Family and friends react to Daniel Villegas's bond hearing decision
POSTED: Friday, December 20, 2013 - 6:39pm
UPDATED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 7:15pm
(El Paso) KTSM — There was only one feeling among Daniel Villegas supporters as the news about his bond hearing was spread around the county courthouse in Downtown El Paso earlier today.
"Disappointed you know we really thought that he'd be home for Christmas with his family after 18 years," supporter John Mimbela said.
"Frustrated and frustrated we had our hopes up, we were planning for this weekend," supporter and Daniel’s girlfriend Amanda Faith said in tears.
Villegas was hoping to be released from prison after the Texas Court of Appeals decided to give him a new trial after he claimed to be innocent.
Back in 1995 he was convicted for the murderers of two young men in Northeast El Paso that happened in 1993.
Supporters arrived early in the morning with the hopes of seeing Daniel for the first time in years but it wasn't the desired outcome.
Judge Sam Medrano said Villegas could not be released until the Texas Court of Appeals releases the appropriate mandate.
Daniel Villegas's girlfriend Amanda Faith first met Daniel two years ago when he was behind bars. Although she preferred not to show her face she decided to speak with Newschannel 9 in an exclusive interview.
She shared what Daniel’s journey has been like and how difficult it has been for them.
"County visits every weekend and a phone call everyday it's hard we've never touched we've only had a glass in between us but he's become my best friend," Faith said.
Like Amanda others have joined to support like Mando Martinez who is related to one of the victim's allegedly killed by Villegas in 1993. He says Villegas is innocent.
"It doesn't look like Daniel was the one that did it being that his court confession didn't match the actual crime of the two friends that survived the shooting and so it seems like they just went with Daniel got him to confess and never really pursued other suspects that they had," Martinez said.
Newschannel 9 obtained another exclusive phone interview with Daniel Villegas right after the hearing. He said although he was disappointed of today’s decision his faith was stronger.
"That type of support is that's exactly what keeps me going thank everybody for being there they're the reason why I'm with high hopes right now," Villegas said.
And even though his release did not come today they say battle is not over.
"The most difficult thing has been done and Daniel's going to be out soon he told us he's happy he's going to go out soon and that's the biggest thing we're happy about," supporter Joseph Iglesias said.
The group said they will come back next month to support Daniel during his next hearing in January when he could be released.