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Villegas Testifies He Was Paralyzed By Fear Of Former Detective

By Maria Garcia
Published On: Sep 15 2011 07:12:10 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 15 2011 08:06:26 AM CDT
EL PASO, Texas -

Convicted murderer Daniel Villegas, in court on Thursday, said he was paralyzed be fear when when he was interrogated by former police detective Al Marquez 18 years ago.

"He would slap me in the back of the head and would tell me 'don't act stupid with me, motherf****r, I'm going to take you down to the desert, I'm going to handcuff you to my car and I'm going to beat the sh*t out of you, pick you up and take you back to the county jail with a bunch of fat fa****s to get raped." said Villegas, describing what he said Marquez told him when questioning him at the age of 16.

Marquez, on the stand this week, denied that he threatened or coerced Villegas.

"Did you ever tell him that if you did take him to county to lock him up, that he was going to get raped by fat old men and that he was going to get his ass kicked and that he was going to get raped?" asked Prosecutor John Briggs on Wednesday. "No, sir, I did not," answered Marquez.

The former detective did admit he deceived suspects when he interrogated them. For example, when questioned about it, he admitted to wearing a doctor's smock.

"You put on a smock to give the suspect a different impression of who you really are," said defense attorney Joe Spencer. "Correct," answered Marquez. "You put on a costume, right," asked Spencer. "Correct," said Marquez. "That's to induce an individual to give a statement, isn't that true," asked Spencer. "I wouldn't say induce," answered Marquez. "To get them to give a statement that they normally might not give if you didn't put on this costume," said Spencer. "If that's the impression, correct, sir," responded Marquez.

On Thursday, the prosecution focused on pointing out inconsistencies in Villegas' alibi. The 34-year-old claims he was babysitting at a home in Northeast El Paso, watching the movie 'Passenger 57' the night of the killings of Armando Lazo and Robert England.

Prosecutor John Briggs said the movie was not released until four days after the shootings. Villegas said they were watching a pirated version.

"You didnt jump up and offer an explanation that it was a pirated version back then, right," asked Briggs, referring to Villegas' testimony in his first trial. "No, sir," responded Villegas. "But you've had 16 years to think about that and answer that question, right," continued Briggs "Yes, sir," said Villegas.

Briggs also said that Villegas' acquaintances didn't mention his alibi when initially questioned by police and only spoke about until the first trial. Spencer said Villegas' alibi was not mentioned in the initial police statements, because most of those were fabricated by police. Villegas testified that's what happened in the case of his confession.

"Marquez would type it and he would tell me like 'you guys were driving by Transmountain Road' and he would look at me and say 'right', and I would say 'yes, sir," said Villegas. "Why would you say yes," asked Spencer. "Like I told you, he had me mentally paralyzed. Anything he wanted at that point, I'd give him... because I was scared, because I was a 16 year old kid and I didn't want to go to the county jail and get raped by fat fa****ts," Villegas said.

The defense also called Jesse Hernandez, a friend of the two victims, and witness to the deadly shootings, to the stand. Spencer showed Hernandez a picture of Villegas' parent's vehicle, and asked if that was the car that the shots had come from. Hernandez said no. Spencer also asked if the police had showed him those pictures during the shooting investigation so Hernandez could identify the car the shooter was in. Hernadez said no.

Hernandez maintains the vehicle the shooter was in was maroon, with tinted windows. The Villegas' car was beige, with clear windows.

Briggs, while cross-examining Hernandez, showed him transcripts of his testimony the first trial.

At that time, Hernandez testified he had only seen the maroon car a street away from the shootings, not at the time of the killings. Hernandez, on Thursday, said he was sure the maroon car had been the one where the shooter was in.

"So your memory has improved a lot in the last 16 years," said Briggs to Hernandez. "Yes, I had blocked a lot out, you'd do the same," said Hernandez.

In an exclusive interview with ABC-7 last November, Hernandez said Marquez had also tried to coerce him into confessing. He said the former detective nearly made him believe he had killed his own friends, and only stopped doing so when Hernandez alerted his parents, who did not allow Marquez to further question their son.

Marquez, earlier this week, denied accusing Hernandez of killing Lazo and England.

The defense also called Rudy Flores to the stand. He's the man they believe may be the real killer because he put himself at the scene of the murders when questioned by police and had allegedly threatened one of the victims days before the shooting.

He had signed an affidavit denying his involvement in the shootings and threats to the victims and took the 5th amendment on the stand. Judge Sam Medrano, though, ruled that Flores had relinquished his right to remain silent when he signed the affidavit.

Still, Flores refused to answer questions on Thursday and was held in contempt of court. He is serving in prison for unrelated drug charges.

The state did not call any witnesses. Both sides have until October 18th to file more evidence in the forms of affidavits. Closing arguments are scheduled for November 10th.

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