Daniel Villegas Talks One on One with NewsChannel 9
Daniel Villegas says a little decision can ruin your life.
"If I would have been kicking it with the jocks this would have never happened I would have never been in this position right now," Villegas said.
Daniel Villegas has been convicted of shooting and killing two people in Northeast El Paso in 1993.
He says a detective threatened him for hours until he confessed to a crime he didn't commit.
"I'm not a saint, but even thought I'm not, you know, I'm not a killer either," Villegas said.
Villegas says he was even offered a deal to get out of jail early, but that meant signing his name on something he says isn't true, for the second time.
"When they gave me that plea agreement I didn't do it. When he gave me that ten year deal I told my mom I signed the false confession I'm not going to do this. If i would have done this I would have signed it and hell yeah count my blessings ten years you'd be out for a double murder you cant ask for more, but I didn't," Villegas said.
Instead, he says he wanted the truth to finally come out and has spent almost 18 years in prison trying not to loose hope.
"It sucked everything out of you. I can't deal with that stuff anymore, I've come to my threshold," Villegas said.
Everyday, Villegas says he waits in agony to see if he'll be granted a retrial and although he's desperate to be free, there is one thing that scares him about the outside world.
"What my daughter is going to think about me. Is she going to like me is she not going to like me. what her thoughts are is she going to be able to fall in love with me as a father," Villegas said.
Villegas says it's his supporters who give him hope and the ambition to dedicate his life trying to keep others from making that one little mistake.
"There's a bigger world out that a lot of these kids they don't know about that and if you can expand their mind and let them theres a bigger world out there that theres a lot more out there than just your little neighborhood i feel like we can help a lot of them out," Villegas said.
And while he's paying for a crime he says he didn't commit, he hasn't given up on our judicial system.
"It's not every cop that's out there beating kids up to make false confessions because you do have a whole bunch of good cops out there," Villegas said.
Daniel says he has a strong faith in god and prays everyday and wishes he could tell the real killer the consequences to his quick decisions.
"You already killed two other boys don't let me die too. Don't let me die man. When you did this it was a ripple effect it wasn't just certain individuals that got hit, it went out. it touched a lot of lives," Villegas said.