Skip to comments.Families of murder victims upset by plea
Posted on 04/04/2010 10:10:55 AM PDT by AuntB
The families of two murder victims are angered by a purported deal in which alleged killer Manuel G. Cazares would accept a sentence of 30 years behind bars in exchange for pleading guilty.
They plan to urge a judge Tuesday to set aside the plea and proceed with the trial that had been scheduled to start April 13.
If a jury convicts Cazares, he could get as many as 90 years in prison. The 33-year-old illegal immigrant is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action in the Feb. 28, 2009, stabbing deaths of 27-year-old Amanda R. Thomas and 25-year-old Carl Patrick Epley.
Five family members of the victims spoke Friday to the Courier-Post about the plea, which two of them said had been outlined in a letter from Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Redington. Were not happy with him getting 30 years for killing two people, said Angie Geiler, a sister of Thomas. We want the trial, said another sister, Tina Masengill. We will beg the judge on Tuesday to give us a trial.
Its been over a year, Epleys mother, Jodie, said as she fought back tears. I cant go on like this. Im angry because nothings being done about it, said Epleys brother, Corey. No amount of time is going to be enough. I hope justice gets served. Patsy Rayl, Epleys grandmother, said Cazares deserves to be convicted and sentenced to die.
Theyve got to do something to get the point across, said Rayl, who called her grandson a ray of sunshine and said he never met an enemy. I dont think what theyre doing is fair.
Jodie Epley helps care for her sons child, who is now four, and Thomas family cares for her two children, one of whom she had with Cazares.
Redington was not available for comment Friday. Cazares attorney, Todd Schulze, declined to discuss specifics. We anticipate there will be a plea, Schulze said. Im not at liberty to discuss what it will be at this time.
Judge Ted House does not have to accept the plea. The hearing is at 9 a.m. Tuesday in St. Charles County Circuit Court, where the case was moved on a change of venue.
Family members claim Redington did not ask their opinion about the latest deal before it was offered, as he apparently did when the issue came up in December.
Masengill said that back then, Redington told the families that Cazares had offered to plead guilty if he got only 30 years in prison. She said the prosecutor asked the families what they thought of the deal.
We said Hell, no, not a chance, Masengill said. This man stabbed to death two people while they slept. We were just beside ourselves.
Masengill said Redington reminded the families that juries were unpredictable and that a conviction was not guaranteed. There was also the possibility that the testimony could turn ugly. The families were unfazed.
No matter what, at the end of the day for our family to have closure, we have to have a fair trial, Masengill said.
The families claim Redington reneged on a promise to prosecute (the case) to the fullest, Masengill said.
At the beginning, he told us Manuel Cazares will never see the light of day, she recalled.
The sisters of Amanda Thomas said their family was notified of the latest proposed sentence in a letter from Redington. As of early Friday afternoon, Epley had not received a similar letter.
Police say Cazares turned himself in a few hours after the killings and directed them to the bodies of Thomas and Epley, who were found in a bedroom at Thomas unlocked Hannibal apartment. Epley was a friend of Thomas from high school.
During earlier testimony in the case, police reported Cazares confessed to the crime and said that jealousy was his motive. Authorities said Cazares was in America illegally.
Cazares and Thomas met in 2006 when they worked at adjoining Hannibal businesses. The suspect told authorities the relationship ended in fall 2008, but that he and Thomas kept in periodic contact because of their child.
Cazares had several previous run-ins with the law, but always provided what appeared to be legitimate identification to authorities. The documents later proved to be false.
Thomas had sought three orders of protection against Cazares, but did not enforce the first two. She died before a hearing could be held on the third.
If case does go to trial and Cazares is convicted, he likely would serve the sentence before being deported to his native Mexico. The suspect has been in the Marion County Jail on $1 million cash-only bond since his arrest.
We dont want him ever to get out, Masengill said.
Cambio de Michoacán (Morelia) 3-31-10
Four human heads found in Apatzingan
Apatzingan, Michoacán-The victims remain unidentified 10 hours after their heads were found at the foot of a statue of General Lazaro Cardenas. The heads were found in an ice chest with a message from narcotics traffickers. The heads were transported to the medical examiners office for examination. Security has been doubled in the area.
