This man spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. pic.twitter.com/svGiHPAqky
— non aesthetic things (@PicturesFoIder) January 26, 2024
Daniel Villegas spent 23 years and six months in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. In 1995, Villegas was convicted of killing Armando Lazo and Bobby England on 10th April 1993, murders known as the ‘Good Friday killings’ in El Paso.
The Eighth Court of Appeals rejected his appeal in 1997. Ten years later, Villegas filed for a writ of habeas corpus based on ineffective assistance of counsel and a claim of actual innocence.
Villegas’ appeal for a new trial exposed the illegal practices used by police officers to frame Villegas for the crimes. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Villegas a new trial, in which he was acquitted and set free.
A jury will specify the amount of compensation Villegas gets
In 2015, Villegas filed a civil suit against El Paso Police citing numerous constitutional rights violations. Villegas claimed the officers who investigated him used threats of physical assault and inmate rape to coerce false statements from him and other teenagers.
Villegas accused the police officers named in the suit of ignoring procedures mandated by Texas law for the treatment of juvenile suspects. He also claimed that police didn’t have probable cause to arrest him.
The suit claims that Villegas was taken into custody, handcuffed to a chair, and harassed for a confession. It adds that officers told Villegas he would get ‘fucked in jail’ if he didn’t confess.
Investigator Alfonso Marquez reportedly said he would ‘drive him out to the desert, handcuff him to the car door and kick your ass’ and then make him walk back to town where Marquez told him he would ‘personally… put you in the tank with a bunk of fat faggots, and they’re going to rape you’.
The lawsuit claims that investigators tore up Villegas’ statement of innocence. It reads:
“Defendant slapped Mr. Villegas and told him he would be executed, and that Marquez would pull the switch on the electric chair himself, if Mr. Villegas did not confess to being the shooter.”