HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The lure of medicine and intercourse was too engaging to disregard for a San Antonio rapper with a fame for carrying lots of money and sporting flashy jewellery. What 19-year-old Tommy Garcia Jr. did not know was the proposition to take a lady he knew to a San Antonio “lovers’ lane” was a setup for an ambush theft.
The plot crumbled when he refused to give up any cash and was shot seven instances by a person recognized as the lady’s boyfriend.
Juan Edward Castillo, convicted of killing Garcia, is ready for execution Wednesday for the slaying greater than 14 years in the past.
He’d be the sixth inmate put to loss of life this 12 months in Texas, greater than some other state.
Castillo’s appeals attorneys contended no bodily proof tied him to the crime and trial testimony from witnesses who mentioned they heard Castillo discuss committing the crime was both false or deceptive.
At his trial, two eyewitnesses testified they noticed Castillo shoot Garcia, three individuals mentioned they heard him discuss in regards to the killing and one other witness testified he was sporting jewellery that belonged to the sufferer, Matthew Howard, an assistant Bexar County district legal professional, mentioned.
On Monday, the Texas parole board refused a clemency request, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom refused to assessment a declare specializing in testimony in opposition to Castillo from a fellow county jail inmate in San Antonio. The Texas Courtroom of Felony Appeals, the state’s highest prison court docket, refused an attraction associated to a different witness who disputed his personal trial testimony in opposition to Castillo. Attorneys additionally had accused prosecutors of withholding data from a police interview with a witness whose testimony they mentioned may have challenged witnesses who did testify in opposition to Castillo.
Howard argued the late filings had been legally improper, insisted no proof was withheld and that Castillo’s attorneys have been unable to elucidate “why he, a supposed harmless, was implicated within the robbery-murder by so many individuals.”
It wasn’t clear if further appeals for Castillo could be filed. His attorneys did not instantly reply Tuesday to messages left by The Related Press. Howard mentioned he wasn’t conscious of any new petitions.
Castillo, 36, denied any involvement within the slaying.
“I did not do it,” Castillo informed the AP final week in an interview outdoors loss of life row. “I used to be so optimistic I would get the case dismissed I refused to plead responsible. So I’m going to trial.”
He mentioned he rejected a number of plea provides that may have eliminated the loss of life penalty as punishment, knew the lady, Debra Espinosa, who testified in opposition to him and who was within the automobile with Garcia, however denied her assertion that she was Castillo’s girlfriend.
“Girlfriend-boyfriend, it was nothing like that,” Castillo mentioned.
She and Francisco Gonzales, who authorities mentioned accompanied Castillo to the ambush, accepted 40-year jail phrases in plea agreements. A fourth particular person, Teresa Quintero, pleaded no contest to a theft cost and acquired 20 years. Testimony confirmed she was the motive force who took Castillo and Gonzales the night time of Dec. 3, 2003, to a darkish San Antonio highway often called a lovers’ lane to hold out what Gonzales testified was speculated to be a easy theft.
Espinosa testified she’d identified Garcia for years and promised him medicine and intercourse in his automobile. As soon as they had been parked, testimony confirmed Castillo smashed a window with the butt of his pistol, opened the doorways and demanded Garcia’s cash. However Garcia, who had attracted consideration on San Antonio’s south facet as a rap artist often called J.R., refused and was shot, then shot once more when he tried to run away.
Family mentioned Castillo talked in regards to the killing and a witness mentioned she noticed him a day later sporting a particular medallion on a thick gold chain that had belonged to Garcia. The jewellery was his, not the sufferer’s, Castillo insisted final week from jail.
Castillo was 22 and already had been in jail with a two-year sentence for lethal conduct with a firearm when he was arrested for Garcia’s homicide. At his trial, the mom of Castillo’s son informed of repeated home violence incidents. Different witnesses linked him to shootings, robberies, assaults and drug dealing.