Fugitives extradited from Michoacán to the United States
David Aranda Hernandez and Enrique Lopez Madrigal were sent to the United States.
Aranda had a warrant for murder issued by the Los Angeles County Superior Court for the shooting death of a rival gang member on the 2nd of August, 2008.
Enrique Lopez Madrigal had a warrant issued by the County Superior Court of Stanislaus, California, for murder and the transportation of a firearm issued on the 23rd of April, 2009.
The fugitives were turned over to U.S. Marshals by Federal Police at the International Airport in Mexico City.
Correo (Guanajuato) 3-31-10
International Bridge blockaded in Reynosa (Tamaulipas)
Streets leading to the International Bridge (Pharr, Texas) were blocked in Northern Reynosa by unknown people from a criminal organization using buses and trucks for over two hours. Reynosa police notified Pharr police and both sides remained on alert for whatever might happen.
On Monday in Washington, D. C., Republican Senator John McCain asked the U.S. Government to deploy the National Guard to the border in response to narcotics violence. While traffic came to a halt, passengers and drivers sat fearful. According to various Mexican web sites, drivers were ordered by narcotics traffickers via radio to shut down the traffic to hinder the movement of police. This event is similar to one used by narcotics traffickers in Monterrey (Nuevo Leon), on March 19, to impede operations by the Mexican Military during which two university students died.
El Diario de Juárez (Juárez) 3-31-10
The Army will continue patrolling the streets
Although the current city administration is leaving office, the Mexican Army will continue assisting businesses and municipal agencies in the City of Juárez, announced Mayor Jose Reyes-Ferriz at a midday press conference.
Even though there has not been a new agreement with Federal authorities to continue the deployment of the Mexican Army in Juárez, there will soon be a new contract. For a year the Army has done an excellent job reducing crimes such as bank robbery and auto theft.
Minors threaten juvenile court judges
Chihuahua, Chihuahua-Juvenile gangsters are making death threats against judges. These minors are in the juvenile courts for murder, violent robbery and other serious crimes.
The Chief of the State Supreme Court confirmed that members of organized crime have threatened judges and there has been pressure put on judges presiding in current cases. All of us in the judicial system are at risk, said Chief Justice Rodolfo Acosta-Munoz.
Acosta-Munoz said that the recent threats and pressure come from all types of cases, not just juvenile cases. One judge was sent a funeral wreath, another had his home burned, and yet another was threatened with being kidnapped.
The State Governor, Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas, said that all minors involved with serious crimes like murder, being involved with organized crime and violent robbery will be prosecuted with the same vigor as adult criminals. Yes, they are young but they will stay in jail because they have committed serious crimes, said the Governor.
The Army picked him up, beat him and planted a firearm (murder of our consulate employees)
Juárez The family of Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, who was picked up as a participant in the murders of three U.S. Consulate employees, says that he was held incommunicado at home for two days and beaten before being taken to authorities.
The wife of Ricardo Valles, who didnt want to be identified, said that he was deported from the United States more than two years ago. I am sure that he was not a member of the Azteca gang, she said. He doesnt look like a gangster, and has no gang tattoos, she said while crying. The military broke into the home at about 2:00 or 3:00 Wednesday afternoon and took him without giving a reason, according to her. Also she said that there was no firearm in the house and that is why she thinks they planted the firearm that they supposedly found. He couldnt move, they kept beating him, they are lying, she said during a recess declared by the presiding judge in the case.
I am his wife and I was with him at the time this incident occurred and I am sure he wasnt involved, she said. Although he was incarcerated in the United States, she did not know the reason he had been jailed.
-end of report-
Visit our website: http://www.nafbpo.org Foreign News Report
Another item of interest about the Mexican border today.
A Reporters Notebook From the Border [snips]
April 3, 2010 - 9:06 PM | by: Joshua Rhett Miller
In an instant, I realized I took too many footsteps into the belly of the beast.
Alto! Alto, a Mexican border official yelled after letting out two piercing whistles. Alto!
While reporting on the fear wracking Fort Hancock, Texas, a tiny border town just across the Rio Grande River from El Porvenir, Mexico, I ventured onto the Fort Hancock-El Porvenir International Bridge. Just minutes earlier, after identifying myself as reporter on assignment, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official allowed me to walk on the two-lane international bridge to take pictures and get a closer glimpse of the Mexican town overrun by drug cartel-related violence.
