HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 9
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All Chapter 9 Footnotes

Jon Kelly agreed. "Carlos Hernandez was easy to find at the time." He was a "known quantity" over in the Mary Street area. "There was no question he could have been found."70

Janie Adrian, Carlos Hernandez's Carrizo Street neighbor, said the same. "Everybody knew Carlos Hernandez around there, everybody. If you asked the dogs, the dogs would probably tell you."71

* * * * *

Garza never knew what Escobedo did with the information he gave her. He remembered her saying she had all the evidence she needed to convict Carlos DeLuna, and he recalled backing off to "let her work her case."72

What Garza didn't know was that, soon after he alerted Escobedo that Carlos Hernandez was taking credit for "hurting" Wanda Lopez, police took Hernandez into custody.

Late on April 2, 1983, two months after Wanda's death, Corpus Christi police officer L. Serna found a man "lurking" behind a 7-Eleven store on Brownlee and Agnes with a knife in his pocket.73

The man was Carlos Gonzalez Hernandez. Police records showed that in 1972, he'd robbed three Corpus convenience stores at gunpoint. In 1979, he'd been arrested on suspicion of killing Dahlia Sauceda and carving an 'X' on her back with a knife.74 He was seven blocks from his Carrizo Street home, eleven blocks from the police station.

Serna arrested him on "suspicion of attempted robbery" but listed Hernandez's violation of an outstanding traffic warrant as the formal reason for the arrest. Hernandez had failed to pay a traffic ticket.75

Just when Garza remembers urging law enforcement colleagues to take a hard look at Carlos Hernandez, they evidently decided to do just that.

* * * * *

Hernandez's traffic warrant had been outstanding for months and had never been enforced. Traffic warrants were rarely enforced in those days, unless there was another reason to get the person in custody. As Carlos Hernandez (and DeLuna, for that matter76) knew from experience, standard procedure on arrests like this was to release the person within a few hours after paying a minor fine.77 Moments after being booked, Hernandez made a phone call to someone named "Raul," possibly a bail bondsman.78

In this case, however, the Corpus police didn't release Hernandez within hours. They kept him locked up for four days,79 and kept him a lot busier than the usual traffic-ticket scofflaw.

The only police officer to join Olivia Escobedo inside the Sigmor convenience store on the night Wanda was killed was Joel Infante, an Identification Division technician. Infante took the crime scene photographs and field-tested for fingerprints.80 At the scene, Infante had recovered partial prints from the front door, the telephone, and one of the empty cans of cheap beer found outside where George Aguirre had seen a man lurking with a knife.81 None of the prints matched Carlos DeLuna.82

Because Carlos Hernandez was a known quantity to police, they also had his "major case prints"—all ten fingertips, the palm side of all three joints of his fingers, and each palm. They had two sets, one from 1972, when he was arrested for armed robbery, and one from October 26, 1981, when he was arrested at Staples and Mary for threatening his girlfriend with a knife.83

Of course, fingerprints played no part in the incident triggering Hernandez's April 2 arrest for violating a traffic warrant, and failing to pay a traffic ticket was hardly a "major case." Yet on April 4, Joel Infante retrieved Hernandez's existing fingerprint cards from the I.D. Division to make fingerprint comparisons.84 Not content with the full sets of prints he already had, Infante took Hernandez out of lock-up and took additional impressions to allow better comparisons.85

Peso Chavez & James S. Liebman's Notes on Interviews with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 16, 18, 20, 2004) at 7–8:

Anyone in homicide [at the Corpus Police Department] w[ou]ld know who CH was. If you worked that area of town, they'd know. . . . Carlos Hernandez was easy to find at the time. He was a know[n] quantity over on Hancock and Mary. They could find CH. Anyone in homicide w[ou]ld know who CH was. If you worked that area of town, they'd know. That's BS [any claim that it would have been hard to find Carlos Hernandez]. There was no question he could've been found.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Janie Adrian, Neighbor of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi (Dec. 5, 2004) at 08:00:00–08:00:46:

Q. [I]f people came around the neighborhood and said, ever heard of a person named Carlos Hernandez, what would people have said? . . .

