HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Prologue
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All Prologue Footnotes

The detective told Schilling that the man in the photograph was not Carlos Hernandez. It was Carlos DeLuna.17 The detective was investigating DeLuna’s claim that he had been mistaken for another man he had seen struggling with Wanda Lopez inside the gas station. The claim was ignored at the time, and DeLuna was convicted and executed. The man DeLuna named was Schilling’s brother-in-law, Carlos Hernandez.18

“Man, he’s a ringer [for] Carlos Hernandez,” Schilling said. “That gives me the goose bumps.” Tears welled up in Schilling’s eyes.19

* * * * *

Carlos Gonzales Hernandez, Jr. was born in Corpus Christi in 1954.20 He spent much of the next forty-five years committing crimes for which he was barely or never punished.

In 1971, he was convicted of negligent homicide for killing his sister Paula’s boyfriend in a car wreck.21 He was drunk at the time and driving over 100 miles per hour.22 Paula was severely injured in the accident but recovered.23 Hernandez’s sentence was suspended. He spent no time in jail.24

In 1972, Hernandez received a twenty-year sentence for each of three armed hold-ups of Corpus Christi gas stations. Texas paroled him after five years.25

Hernandez escaped punishment for one crime twice. In 1979, Corpus Christi detective Eddie Garza and his partner Paul Rivera, the two most celebrated Corpus Christi detectives of their generation,26 arrested Hernandez for killing Dahlia Sauceda in her custom-model “Happy Time” van.27 Someone had killed her in front of her two-year-old daughter and carved an “X” on the back of her nude body.28 Hernandez talked prosecutor Kenneth Botary into releasing him and going after another man who was eventually acquitted.29 Garza and Rivera arrested Hernandez for the Sauceda killing again in 1986 after new information surfaced, but Botary had misplaced key evidence, and charges were dropped.30

In 1989, Hernandez assaulted Dina Ybañez with a seven-inch lock-blade buck knife. He received a ten-year sentence. Texas paroled him in a year and a half.31

Hernandez went back to prison in 1996 for assaulting a neighbor with a nine-inch kitchen knife, his thirteenth arrest when he was carrying a knife.32 He died three years later in a prison in northeast Texas.33 The cause was cirrhosis of the liver and other complications from too much drinking and smoking.34 His mother, Fidela Hernandez, collected on an insurance policy she had taken out on her son, but she refused to pay to bring him home to be buried.35

She let them put him in a pauper’s grave on prison grounds. “Dirt is dirt,” she later explained.36

Sources

Court Decisions

  1. DeLuna v. State, 711 S.W.2d 44 (Tex. 1986);

Other Primary Sources

  1. Dep’t of Health, Bur. of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death for Carlos Hernandez (May 28, 1999);

  2. Investigator’s Report of Custodial Death of Carlos Hernandez, TDCJ No. 539060, Texas Dep’t of Criminal Justice Internal Affairs Division (May 6, 1999);

Transcribed Videotape Interviews

  1. Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb 28, 2005);

  2. Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004);

  3. Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004);

  4. Transcribed Videotape Interview with Carroll Pickett, Texas Death House Chaplain, in Huntsville, Texas (Feb. 26, 2005);

  5. Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Tex. (Feb 24, 2005);

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 5, 2004) at 4 (“When I showed Mr. Schillings [sic] the two photographs I had [of Carlos DeLuna and Carlos Hernandez], he identified them as Carlos Hernandez. When I told him that the younger photograph was Carlos DeLuna he stated, ‘Man he’s a ringer of Carlos Hernandez when he first got out of prison. That gives me the goose bumps.’”).

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 5, 2004) at 4 (“When I showed Mr. Schillings [sic] the two photographs I had [of Carlos DeLuna and Carlos Hernandez], he identified them as Carlos Hernandez. When I told him that the younger photograph was Carlos DeLuna he stated, ‘Man he’s a ringer of Carlos Hernandez when he first got out of prison. That gives me the goose bumps.’”).

Peso Chavez’s Notes on Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez (Aug. 5, 2004) at 4 (“When I showed Mr. Schillings [sic] the two photographs I had [of Carlos DeLuna and Carlos Hernandez], he identified them as Carlos Hernandez. When I told him that the younger photograph was Carlos DeLuna he stated, ‘Man he’s a ringer of Carlos Hernandez when he first got out of prison. That gives me the goose bumps.’”);

see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Freddy Schilling, Brother-in-Law of Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 24, 2005) at 14:48:55–14:51:23.

.See infra Chapter 6, note 28 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 6, notes 144–152 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 6, note 147 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 6, notes 145–146 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 6, notes 148–149 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 6, notes 166–172 and accompanying text.