The unidentified Mexican official, clad in a striped polo shirt and jeans with a short Malboro darting from his lip, demanded my camera. He spoke flatly and authoritatively in Spanish, but communicated in universal body language that I was to immediately remove my Nikon D40 from my neck.
I complied, attempting in broken Spanish to explain how I was merely there to take pictures from the 1,800-foot bridge and that I had no interest in entering Mexico.
Yo no quiero entrar Mexico, senor, I said. Sacar fotografia.
The mans rapid response befuddled me, and in an attempt to quell the tense situation, I showed him the pictures I just snapped. One depicted the rugged Juarez Mountains to the south; another showed emptied liquor bottles along the banks of the Rio Grande. Yet another, taken just steps across the official border line on the bridge, showed the Mexican port of entry, where several men stood guard.
My heart, beating rapidly as ever, felt as if it was ready to burst through my chest. I wondered if I was about to be detained on the wrong side of the border. But after deleting the photo of the Mexican port of entry, and raising my hands in an unmistakably apologetic manner, the Mexican official allowed me to walk back onto U.S. soil.
Now just steps from the Fort Hancock port of entry, I felt relieved my troubles were over. I was mistaken.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent who allowed access to the bridge was now nowhere to be found, and his colleagues wanted answers.
What are you doing? one agent asked. Im going to need to see some I.D.
After producing my drivers license and an employee identification badge, I was instructed to enter the border station to answer a few questions. Minutes later, after successfully passing a background check, I was allowed to go. I then walked briskly to my rented car, nearly jogging. But just as I started my Hyundai with Colorado plates, a U.S. Customs and Border official, identifiable only by his nametag Lee, again asked for my license. The next five minutes were utterly harrowing. I knew I hadnt broken any laws, but the cynic in me knew not to breathe easy just yet.
Agent Lee exited the border patrol station 10 minutes later with my license in hand and a wry smile on his face. He then told me I was free to go after saying I ought to be more careful.
Its dangerous over there, he said. That’s a place you dont want to go.
I couldnt agree more.
And this...is civilization?
NO. (But they contribute to the economy... )
“And this...is civilization?”
Your post reminds me of something....an article which can’t be posted here, but yes, according to some in Mexico.....
[snip] Mendez said he would move to a different state in Mexico if he believed it was too dangerous to remain in El Sauzal. Mexico, despite its problems, is the only country worth living in, Mendez said.
“In Mexico, the life is easier here than it is in America,” he said. “There’s no other country like Mexico. It’s better. It has liberties.”
Border drug war: Violence wears on Valley of Juárez residents
April 4, 2010
there is a sad and interesting book called ‘Tom And Huck Don’t Live Here Any More’, about the difference between the Hannibal of Mark Twain’s childhood and Hannibal as it now is. the cultural rot that has overtaken every small town as well as city in America.
Cazares had several previous run-ins with the law, but always provided what appeared to be legitimate identification to authorities. The documents later proved to be false.
Yeah, way too late for two families torn by grief for life. Mere words do not allow me to inveigh enough against our liberal policies regarding immigration. Neither can mere words express my disgust with the legal process that coddles these abominable animals.
“Yeah, way too late for two families torn by grief for life. Mere words do not allow me to inveigh enough against our liberal policies regarding immigration. Neither can mere words express my disgust with the legal process that coddles these abominable animals.”
Mendez said he would move to a different state in Mexico if he believed it was too dangerous to remain in El Sauzal. Mexico, despite its problems, is the only country worth living in, Mendez said. “In Mexico, the life is easier here than it is in America,” he said. “There’s no other country like Mexico. It’s better. It has liberties.” In El Porvenir, Morales said his plan is to migrate north if the violence continues. “I will try to cross the border to America,” he said.
Sorta contradicts himself, doesn’t he???
Mexico is falling apart!
Posted: 02 Apr 2010 06:27 PM PDT
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.
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Cambio de Michoacán (Morelia) 4-1-10
Murders rise in 21 states during March
Murders by criminal organizations rose, for the first time, in March to 1,130 victims of homicide for the month. The states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Sonora, Guerrero, Michoacán and Nuevo Leon suffered more than 50 cases each and accounted for 88% of the total murders. The number of homicide cases related to narcotics trafficking has risen 11 times since El Milenio began recording the number of murders by organized crime at the end of 2006.
