [as police had done previously when they stuck with charges against Peña's client Jesse Garza even after Peña developed evidence again Hernandez] they took the attitude of putting the blinders on. I believe I had spoken to one of the attorneys that was representing him [DeLuna]. I'm not sure if it was Hector de Peña Junior, who later became judge, or not. But they had reason to believe that that may have happened, that they got the wrong guy, that Carlos may have actually done it, but weren't able to firm it up as well as we were lucky to do so [when he secured an acquittal for Jesse Garza].

Q. You just got a little choked up. Explain to me why.

A. Well, quite frankly. I don't believe in the death penalty. I would go crazy if I lost somebody to the death penalty. I did lose one guy to the death penalty, but that case was reversed. It was tried again, he was convicted of murder, got a life sentence, and then that was reversed a second time. And then he pled out, got 35 years. And I knew the guy was guilty. This was a robbery at 12 noon with a hundred people in the restaurant. But I don't believe in capital punishment. My belief is that too many innocent people are executed.

See supra note 108.

See supra note 108.

See supra note 108.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Albert Peña, Lawyer for Jesse Garza in Dahlia Sauceda Case, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 25, 2005) at 18:24:28–18:29:00:

And then I started hearing rumors that he [Carlos Hernandez] was responsible for a capital murder case that occurred in Corpus Christi. I don't remember the year, but it was years after Jesse Garza. There was another young man, whose last name was Luna [sic], was actually convicted and has been since executed. . . . Well, unfortunately, I heard that Carlos Hernandez had done it, and police were going through the city. . . . But knowing Carlos Hernandez the way I learned, and what I learned about him during and after the trial. I'm just sad that they weren't able to develop facts to show that.

Chapter 8
Page: 7 of 9