A. Everybody knew Carlos Hernandez around there. . . . Everybody knew Carlos Hernandez around there, everybody. If you asked the dogs, the dogs would probably tell you. . . .

Q. But the police, did they ask [about Hernandez and the Wanda Lopez killing]? Nope, they never did.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:15:44–00:16:20 ("Q. Now, after being told this, did you provide this information [that Carlos Hernandez was saying he killed Wanda Lopez] to the officers investigating the [Lopez] homicide? A. I contacted the detective in charge and informed [her] of the information that I had received, but the detective itself [sic] said that they had enough evidence linking Carlos DeLuna to the crime itself. So I just backed away from it and let her work her case.").

See L. Serna, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Apr. 3, 1983) at 1 ("Violation: Traffic Warrant # 126585. Narrative: I observed the above individual [Hernandez] lurking around behind the 7–11 Brownlee + Agnes. When asked for [sic] Identify himself; sub. was known to have the above active warrant. . . . Property Record: Knife"; indicating that Hernandez was arrested at "11:50 p.m." on April 2, 1983 and booked at "12:08 a.m." on April 3, 1983).

L. Serna, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Apr. 3, 1983) at 1;

see supra Chapter 6, notes 166–172 and accompanying text; supra Chapter 7, notes 20–25 and accompanying text.

See L. Serna, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Apr. 3, 1983) at 1.

See supra Chapter 5, notes 58–164, 178–182, 187–191, 194–195 and accompanying text.

See, e.g., D.G. Pulido, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Jan. 10, 1980) at 1 ("Time of Arrest 11:40 PM. Violation: Traffic Warrant # 816146. Narrative: Officers observed a red Oldsmobile traveling east on 1200 Morris at a high rate of speed. He turned north on 700 Salameda and we stopped him. He couldn't produce a DL + had an invalid MUI sticker. He also was found to have an outstanding traffic warrant # 816146. He was arrested for the outstanding warrants. Released: Date: 1–11–80. Time: 1:45 AM.");

Arrest Report for Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Oct. 26, 1981) at 1 ("Time of Arrest: 12:00 A.M. Violation: Threats. Narrative: Above Subj. was involved in [a] disturbance at the above location [1124 Marcy]. Subj threatened his girlfriend w/ a knife + was arrested when he refused to leave the premises. Subj was booked on th[e] above charges. Released: Date: 10–26–81. Time: 6:45 PM.");

D.M. Blank, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Oct. 10, 1982) ("Time of Arrest: 12:25 PM. Violation: M.C. War. # 058867. Narrative: Above subject was arrested at above location on M.C. War. Taken to city jail. Released: Date: 10–10–82. Time: 1:30 PM");

Paul Rivera, Corpus Christi Police Sergeant, CCPD Arrest Report (May 4, 1987) at 1 ("Time Booked: 2:20 AM. Violation: Traffic Warr. # 841777. Narrative: Subj. arrest on above warrant at the carnival grounds. Released: Date: 5–4–80. Time: 8:10 PM").

Each one of these police reports cited here indicates that Hernandez was released within a few hours of his arrest and booking.

L. Serna, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Apr. 3, 1983) at 1 ("Time of Call: 12:24 AM. Name of Person . . . Called: Raul.").

See L. Serna, Corpus Christi Police Officer, CCPD Arrest Report (Apr. 3, 1983) at 1 ("Released: Date: 4/6/83 at 3:36 p.m.," indicating that Hernandez was in custody part of April 2, all of April 3, 4 and 5 and part of April 6).

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Field Investigation Report (Feb. 4, 1983) at 1 (recording that, during the scene investigation into the Wanda Lopez killing, Infante processed for fingerprints Lite beer cans found in the back of the gas station, the inside of the glass door, a knife, a pack of Winstons cigarettes, and a countertop);

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 17, 1983) at 190–191 ("Q. And while you were [at the Sigmor Shamrock Station on Feb. 4, 1983,] did you do any identification work? A. Yes, I did. Q. In regard to photographs, did you take any photographs out there? A. Yes, I took photographs. . . . After I took the photographs of the scene, I processed the inside of the service station for fingerprints.").