During March there was the loss of more policemen with a total of 89 agents. Sixteen of them were federal agents, 38 municipal officers, 24 state policemen and 11 soldiers. All of those died in direct confrontations with bands of narcotics traffickers.
According to Milenio, since 2007 the number of dead policemen and soldiers has reached 1,564. The deadliest month before this March was October of 2008 in which 77 soldiers and policemen were murdered.
Twenty three incidents in March occurred in Nuevo Leon and resulted in the deaths of 20 innocent bystanders, 9 agents, and more than 30 members of criminal organizations.
Chihuahua was the bloodiest state with 389 recorded murders during the month which is
26% of all the murders in the country of Mexico.
Diario de Guadalajara (Guadalajara) 4-1-10
Military seizes drugs and firearms
Guadalajara-The Mexican military in this area reported the seizure of drugs, weapons, ammunition and cash.
Responding to information given by an alert citizen about the presence of armed individuals, the Army responded and detained two people who wouldnt identify themselves, and seized 3 kilos 950 grams of cocaine, one 9mm pistol with a magazine of 13 cartridges, a .38 caliber revolver, .22 caliber ammunition, 37,930 pesos, 3000 empty red capsules labeled TNT and three weighing scales
Editorial-This Country is Falling to Pieces
(Translators Note: The following is a synopsis of the editorial titled above)
Mexican Society is encountering a crisis like no other in generations. The policy of the government is a policy of destruction.
Violence by criminal organizations has broken out and the absurd strategy of combating it with force results in social degradation in urban areas and poor sections of the country where poor, uneducated young people are recruited as henchmen and are the strength of the cartels.
Growing social inequality has converted Mexico into a factory to make people rich and to make people poor. There are urban areas where we have the best real estate in the entire world and a short distance away there are the poorest slums in the world.
An economy based on making more money and getting benefits and extravagances, is exploiting the workforce and sacrificing the well being of others. Last year there was the highest unemployment rate in years and the worst economic growth rate in 80 years, while the cost of food rose and wages dropped. This caused enormous difficulty in meeting essential needs like food, medicine, education and housing.
It is difficult to get a job with a decent salary. This results in major pressure on the workforce which relies solely on wages. The solution is this: More capital investment resulting in more work, setting higher wages and lower taxes.
Part of the strategy to raise economic levels is to enact social programs and guarantee minimum wages. Many laborers work eight hours a day and then commute several hours to and from work resulting in a work day that is 10 or 12 hours long. At the same time many work part time and have no retirement program. It is a social disaster.
Another crisis is the reduction of public services like education, health care, street repair and so forth. On one hand they tell us there are no resources to construct schools, hospitals and clinics and on the other they bailed out crooked bankers in 1995 and we are paying monstrous interest payments of 2.5 billion pesos a year. The result could not be worse. We have people living in huts and curtained vans and their lives are falling apart. They are tired of it.
Meanwhile, professional politicians offer empty promises and the economy continues to falter. They believe we will keep butting our heads but the opposite is true. They have made a deal with the devil with their promises to end the crisis. They have made the same promises for 25 years. Ninety percent of the people do not understand and they dont intend to understand the supposed political reform that is proposed.
As I have set forth, the politicians and the intellectuals have launched a program against an entire generation and have offered nothing but a recipe for the disaster we are in-the violence and worker exploitation. It is obviously, like it has been for the last 100 or 200 years, we need social advancement. All we are doing is creating a social underclass.
-end of report-
They do jobs Americans won’t do.
NAFBPO Wrap-up Ping!
Look, he killed two people. In order for justice to be served, he would need to be executed twice or once very slowely. That doesn’t even allow for any punishment.
Sam Snead said it best....when you leave the United States, you’re camping out. The other nations of the world are generally unkempt pest holes. Why would ANYONE want to go to one of these disease/thug infested swamps?
And thye want to bring it with them to the UUS.
If this cockroach(the prosecutor) goes for this deal, the murderer will be out in 8 years. Time off for good behavior, blah, blah, blah.
Thanks for posting this Aunt B and thanks for the ping.