Transcribed Videotaped Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005), at 02:59:38–03:00:38 (“I knew Eddie [Garza]. He was a nice guy. He had a good reputation just as being a good guy and a good cop . . . . Paul [Rivera] and Eddie were like Batman and Robin. At that time, they were the greatest detectives ever.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:21:44–00:22:43:

This is a picture of me and Paul Rivera arresting Carlos Hernandez at a younger age. It was reference of murder, I know that. There was another subject that was also arrested for the same crime, murder . . . . I believe this was in the case of Dahlia Sauceda, another murder that had occurred where she was knifed to death in the back of her van. And we had Jesse Garza, I believe, was another person that we were working in regards [to that crime]. . . . [T]here was a total of three or four people that were brought in on that particular murder. But later on, in ’86, I obtained a statement from a female, Diana Gomez, that told us that Carlos Hernandez was the one that had committed that crime.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Jon Kelly, Lawyer for Carlos Hernandez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 9, 2004) at 06:22:16–06:24:02, 06:24:24–06:27:36:

“The two gentleman in the picture with Carlos there, to his left and to the right of the picture [are] Eddie Garza, and just behind Carlos is Paul Rivera, now I believe Chief Deputy of the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office. They were the top murder investigators for the CCPD at that time”; “Eddie and Paul were conscientious. They were very good investigators. . . . They were the city’s top murder investigators. . . . [T]hey were tough, but in the end, they tried to be fair. . . . Eddie and Paul were the two top investigators for the Corpus Christi Police Department. There were even people senior [to them], but if you had a serious murder case, and you wanted it investigated seriously, you wanted Eddie and Paul. They were considered the top people. I mean, if there were others involved they usually were on the periphery, and Paul and Eddie would do the serious, on-the-ground investigation. . . . [T]heir reputation was that they were fair men. And that, if shown, or if they came upon evidence that would harm their case, but actually, they thought, led to a different result, they wouldn’t hide it.”

Tamara Theiss’s Notes on Interview with Olivia Escobedo, Corpus Christi Police Detective in Wanda Lopez and Dahlia Sauceda cases (Feb. 27, 2005) at 1 (“I worked under [Detectives] Paul Rivera and Eddie Garza. . . . [T]hey taught me how to investigate a crime. . . . They really acted as my mentors . . . [and] taught me to go down every rabbit hole to see where it led, no matter what the result . . . [and] investigate every angle and every lead in a case, even if it didn’t pan out.”).

See infra Chapter 7, note 23 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 7, notes 223–232 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 7, notes 39–46, 133–134 and accompanying text.

See Transcribed Videotape Interview with Eddie Garza, Corpus Christi Police Detective, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 6, 2004) at 00:21:44–00:22:43:

This is a picture of me and Paul Rivera arresting Carlos Hernandez at a younger age. It was reference of murder, I know that. There was another subject that was also arrested for the same crime, murder . . . . I believe this was in the case of Dahlia Sauceda, another murder that had occurred where she was knifed to death in the back of her van. And we had Jesse Garza, I believe, was another person that we were working in regards [to that crime]. . . . [T]here was a total of three or four people that were brought in on that particular murder. But later on, in ’86, I obtained a statement from a female, Diana Gomez, that told us that Carlos Hernandez was the one that had committed that crime.

See infra Chapter 7, notes 176–177, 200–203 and accompanying text & Figure 20.

See infra Chapter 17, notes 51–76, 92–99, 103 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 17, note 110 and accompanying text.

See infra Chapter 17, note 111 and accompanying text.

Investigator’s Report of Custodial Death of Carlos Hernandez, TDCJ No. 539060, Texas Dep’t of Criminal Justice Internal Affairs Division (May 6, 1999);

Dep’t of Health, Bur. of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death for Carlos Hernandez (May 28, 1999) (“immediate cause” of death was “End Stage Cirrhosis due to ETOH/IVDU (intravenous drug abuse) several years”; the certificate identifies as sequentially important “underlying causes” “Multiple System Failure due to alcohol abuse several decades; and IDDM (Type 1, insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus) uncontrolled several decades”; cigarette smoking was a “probable contributor to death.”).

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi’s Notes on Interview with Fidela Hernandez, Mother of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 15, 2004) at 2 (“Fidela had insurance policies on all her children. Carlos was buried by the state.”).

Sita Sovin & Lauren Eskenazi’s Notes on Interview with Fidela Hernandez, Mother of Carlos Hernandez (Sept. 15, 2004) at 2 (“Fidela thought about moving [Carlos back to Corpus Christi to be buried] but, ‘dirt is dirt’ . . . .”);

see Dep’t of Health, Bur. of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death for Carlos Hernandez (May 28, 1999) (indicating that Carlos Hernandez was buried on May 11, 1999 in the Texas Department of Correction’s pauper’s cemetery in Huntsville, Texas, in the 25th section C, Row F, Space 7).

Prologue
Page: 2 of 3