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Field Investigation Report, Bureau of Identification for Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) at 1 (noting that beer cans found at the Sigmor Shamrock gas station were analyzed for prints);

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 17, 1983) at 192:

Q. Now, when you went out there to that particular location [the Sigmor Shamrock gas station], can you tell the Jury what areas you dusted with the black powder to try and find fingerprints? . . . .

A. One area in particular is the door right here, the front door. . . I also processed the top counter on this, the top Formica counter and other items, the telephone that was found behind, the telephone receiver and a pack of cigarettes and also some beer cans found, but not here, they were outside.

See Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda Cases, Olivia Escobedo Supplementary Report (Feb. 12, 1983) at 1 (reporting that George Aguirre said he observed a man beside the gas station near the ice machine).

Joel Infante, Corpus Christi Police Identification Technician, Field Investigation Report, Bureau of Identification for Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1983) at 1 (noting that the prints lifted from the Sigmor Shamrock crime scene were "latents of no value");

Ernest Wilson, Latent Fingerprint Expert for Corpus Christi Police Dep't Identification Division, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 17, 1983) at 339, 340 ("[Q.] What's the quality on [the fingerprints taken from the crime scene]? A. They're very bad quality."; noting that the fingerprints did not match Carlos DeLuna, Kevan Baker, or George Aguirre).

Fingerprint Record No. 55682 of Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Feb. 4, 1972);

Arrest Report for Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Oct. 26, 1981) at 1 (arresting Hernandez because he "was involved in a disturbance [at Staples and Mary and] . . . threatened his girlfriend with a knife and was arrested when he refused to leave the premises");

Fingerprint Record No. 74204, Major Case Fingerprints of Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Oct. 26, 1981, with additional notations made Apr. 4, 1983);

E-mail from James S. Liebman to William Belford (July 12, 2005, 10:14 AM) ("Regarding officers involved in handling Carlos Hernandez around 10/26/81 and 04/04/83 I was told the following by Marsha in CCPD ID section: 10/26/81 Hernandez had his prints taken by Officer Hoffer from the ID section (Marsha believed he was a sergeant and now deceased.").

See Fingerprint Record No. 74204, Major Case Fingerprints of Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Oct. 26, 1981, with additional notations made Apr. 4, 1983) at 1, (displaying fingerprints taken on Oct. 26, 1981 and indicating that "Inf"—Officer Infante—examined Carlos Hernandez's Oct. 26, 1981 fingerprint card on April 4, 1983);

E-mail from James S. Liebman to William Belford (July 12, 2005, 1:10 AM) (quoting e-mail from William Belford to James S. Liebman (July 17, 2004) ("Marsha in ID and Kathy Lancaster in records at CCPD have informed William Belford orally that on 10/26/81 . . . Hernandez's major case prints were taken after he was picked up for making threats and resisting arrest. There is no information on who the complainant was, as the offense reports have been destroyed.");

E-mail from James S. Liebman to William Belford (July 12, 2005, 1:10 A.M.) (quoting E-mail from William Belford to James S. Liebman (July 17, 2004)):

“Regarding officers involved in handling Carlos Hernandez around 10/26/81 and 04/04/83 I was told the following by Marsha in CCPD ID section: 10/26/81 Hernandez had his prints taken by Officer Hoffer from the ID section (Marsha believed he was a sergeant and now deceased). 04/04/83—the ID officer who [examined the prints on this] date [and is indicated] on the print card, was Officer Infante. (Officer J. Infante Badge #239 from ID was the person who processed the DeLuna capital murder scene.)”

See Fingerprint Record No. 74204, Major Case Fingerprints of Carlos Hernandez, Corpus Christi Police Dep't (Oct. 21, 1981/Apr. 4, 1983) at 1 (indicating, in location on form calling for "Date Impressions Taken," that fingerprint impressions for Carlos Hernandez were taken on Oct. 26, 1981 by "Hoffer" and on April 4, 1983 by "Inf");

E-mail from James S. Liebman to William Belford (July 12, 2005 1:10 AM) (quoting e-mail from William Belford to James S. Liebman (July 17, 2004)) (information provided by Corpus Christi Police Department that "Inf" refers to "Officer J[oel] Infante Badge #239 from ID").

Chapter 9
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